Making Doors

January 29, 2017  Hours spent building to date: 3,334

Dinette settee painted and trimmed

I have only made two cabinet doors in my life to this point, some 20 years ago for a freestanding closet to house John’s off-season clothes, Legos, games, etc.  But they turned out to be too tall for their width, and in the damp of our basement they warped and never closed quite right.  So with some trepidation I took on the task of making three sets of cabinet doors and a head door for the Tardis.

My hesitancy was justified.  Good saw setup, nice tight joints, good dryfit — everything was humming along until I glued up the first set today.  Not bad-looking, with seven of the eight joints nice and tight and one that for some inexplicable reason wouldn’t close up, but a gap that will easily be taken care of with a little filler.  But when I took the doors up to the galley for a picture, instead of overlapping the cabinet the way they should, they fit inside it like inset doors, exactly one inch too narrow.  I checked the measurements and calculations again and again, until it dawned on me that I had used the stiles from the next door over, which does indeed have inset doors.

There is no easy, elegant fix for this.  I am out of cherry and can’t start over.  So I think I will simply add a half-inch to each side of the rails and not be too fussy about the glue line.  When the door is closed, it should look like it is enclosed by a cherry frame.  When the door is open, it will look strange, because the “frame” will open with the doors.  But these particular doors pretty much just hide the water heater, filter and associated plumbing and won’t be opened much.  So stay tuned.

In better news, the dinette area has been painted with mayonnaise, trimmed out and is looking very sharp.  With some cherry left over from the doors, I also trimmed out the entrance to the forecabin, which was looking a little too stark.  We can now put a checkmark beside “trim” — every raw plywood edge in the boat is now covered with cherry,

Door construction

Door construction — simple tongue and groove.  The tenons on the stiles and the door field rest in a groove running all the way around the interior of the framing.

Cabinet drawer dryfit

Cabinet door dryfit

Head door dryfit

Head door dryfit

Nice looking, but an inch too narrow

Nice looking, but an inch too narrow

Forecabin entry trim

Forecabin entry trim

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