Traditionally, this style of cupboard would have been made with pine, as it was designed to be useful, and not necessarily beautiful. I'd like mine to be a little bit special, so I have chosen to build it from New Guinea Rosewood - with a feature door panel made from Australian Rosewood - sometimes called Australian Rose Mahogany.
I am lucky enough to know where each of these originated. The New Guinea Rosewood came from the Solomon Islands, and the Australian Rosewood from around Killarney in Queensland.
It is important to lay out the timber so that grain direction can be studied, and any defects noted.
I use sidewalk chalk for my initial layout, as it is easy to see, is easily removed if I change my mind, and it doesn't leave permanent marks or indentations in the timber.
None of these boards is quite wide enough for a panel without gluing an extra strip of timber, so that has to be planned for. Trying to match the grain in the glued pieces can be an exercise in concentration and frustration.
The Australian Rosewood door panel is the only one that will be able to be done in one piece.
These boards are quite long - between 2.4 and 3 metres, so will need to be cut down to a manageable length before jointing. Ideally, the longer the better in jointing the edges, but I will be too cramped for space if I leave them as is. So a little surgery is called for.
A panel saw is the usual tool for this procedure. Mine is a Disston number 7 with 6-1/2 TPI filed cross cut. It is an oldie - still has its front nib on the upside of the toe. Cuts like a dream.
Once the boards have been roughly dimensioned, it is time to create the reference edge and face. These boards have already been surfaced but the edges are a bit how-ya-goin'.
I usually joint any concave edges first, and use these as the reference edge on each board for dimensioning. This edge needs labelling - as in the following picture.
The edge jointing can be done with a jointer plane. This one is a Union X-8 - thick blade and fixed frog make this ideal for quick wood removal.
When hand jointing, the edge needs to be checked for square. Once square, the edge becomes the reference edge - and is so marked.
Of course, hand planing all those edges can be time consuming. If you have access to a powered jointer, it will make short work of the task. The reference edge still needs to be marked. All work on each board will now take place from these reference edges.
In Part 2, I'll use these reference edges in cutting the parts to length and ensuring that the edges are not only square but parallel.
Happy woodworking to all............