Monday, April 30, 2007

Wall Cabinet: Almost Done

I have made progress on the wall cabinet in the last week or so, but it has been agonizingly slow. After finishing the hinge mortises I began work on the stop and latch mechanism.

I added a thin stop, 1/16" thick, at the bottom of the cabinet. It's glued to the inside. I measured carefully, marked where it needed to go, and glued it in. And then I had to remove it and replace it. At this point I can't remember why.

The upper stop/latch mechanism is more substantial. It consists of a 3/4" X 1/2" X 3" block with two super strong magnets super-glued into it. The doors each have a magnet washer screwed into the inside corner. I wasn't paying enough attention when I drilled the recess for the magnet washers, and managed to get one on the hinge edge of the door instead of the non-hinge edge. That happened to be the first one and I'd used super-glue to attach it. That boo-boo is now covered with a circle of veneer.

Again I carefully marked and measured the location of the stop block/latch on the inside of the cabinet, and transfered the measurements to the top. I'm attaching the block with screws from the top. The holes are then filled with plugs. So in attempt number 1 I drilled the pilot holes, applied glue to the block, screwed it in, clamped it for good measure and left it to set.

The next day I took off the clamps and closed the doors to check on the alignment. Imagine my surprise when the doors wouldn't shut. I quickly surmised the the problem. When I transfered the measurements from inside the cabinet to the top, I forgot to take into account that the screw holes need to be in the center of the block. The line I'd transferred and drilled along was the marking for the front of the block - not the center.

Fixing this required - drilling out the plugs, removing the screws and sawing off the block. After constructing another block and marking the lines again, I screwed on the block - no glue this time - as a dry fit. The fit was perfect so I removed the block, added glue and screwed it back into place. And just in case I decided to wait before plugging the screw holes. I did super-glue in the magnets, though. All looked good, and I headed upstairs for the night.

Next time I made it into the shop, I discovered that gravity had been at work. The magnets in the stop/latch are recessed into flat bottomed holes. When the stop is attached to the cabinet they are on edge. When I'd left the shop after attaching the stop and gluing in the magnets I'd left the cabinet upright. One of the magnets had not set before I left and had slid out so that it rested at about a 45 degree angle to the block - and then it set. This was just not going to work because the door couldn't shut with the extra impediment of the angled magnet.

My first attempt at a fix was to cut off the portion of the block with the angled magnet and replace just the portion. This proved to be impossible to do well given the limited space inside the cabinet. So I unscrewed and sawed off block #2.

With block number 3, I first dry fit it to ensure it's correct placement. Then glued in the magnets with it independent of the cabinet. And finally glued and screwed it into place in the cabinet. Once it was I added the plugs.

As they say third times the charm.

All that is left to do if finish sizing the shelves. Although I built the cabinet according to the plans, the shelves are too wide! At the current width there is not enough clearance for the doors to shut when the shelves are in place.

Other than finish, and a little sanding, the shelf sizing is the last work to do on the cabinet.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with it. I built it for the experience, not with any plan for its use.

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