Posted by: Steve and Bethany | January 24, 2009

DOORS & DRAWERS

12/12/10

I have a total of 16 doors & drawers to build, all but 2 have curving fronts, the last couple things I’ve made with curves taught me just how to work best with the wiggle board.. ..make positive & negative forms, & clamp the hell out of it! The wiggle board wants to bend, that’s what it does, you just have to tell it exactly where & how to bend, hold it there while the glue dries, & once glued, it holds it shape remarkably well, with a lot of strength. The other bonus is wiggle board is pretty light, always a plus in a camper. I spent saturday taking exact measurements & making lists of all 16 doors & drawers with dimensions. For this part of construction, I chose to mass produce all 16 together, normally I’m a one piece at a time kind of guy, getting one piece to fit just right, then moving to the next, but for this, I wanted the accuracy of setting up the dado blade & rip fence, as well as the slot cut router bit just once to get uniformity throughout all the drawers. let me start by saying that I, like usual, had to get the slot cut bit, no problems there, but to get the 1/4″ depth, the 1 7/8″ bit required a 1 3/8″ center bearing, which apparently is not a normal dimension available through router bit bearing sets, so I spent a day chasing down a 1 3/8 bearing, only available with an inside diameter bigger than my shaft, then had to hunt down a bushing to get me from the 5/16″ shaft up to the 5/8″ inside diameter of the bearing. All this to achieve something that should be pretty typical, a 1/4″ slot, 1/4″ deep. The router was required to dado out the drawer fronts for the drawer bottoms, as they all curve, so a dado blade on the table saw wouldn’t work. Back to Saturday, I also made all five forms for different parts of the curving cabinets.

all five forms for the drawer fronts cut out of the remaining Uhaul wall panels

Sunday I mass-produced all the drawer bottoms out of 1/4″ plywood, & all the drawer front pieces for gluing, out of the two pieces of 1/4″ wiggle board each, as well as cutting out & dadoing all the drawer sides & backs out of 1/2″ 7 ply no-void apple plywood, not the lightest stuff, but I seem to be crossing the line frequently between    ‘ light for camper’, & ‘luxury motorhome’ . For this I had to pull the bullet out of the shop, & set up proper tables for this sort of production.

just tell the wiggle board what to do, & it'll do it (with a little force)

clamp the hell out of it!

all the sides, backs & bottoms cut out, dadoed, & ready to go

yet another profile, this one's below the sink area

1/3/11

O.K.  past the holidays, over the past few weeks on time off, I sanded all the drawer parts, routered the tops of all the drawer sides & backs to get a nice rounded top surface, hand sanded all the edges of the drawer bottoms to fit cleanly into all the dado groves, this past weekend I glued up all the drawer sides, back, & bottoms, got the drawer guides all installed on both the drawers & the cabinets then I started installing the laminated curving drawer fronts. I figured I needed to have the drawer bodies in place to help line up the angle on these curving fronts. I ripped all the drawer fronts to dimension, & will cut the lengths as I go. I’ve only finished two, enough to know this is going to take a while, but it does look like we’re gonna have plenty of storage.

some of the drawer boxes glued up (no fronts yet)

all the boxes installed in the cabinets, pre-fronts

plenty of kitchen storage

dresser drawers

starting to install the fronts

getting the idea yet?

1/6/11

1/9/11

Just about done with all the drawers, the curves do make things much slower, I’m averaging about 2 drawers per day, & this is just dadoing & glueing on the front panel, trimming the edges, aligning the glides, & cleaning & sanding. Next is the 2 doors, these should be simple, but I’m using 3/8″ overlay hinges, & setting them up to work like inset hinges to fit inside the poplar ribs. I used the overlay hinges because they were much smaller than the inset hinges & all these angles & curves don’t give me much room for full size hinges.

all the drawers in, aligned with the ribs & each other

the shoe drawer

the shoe drawer closed

after the last 2 doors, I’ve got some small detail pieces to make, then I start removing it all for veneer.

1/16/11

The cabinets & doors & drawers are officially done, this weekend I got the last of the details done, including putting a ‘fillet’ of urethane glue along the bottom edge of the drawer bottoms, where the bottoms meet the sides & front. they’ve all been glued into the dado, but this fillet just assures no rattles or squeaks.  I’ve located the heater in the lower portion of one drawer, & instead of having this drawer front be shorter than all the others, I located the heater vent through the drawer face, & had to create a plenum to connect it to the heater when the drawer is in the closed position. I also cut the hole near the doorway for the control switches (roof, steps, battery monitor, porch light etc.)

the fillet of urethane glue in addition to gluing the dado

I cut the hole for the switch panel just inside the doorway

notice the shallow drawer, because of the heater below

the plenum to connect the drawer front to the heater when closed

all done

kitchen cabs finally done, ready for the finish veneers

1/19/11

Got the drawer pulls today, drilled them all in, let the deconstruction begin.. …

1/31/11

o.k… .. this is the last thing, I mean it this time,  before deconstruction starts I had to make several curvy trim pieces that will go over some of the teak veneer on the curvy above-the-counter shelves, trimming the top edge of the teak, then, after these trim pieces are on, I can put laminate on the top surface.

there's really not one straight line inside this thing!

These curves all look random, but are cut to follow exact curves on the upper shelves & cabinets. These trim pieces are not laminated or steamed, but simply cut out of 15/16″ poplar (my accent wood) & seemed to take getting cut, routered & sanded across the grain really well for being so thin (5/8″).

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