Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The "Saga of the Fish Cabinet" - Part I

My latest project out in the wood shop is I'm building a cabinet for my "sort-of-stepfather's" tropical fish tank as an Xmas gift from my mother. No easy task for a number of reasons . . . for one thing it's HUGE, 55" long on the flat front section and another 32" long on the angled side section. Another thing, it isnt sitting squarely on its metal stand, but aint no way no how it can be moved! It took 4 guys to put the thing up there when it was empty, now it has i dont know how many gallons of water in it, so fughedaboudit! I'll have to shim the cabinet facing in varying degrees to sit flush against the edge of the tank which should be a nice little bit of hell no doubt! Anyway i started working on the main cabinet facing yesterday, a fairly straightforward procedure using mortise and tenon joints but I'm using Ash lumber that wasnt edge plained at the mill so i have to do that myself, by hand, yay! A bunch of the boards have a slight bow to them so it is taking some time to get a straight edge on them before i even think about ripping them to width on the table saw.

the main stiles with tenons cut, fun fun fun!

I cut the mortises with a dowel jig and drill, then chiseled out the rest, a really quick and clean way to do them actually!

not only is handplaining hardwood a lot of fun and great exercise but you get these pretty little shavings ALL over the shop!

a clean well-organized work area is essential for quality results!

The main cabinet facing glued up and clamped. I used W. Patrick Edwards "Old Brown Glue" (liquid hide glue) because it has a really long open time which give a slowpoke like me plenty of time to get the big old bar clamps in place before the glue sets up. I never thought I'd ever get excited about glue but this stuff is awesome!

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