Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Elegant Jelly Cabinet - Construction Part 10 - Amish Design for Contemporary Use

Finishing the Door

Remember that hole in the door frame - caused by inattention. I had cut the mortice too deep and the tenon simply didn't fill it.  Turns out I had done it to both sides - so two fixes are needed.

Solution: Add more tenon.
It is about as elegant as I can be in this position.

And it worked fine - not conventional, but necessary.

One end done - now to do the other.  This time I thought I would cut the tenons first so that they wouldn't suffer the same skinny fate as before.
How hard could it be?

Guess who forgot to allow for the panel grooves.
Gnats with lobotomies don't make these kinds of mistakes.  A lesson in humility - AGAIN!
A frantic search of the workshop found  an offcut that will substitute as another rail. Saved!

The Australian Rosewood panel had to have its edges reduced to fit inside the groove in the frame.  I used a router with a dished bit and created a raised field in the middle of the rosewood.  This field sits at the same level as the frame, and the play of light and shadow between it and the frame is quite pleasing I think.
The groove needed some adjusting as well.  Good old side rebate plane to the rescue once more.  Long ago, before I acquired this plane, I could not have imagined how much use it would get.

Here is a trial fit:

Before assembling, I took the chance to break the inside edges of the frame with sandpaper - being careful not to round over any place where the edge formed a square joint.

When assembling, it is important to check for square. The easiest way is to measure diagonals to both sets of outside corners - luckily they were the same and the frame did not need racking.

Applying the Mouldings

 These had been made previously  and are to be fitted to both the top and the base.  When I tried them, they complemented the top very nicely, but looked too heavy for the base.  So the base mouldings were thinned down to a shadow of their former selves.

Fitting them is tricky.  Do them one corner at a time - and get it right before cutting the mitre on the other end. It always takes more of the moulding than your measurements will show.

I like to cut them over-long, and sneak back to the finished size in very thin increments.  You can never add length to an over-cut mitre.  What's that old saying:

 "...... Damn, ........... I've cut it twice - and it's still too short!" 


I deliberately start with the bottom moulding - if I'm going to make any errors that I have to learn from, it will be on the minor moulding, not the major one at the top.
 Trial fits are essential - especially in establishing the mitre. Sometimes 45 degrees will not work, and 46 is needed.
After lots of trial and error I clamp the front moulding, and and mark its position before adding glue.  It is amazing how slippery these can be with glue and clamps added, and the reference marks are then vital.
The others are done one at a time - there is nothing worse than gappy mitres that look like they need orthodontic help.

I only have enough soft-jawed clamps to keep any two mouldings in place, so while the second - at the base - is drying, I can make a start on the top.

Getting a grip on a sloping moulding can be difficult.  Here I use an offcut from the same profile, and reverse it to give a square surface for clamp adhesion.

The Finished Product

All rightee then ...........

Fit the feet ................................

............................    fit the door, clean up clamp marks and give everything a final sand.

I recently acquired a box of reproduction antique door handles from one of my woodworking associates, and one of these suits the door remarkably well.  Many thanks Bob.

Will it be a Jelly Cabinet?
No  ........................... not even a jam cupboard, or even a cabinet for preserves.
This is its heritage of course, as it hails from an Amish or Mennonite Furniture design - however here at Telview Hill, it will be used for storing board games and puzzles that we use with the grand children.

Now if the weather will only stay kind for a week or so I'll be able to attack the next project - repairing the gables .....

Joyful days and small mistakes .....................

................. and happy woodworking to all ............................


  1. Very Nice! Love the photos and explanations.

    1. Thanks Marilyn.
      It is always a buzz when a project comes together. I have enjoyed this one very much.
      Glad you liked it.

  2. Tom cabinet looks tops but if I was to make one for jellys it would need to be twice that size Sue makes a big batch LOL. So is it to be a nice tool cabinet or for indoors to keep LOYL happy.? Happy Easter by the way.

  3. Awesome! This is indeed one great project. I really love the idea. The output is absolutely beautiful. Great job! I would really love to let my dad do this for me. =)