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Accidental Woodworker

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The daily dribble from my workshopRalph Boumenothttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10606484453109932074noreply@blogger.comBlogger5112125
Updated: 4 hours 33 min ago

another check mark......

Fri, 02/16/2024 - 2:46am

 Put a check mark in the done column for the 15 drawer dresser. I don't like to think about it but I'm pretty sure it is going to be painted. Especially so if my wife has anything to do about it. At least until that happens I can ooh and aah over it until it goes away.

 nature's best painting

I can't see why anyone would want to paint and hide what nature has done. On the bucket list is another 15 drawer chest but made in cherry. Hopefully I'll get that done before I take my dirt nap.

 back up frame

Used my set of round over tools (Veritas ones based on Stanleys) to round over the inside edge of the frame. I used the tool to offset it from the corners. It would be too difficult to extend the round overs into and out of the corners.

 rethinking painting this

I got the outside edges rounded over and smoothed the top edge of the chamfer so there is no longer a 'line' on the face. The corners aren't horrible looking and there isn't glaring evidence of the shim work I did on the bridle joinery. I'm thinking of shellac now instead of paint. But again, the wife will be the one to say nay or yea.

I went to the Frame it Shop and I got there at 1045 and Maria was just getting there (opens at 1000). The picture is still not done. She has had it for over 3 weeks and she told me she would do it today. I told her I would stop by again tomorrow. Any bets that she won't have it done when I stop by? 

 almost done

I made this 3-4 years ago and it languished waiting to have the hinges installed. The problem was the lid is only 7/16" thick and the screws were too long. The lid is bridle jointed with a cherry insert in the middle. The main carcass is pine so it isn't exactly a fancy jewelry box but I think it would be nice for a young girl. I have always wanted to carve the initials of the recipient in the cherry panel. I've been reading my Chris Pye book on letter carving. Not so sure I want my first letters to be done on this.


This tray lifts out revealing more storage underneath. I was surprised to see the hinges installed because I don't remember doing that. Since there aren't any screws poking out on the top I can surmise I solved the too long headache. The leaves on the top are surface mounted rather then being mortised. I'll get some shellac on this and then wait for some young lady to show up on the horizon.

 oak cabinet

I've been doing dovetails now for 14 years and this is my first time dovetailing oak. I couldn't see the slope (done in pencil) when it came time to saw them. I just let muscle memory kick in and sawed away. Not perfect symmetry but still looks hand sawn.


These two ends are wonky and the blue tape couldn't pull the two together flat. This was a bit of a challenge sawing and trying to avoid the clamps but I got it done. I thought of doing them separately but decided to clamp and work around it.

 healthy gap

Putting a clamp at either end didn't fully flatten this. I had to use two clamps to remove it fully. I put an extra tail in the mix to help with keeping it flat come time to glue it up.

 last one

It was a bit awkward sawing but I didn't hit the clamps doing it. I feel better knowing that both ends are symmetrical. 


It did ok on the first side dovetails but it ran out of gas quick on the 2nd side. One of the slopes on the tails was off the angle from the others. It was also a bear to chop the waste. I felt like I was trying to chop stone. I stropped the chisel several times and it wasn't up to the task. I'll be spending some quality time with the stones in the AM.

accidental woodworker

she wants it.......

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 3:08am

 Well boys and girls you could have knocked me out with a snowflake today. I asked my wife if there was someone I could give the carved leaves cabinet to. She shocked me into a stupor by saying she not only liked but that she wanted to keep it for herself. She readily admitted that she would have to find a hole for it somewhere in the house, but she wanted it for herself. This is only the second thing I have made (not expressly for her) that she was this gaga about. Hmmm...., I'll have to file this away in the brain bucket for future projects.

 enlarging holes

The 3/8" holes are exactly one frog hair too snug for the Stanley pilot hole pin punches. The headache with using a rat tail file to enlarge a hole is the file is tapered and the likely hood of getting an oval tapered hole is fairly high. As a back up I had a dowel wrapped with 100 grit sandpaper to help out.

 getting closer

From looking at the fit of the punch the hole is still round and concentric to the punch. The fit was loose but I widened it a bit more because this should contract come summer time.


I glued a thin pine scrap to the bottom  because the 3 pin punches on the right have their holes drilled completely through.

 why I made it

These are the holders for the #3, #5, and #9 Vix bits. I lost 2 of the caps and all 3 of the holders are split at the top and none of them capture the red cap. I got tired of having to read each Vix bit to see which number it was because they never seemed to be able to stay in respective holders. That is no longer a concern.

 prepping the new frame

The frame is 3/4" pine that will be painted. I didn't want to put a rabbet in it and lose any depth so I put a frame offset from the inside edge a 1/4". That will house the glass, the art work, and the matting. 

 the front face

This is why I nailed and glued a 2nd frame to the back. I want the full thickness of the 3/4" thick frame to offer depth before the art work. I don't like it being close to the front face - I like it to be recessed and 'window' like.

that sucked pond scum

This is one of my favorite molding planes. It a Preston and Sons ogee profile but today it let me down. It molded the long grain perfectly but going across the end grain on the bridle joints tore out like crazy. I fixed that by planing a chamfer removing the molded profile and the tear out on the ends of the bridle joints. I didn't want a chamfer but the tear out was especially ugly looking.


Got some blowouts on the ends planing the chamfers. I got it on all four corners and I filled them in with putty.

 cabinet layout #1

This doesn't do anything for me. It looks like it needs more shelves to complete the layout pattern.

 the 4th layout

I kind of like this one but it looks too busy for my eye. The bottom opening is getting two drawers and the second shelf I think would look better if the vertical dividers were 'L' shaped instead of extending from the 2nd to the 3rd shelves. I have lots of time to agonize over this.

 frame 99.9% done

I am not in love with the chamfer on the frame. My gut reaction is to shitcan it and go with a round over. I stopped here and my wife and I went to lunch. Fish 'n chips for me and a patty melt for Diane.

The layout on the cabinet is the one that I think I'm going with. The second and third shelves are divided and the top one will be open.

 better look

I have enough stock left to get the center drawer divider and the drawer fronts. The sides and back I'll use pine or whatever else I have that is wide and long enough. All through lunch I was running this through the brain bucket and I'm leaning towards putting one 'L' shaped vertical divider on the second or third shelf.

 round over it is

I just don't like the chamfer and it is a wee bit too much to sand out with this. I'll have to give it a helping hand by planing the bulk of it first and then smoothing it with the sander.

 one more

The carcass of the dresser has 4 coats and the base and feet have 7 or 8. One more on the whole of it and I get to ooh and aah over it.

 who knew

I brought this upstairs to cure the shellac by the radiator rather then have it sit in the cooler shop. My wife saw this in the shop but never said anything about it. Once it was upstairs she went gaga over it. She just mentioned to me about hanging it on the porch somewhere, somehow.

accidental woodworker

wet and heavy......

Wed, 02/14/2024 - 3:20am

 When I got up this AM there was a white blanket covering everything as far as I could see. It snowed steadily, albeit lightly, from when I got up to about 1500. Some where in between that it rained a wee bit and turned the snow into flush. It was heavy and difficult to dump when I shoveled it. I got the sidewalk cleared and removed the snow from the truck when I said No Mas, No Mas. My back started to protest after the second shovel full and it didn't stop whining and crying until I went back inside. What is left will probably freeze and I'll deal with it as best I can.


The bottom right corner is camera shy but all four corners are fitted. I was surprised by how well the corners flushed up. They weren't perfect but they weren't out much more than a few frog hairs.

 dry fit

The diagonals were dead nuts on.

 glued and cooking

The gaps on the right due to the shim blowing and tearing out. Otherwise the fit would be almost perfect.

 2nd corner

Gaps again due to the outside edge of the shim tearing out.

3rd corner

One spot ruined a good, snug fit which I got in spite of the tear out.

 4th and last corner

I have no hesitation with the bridle being strong and staying together. I am pretty confident that all the corners will clean and smooth up seamlessly too.

 3rd coat

I was trying to do the drawers and still have the workbench free. I gave up once I realized that sawdust and shellac don't mix.

 couldn't do it

I was all set to paint the carcass but changed my mind. IMO this should be finished naturally so the 'picture' of the wood shows through. If Amanda wants to paint it the shellac will be a good sealer base coat for paint.

 2nd coat
I like to get a lot of shellac on the bottom end grain feet along with the cutouts. I did the first coat with it vertically and #2 I horizontally on the saw horses. Much easier this way and I didn't have to kneel on the deck to do it.

 experiment time again

I was cleaning up and started to play with this hinge. I noticed that the countersinks are on opposite faces. The larger outer leaf has the countersinks facing up. The smaller inner leaf has its countersinks on the other face.


The countersinks still aren't that deep but it got me thinking that maybe I had installed these wrong. I think the correct way is to screw on the smaller leaf first and then the outer larger one.

 no reference edge

On the cabinet I just made I installed the larger outer leaf first and then struggled getting the smaller inner leaf second. I should have reversed the order but there was a hiccup. The barrel can't be pressed against the edge to reference and steady the hinge leaf.

 my preference

Push the hinge barrel up tight to the edge and mark/drill for the screws. This doesn't work for these no mortise hinges.

 small leaf reference

The hinge barrel is not up against the edge of the stock. With the countersinks facing up the inside edge of the barrel hinge faces down. There is nothing to steady the hinge while you mark/drill for the screws.


It was still coming down in a mixture of wanna be snow and rain. Took a break on the hinge to get a headache thinking about it.

 next project

I don't remember where I got this 1/2" thick oak from but it is going to be another cabinet.

 back to the regularly scheduled program

As soon as I did this I could see it was the only way to do this. The countersinks in the small hinge are facing down but I was able to use the barrel hinge to register the hinge where I want it. I use a Vix bit to drill pilot holes for the screws with the hinge in this orientation and then flipped it and screwed it down.

 looks good

I have always had a lot of problems with these hinges but so far this is falling into place for me. After drilling the pilot holes I flipped the hinge and screwed the small leaf down. In my experiment the small leaf would be on the door.

 what was missing

With the small leaf secured I then butted the large leaf hinge barrel against the edge and drilled the pilot holes.


Very simple and definitely repeatable. The large leaf is screwed to the edge of the side and both were referenced off the barrel of the hinge.

 I can't argue with this

I don't know why I hadn't figured this out before this. All the awkwardness I had installing these on the last cabinet would not have been an issue. Now I just have to remember to do the small leaf first and then the large one.

 happy with this

I was further surprised by the hinge closing fully and not being hinge bound. I thought for sure that the screws would have wanted to shake hands with everyone. What is nice is the hinge barrel is parallel to the outside edge of the side. I might actually start liking this style of hinge.

 new cabinet

I figured out what I wanted and what piece of stock will be used for. I tried to scrape/plane the finish off but it wasn't cooperating. Instead I think I'll leave the finish on and after the cabinet is done I'll rub it down with dark Briwax and maybe a slap on a couple of coats of shellac.

 got side tracked

I was going to kill the lights but the call to make a pilot drill stand over whelmed me. I need to get the large Stanley pin punch set but I don't have a correctly sized drill bit. The hole for it needs to be 14.5mm or a tad less than 5/8". 14mm is too small along with 9/16" and 5/8" is too big. I have a lot of drill bits hiding somewhere as I'm sure you have read it before - I don't remember where I hid them. I'll save that hunt for tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

storm is coming......

Tue, 02/13/2024 - 3:10am

My guys didn't win the Super Bowl. I really wanted to see Brock win it but maybe next year. I got up late, or late for me this AM at 0637. I am usually sipping my second cup of joe by that time. I have found a new crime series on PBS called the 'The Wagner Method'. It is another french one with english subtitles. The lead cop in it is smart but a roaring hypochondriac and a germaphobe. It is a very entertaining series and I stayed up last night past 2300 to finish viewing an episode. The other french series ran about an hour and this one runs about 1 hour 45 minutes. Unfortunately for me there are only a couple of seasons with a few episodes per season. It won't take long for me to binge watch them.

I didn't get a lot of anything done today. Rolling out of the rack late really screwed up my routine for the day. I did my puzzles and went on an extended grocery shopping run. There is a big storm blowing through tomorrow dumping up to a foot of the white stuff. So to celebrate that I got the fixings for making a veggie chicken soup and vittles to last 4 days instead of 3. I don't want to have to go out tomorrow for any reason.

 before the grocery run

I had to wait until after 0900 before I did my road trip (school buses and rush hour traffic). Before that I got one corner of the bridle frame fitted. The fit looks good and there are some gaps due to tear out in the shims I glued onto the cheeks. Once I was happy with the fit I labeled and hopefully I'll match them when I glue it up.

 happy with this

I will fill any imperfections with putty before I paint it. One down and three to go.

PM session

I got the opposite end of the first bridle joint fitted too. I think I could have gotten away with using veneer on that corner. I would guess-ta-mate that the router took off 99% of the glued on shims. On both cheek faces. I'll do the other two tomorrow.

 single, double, and triple drats

This shim shifted on me and I didn't notice it. I had a couple of choices to make - 1 ignore it and leave it as is - two remove it and glue on a new shim - or three, fill the space with a thin shim. I picked the last option.

 the fix
This is mostly to fill in the void left by the shim shifting. I'll let this cook until tomorrow.

The veggie chicken soup was so good. I had two bowls of it for lunch and because it was 99.9% veggies I don't think a bowl was more than a 100 calories. I have enough left over to have it for lunch for 3-4 days. Back to the regularly scheduled routine tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

finished 4.......

Mon, 02/12/2024 - 3:50am

 Glamour shots are a wee bit further down in color. I finished the carved cabinet and the 3 box/trays. I'm keeping the 3 boxes/trays and clueless on the cabinet. That is the problem with making projects that catch my eye. I'll ask Amanda if she wants it as I doubt my wife will take it. It isn't painted that kills 99% of her even liking it.


Inside has four coats and time to install the back. Glued and nailed - didn't feel like firing up the compressor and using the pneumatic nailer.

 doors are done

I didn't make it back down to the shop last night so I didn't get the final coat of shellac on the doors then. Have one more coat to put on the box/trays too.

 interesting grain on the back panel

The back has 2 coats. If it bugs me and doesn't look finished in a few days I'll slap on another coat or two.

 for the tung oil finish

I resawed all these in half - they are various lengths/widths but all are a shade thicker than a 1/4".


I could make more box/trays but I have way too many of them now. Thinking of gluing the two halves together and making a lidded box. I let these sit here and I'll give it some thought. Whatever it ends up being it is just to experiment with a tung oil finish.

 bridle joint frame

Back to the frame I originally made for a water color that my wife's mother painted several years ago. I didn't use it because the joints weren't that good. I am going to make it because I don't think my wife is going to like the frame I did use for the painting. I checked on it friday and Maria said she was still waiting on the matting I picked out to come in. Maybe next week I'll find out which way the wind is blowing on this.

 tenons done

I can tell from looking at these that they aren't consistent in thickness or parallel to either face.

 chopping the mortise

I almost made a mistake and sawed this leaving it a tenon instead of the mortise. If I pay attention I'll put the knife line on the back face.

 ugly fit

The tenon and the mortise are tapered and too small. Doesn't take a genius to know that this bridle joint is toast.

 even uglier

I looked at all four corners and none of them looked pretty. If I was leaving this natural I would cut my losses and cut the ends off. I'm going to paint it so if there are any gaps on the joint lines they won't be see. 

I'm pretty sure that I rushed through this and relied way too much on the jig keeping me on track. I should have paid more attention to how the saw cut was progressing rather then sawing it as quickly as I could. Paid for the brain fart with ugly bridle joints.

 way too thick

This is like the 3 bears story - the tenon off cut is too thick, pine veneer is too thin, and the pine scraps against the fence are too thick too. However, it is thinner than the tenon off cut and I will have to remove less from it than the original tenon offcut.

 glued the cooking

Just one added cheek piece would have been enough but I had to put on two. Each tenon is a little wonky and the glued 'cheek' is needed to straighten them out.


11" down from the top and 7/8" out from the inside door edge.

 glamour shot #1

Can't help myself but the right hand door (or the left one) isn't in line with its sibling at the bottom. I fiddled with the door hinges loosening and moving them this way and that and I couldn't fix it. I was hoping this wouldn't happen but it bit me on the arse anyways.

 interior shot

I have an idea for a second one. Same overall construction but no adjustable shelves on that one. I will keep the two drawers but all the shelves will be fixed and not adjustable. They will also be asymmetrical because 3 flat shelves are boring.


 I might be making a left turn on this. I am in the process of applying shellac to just the drawer fronts. Leaning towards painting the carcass because I like the look of paint against natural wood. I have some royal blue milk paint that is at the head of the paint line choice.

 almost done

The 3 box/trays are done once the shellac dries. The tenon stiles needed a little more time having the off cuts clamped. Tomorrow I'll start playing with fitting the tenons to the mortises.

Prediction - San Fran 49's will win the super bowl.

accidental woodworker

day off.......

Sun, 02/11/2024 - 3:01am

 I didn't make a Gurney's Sawmill run this AM. When I got up there was a dense fog blanketing my part of RI. I had driven to Gurney's before in a fog and it is something I don't want to repeat if I can avoid it. I was driving in the far right lane and I could barely see past the front edge of my hood. Cars were zipping by me like I was driving backwards. I will find something to make with the small piles of stock I have in the shop. There is always next saturday were it is supposed to be partly sunny.

 plugged shut

One end of the screw extractor is plugged closed with wood and a screw.  The other end is still open and I used that to extract the broken screw.

 the open end

After I got the screw out I used a pin punch and punched out both ends freeing it up.

 clear end to end

I don't know I didn't think of this before. I should have done it to clear out the first plug. I was going with this was a two use tool. After that I would have to buy another one.

 mine again

My wife changed her mind on these boxes. She said that they were too small for what she wanted to use them for. She is also changing her mind on her current project of which the door I extracted the screw from is it. Now she is contemplating leaving the doors and drawer off the cabinet she is thinking of repainting. 

 came today

I bought these two from Henry Eckert tools in Australia. The right one leaked but I didn't lose too much of it. I am curious about using tung oil as a finish. I couldn't make up my mind on which one to use so I got both of them. One thing that attracted me to this finish is that it is water resistant/repellent depending upon who says it. I will make something this week and try it out then.

latest E Sloane book

 I am buying these as I see them. If I have the $$$, I'll snap them up. This is a different Sloane book than what I am used to from him. I have already read half of it and it is mostly writing with few illustrations. At least I didn't buy one I already had again.

The cabinet shellac job will be done today. I want to get one more coat on the doors and the interior of it. After that I'll reinstall the doors, ooh and aah, and snap a couple of glamour pics.

Decided to slow down for a couple of days. Tomorrow is sunday and I usually don't go much on it. Besides it is Super Bowl sunday where 30 second ads are reportedly selling for 7 million dollars. I had involuntary bowel movement when I read what ticket prices were going for.

accidental woodworker

slow going.....

Sat, 02/10/2024 - 2:59am

 Getting the shellac on the cabinet is taking a wee bit longer than I thought it would. That works in my favor because I have nothing lined up to build next. Part of that is due to me not having any stock so if the weather is nice (not raining) this saturday I'll drive out to Gurney's Sawmill and get some 1x12 pine. In the interim I'll keep slugging away on the cabinet. I got the drawers and the shelves done, the cabinet carcass and the doors are bringing up the rear. Maybe by sunday I'll be doing some oohing and aahing.

 the wife wants them

Surprised that my wife asked for them but more so that she even noticed them. It looks like after 20+ years she can recognize piles of stock and what it is for.

 no more twist

The bottom had a wee bit and the top had none. Three coats of shellac and I'll be able to put the artist brushes in it.

 slightly off

I wanted the new box (on the bottom) to be the same size as the one on top. It works as is and fits in the hole reserved for them in the cabinet.

glued and cooking

The corners are mitered and glued with no reinforcements. I will let these cook until tomorrow. I don't have to shellac them because the wife wants to paint 'em.

I didn't want to

Ideally I wanted to leave the doors hinged to the carcass and apply the shellac. I had to fuss and fiddle a bit to get the top and bottom of the doors aligned and I didn't want to have to repeat those dance steps. I had to because I didn't sand the top and bottom end grain on the doors. The doors also had a spot that I wouldn't be able to get any shellac on because of the overhang top/bottom.

 Red Rose 3/8" beading plane

He sent me the invoice for this on tuesday and I got today. I didn't even get a shipping notice. From what he told he isn't going to be making beading planes as often as he did.

 3/8" makes three

I have three beading planes from Red Rose - 1/8", 1/4", and 3/8". I have a 3/16" beader from Caleb James. Caleb's plane is almost identical to the Red Rose ones. The only difference I can pick out is the way the size of the maker stamped on the toe and the boxing. (Caleb's plane is the second one from the top right)

 knobs from Lee Valley

The choices for hardware at Lee Valley have gone down. When I searched for these a lot of my choices were no longer available. Knobs aren't getting cheaper, this haul of ten knobs and it set me back $65. And that was with free shipping.

 two choices

The one I'm holding is 3/4" and the other is a 1". There is a big, visible difference between the two. I decided to use the 3/4" on this cabinet.

 door end grain

120 up to 220. It leaves the end grain smooth and the shellac looks good on it. 

 two coats

It was a little after 1500 and this is where I stopped for the day. I want the shellac to set up until tomorrow before I steel wool it and put on any more coats.


I got 5 coats on the outside and one coat on the inside. I'll be stopping at 6 for the outside and 4 on the inside.

 honey do

My wife is getting bored because she doesn't have a dead person client right now. So she is painting anything that isn't running away from her. She couldn't get the screws out of this hinge so I got stuck doing it. Both screws were put in with by butcher. The right screw came out bent and the left one snapped off. These aren't the original hinges neither. They are too light weight for the size and weight of the doors. But my wife is insisting on reusing them.

 screw extractor

Both screws were driven in at an angle. That means I will have to drill the left hole at an angle to get the broken screw out. I saved that fun for the AM.

accidental woodworker

shellac time......

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 3:07am

 I saw my first robin of the year while walking through the Wally World parking lot. Here in RI, a robin is confirmation that spring is here. I don't remember seeing one this early (especially feb) and I didn't see any more on the rest of the way home. The mercury pushed the temp up 52F (11C) which is above the norm for feb but IMO temp norms are Out To Lunch (OTL). There isn't any rain or snow forecasted going well into next week.


I have a margin around the sides and top on both drawers. In spite of that I could feel air coming against me as I pushed the drawers in. The left was hard to pull out from the fully closed position. Not what I wanted with these drawers. They are small and it was a PITA to open and close them.


I drilled two holes at the back of each drawer opening. That eliminated all the air being pushed out around the drawer. The left drawer also was much easier to open when fully shut. I might drill one more hole in the middle but I can do that after the shellac is done.

in between drying

The brushes in the box on the right are ones that I have used for shellac and paint. I made one to hold the brushes I bought the other day. I will stack the boxes in the cabinet once the glue has cooked.

 3 more

Didn't get to these 3 but I am not done applying the shellac neither. I got 4 coats on the new cabinet today leaving an hour or more between coats. I didn't get any on the dresser. I am not sure if this is going to be painted by Amanda and I don't want to expend the calories applying shellac to it.

accidental woodworker

how to ruin your day.......

Thu, 02/08/2024 - 2:50am

 After playing with the new cabinet as much as I could I went on a road trip to Lowes. Before Lowes I stopped at Starbucks to get some ground coffee and that is where I ruined my day. I was backing out and someone else was trying to park. I hit his rear quarter panel on his passenger side. I assumed that since this was private property a cop wouldn't respond but I was wrong. The cop showed up about 40 minutes after the other driver called.

I got a break from the cop because not only didn't I have my current registration, I also didn't have my proof of insurance card. The cop asked me if they were current and he was happy when I said yes (I showed him 4 previous registrations/insurance cards). I've been ticketed twice for not having a proof of insurance card in the truck. It sucks I got into a fender bender but I saved myself a day sitting in traffic court and having to pay a fine.

After getting off the phone with my insurance a sense of dread came over me. I had a fender bender about 6 years ago and a major accident 12 years ago. All I could think of was the insurance company either dropping me, making me to pay for the accident by increasing my premium, or putting me in a pool. I'll have to sweat it out until july when it comes times to renew.

 last night

I couldn't wait until this AM so last night after dinner I went back to shop. I sanded the whole carving and it got 95% of the smudges and bleed over. I painted the leaves that the sanding removed some of them down to bare wood. 

 magnet cups

This went off smoothly. For whatever reason I seem to make the absolute most brain dead me-steaks installing these magnets. Both cups ended up flush with the door stop rail.

 happy face on

I had two choices for securing the magnet cups. First was epoxy and the second one was a screw. I opted for the screw in case of any repair or change down the road.

 3 3/4 for 4

The left door cup is flush with the door. The right one was a frog hair below it. It worked and the door got pulled in by the magnet. I ended up putting a shim under the magnet to flush it with the door.


I wanted to put a magnet cup here. There wasn't any room for two but there was room for one of them.

 not going to work

There isn't enough real estate for the magnet trick to work here. The rabbet is interfering with 100% attraction with either door.


The gap at the bottom is wide enough to throw a dog through it. The top gap is barely the width of a piece of paper. I can't add wood to the bottom so I had to redo the hinges again. I did entertain the thought of putting a cock bead on the bottom and top and in hindsight I should have done that. It would have been a good excuse to buy a cock beading plane from Red Rose Reproductions.


I put one at the top and another one at the bottom and I didn't have to make any adjustments. The doors fit between them with a slip fit. I did my tape and super glue with accelerator trick again.

 3rd go around
Practice makes for better results. This time I didn't have any slipping or the door coming off the hinges. Drilled my pilot holes and screwed the doors on.


 better looking gap

The gap at the top and bottom is identical or at least it looks to be identical to the eye.


The face side of the rabbet at the top is rubbing and the rabbet underneath is copying it. I put extra tape on the hinges/door and that moved the doors inboard slightly. I used my bullnose plane to open up the face margin and the rabbet underneath it.


The hinge is hinge bound because there is no countersink on this side of the hinge leaf for the screws. I tired to cut a countersink in it but there isn't that much meat to support a countersink deeper than I should have made it. The screw heads are hitting the 'no mortise' void not allowing the hinge leaf to lay completely flat on the side. It was also not allowing the magnet to pull the door closed.

 7/16" hole

It was easy to see where to drill for the hole - the screw heads left an impression in the wood. Only the left hand hinge had this headache - the right one is fine even though the screw heads are proud.

 worth $4 to $6

This is the last year that the US minted silver quarters. This is also a Philadelphia minted quarter which is rarer than a Denver minted one (according google). Maybe it is a portent that my luck is about to change?

 maybe not

Had a brain fart and cut the back short on the width. I rarely measure for things like this and instead rely on marking it directly. I didn't do that here and I ended up with a back a 1/4" short on the width. So the back did end up being two pieces like I tried to make do with yesterday.

 ready for shellac

I can get the shellac on this and the 15 drawer dresser at the same time. Lee Valley hasn't shipped my knobs yet but that is something I can put on after the finish. 

accidental woodworker

can't hear shxxx......

Wed, 02/07/2024 - 3:11am

 It has been 7 years since my last hearing test - two years overdue. I didn't get the memo to schedule it every five years. There were a few new tests on this hearing exam that I didn't recall from the previous one. The audiologist says that it was basically the same but with one new test and better technology to diagnose the level of hearing loss.

My wife told me that I can't hear shit (her exact words) and the audiologist seconded it. In four to six weeks I'll have the new ones and the ones I have now will be back ups I'll keep in the shop. Looking forward to being able to listen to the TV without the volume vibrating the windows. The new hearing aids will have 3x the power of the previous ones.

The whole shop day got pissed down the toilet with the audio appointment and subsequent running around after it doing errands. Got back to the barn just before lunch and I didn't get to the shop until almost two. I wasted an hour on the phone canceling a newspaper digital subscription and then trying to reschedule a canceled medical appointment. Nice to be retired and not having a gun to my head to finish things.

 first two colors

Brown for the branches and base color of green for the leaves. I hope that the doors align properly and the branch flows from door to door. There is a slight gap between them so that will be a fudge factor for a small error.

 vein color

The veins don't stand out on the green paint that much. I am going to paint them a lighter color green to accentuate them. It didn't like me laying down over the still wet base green. I'll have to wait for that to dry before I paint the veins.

After the painting is done I'll sand both doors hoping that I can sand off the green and brown smudges. If not I'll leave it as a background aura. I plan on putting 5-6 coats of shellac on the doors and the rest of the cabinet.

I didn't make it Lowes today because I have two tires that aren't holding air. It seems that after 3-4 weeks I have to refill them. This time is has been only about 2 weeks. I have to schedule a oil change so I'll have them check the tires. Most likely it is the bead needs to cleaned.

accidental woodworker

week two......

Tue, 02/06/2024 - 2:53am

 Last week I walked for about an hour everyday monday through saturday. I would have ambled on sunday but I went to Woodcraft in Walpole instead. Felt good to be able to walk again and without any pain especially with the right foot. Today I walked for almost 2hours. The first hill I walked up at first didn't seem to present any problems but when I got on flat going I was out of breath. I didn't feel that way walking up it but afterwards. Seems I am a wee bit out of shape.

The plan now is add about 30 minutes more to my post lunch strolls for the rest of the week. I will repeat it the week after and then make a choice whether or not to start strolling post breakfast. 

Tomorrow I have an audiology appointment at 0800 which sucks pond scum. That is smack double in school buses and rush hour traffic time. I plan on leaving my house at 0630 and I'll bring a book and read at the coffee shop until my appointment.

 2nd drawer slips

I have to remove the top portion of the slip so it fits under the back bottom.


The 1/8" plywood drawer bottom will align with the bottom of the back with the notch saddling it.

 yesterday on the left, today on the right

Yesterday I marked the back wrong off the slip and the slips ended up beneath the drawer sides. Today I got it right. The slips are proud of the sides/front and after the glue has set I'll plane it flush.

missed it

This should be a pic of the supplied screws with them sitting proud of the hinge. The screw countersink doesn't match the countersink in the hinge. The screw is too large and the hinge countersink is almost non existent.

another headache

The countersinks in the hinges are on the wrong sides besides being too )(^^%%^*&@$) small.

 old screws

These are from my other no mortise hinges and they fit. I used a hand countersink to enlarge the ones in the hinges and the screw head is now flush or just bit below.

 drats, and double drats

The first hinge and it bit me on the arse. The top pilot hole wasn't centered and when the screw was tightened down it pulled the hinge to right. I thought I could hold the hinge in the correct orientation but I lost that battle. Filled in the hole and drilled it again.


Got all four hinges secured to the sides. The front edge of them is aligned with the inside edge of the sides. Time to screw the 2nd leaves to the doors.

 fingers crossed

Thought of this while walking last week. Tape on the 2nd leaves and tape on the door where the leaves will screwed. Super glue on the leaves and accelerator on the doors.


It appeared to be working. I could open and close both doors. I didn't go nutso and treated it very gently.

 happy with the fit

Before I screwed the hinge leaves I checked the margins top and bottom. The gap on the doors needs to tweaked a bit and I'll do that after the doors are finished. I taped a couple of pieces of veneer under the right door to set the margin.

 spoke too soon

The left door came off in my hands when I opened it again (3rd time). I thought it wasn't the end of the world because I was going to do the right door first. When I opened the right door it too let go of the hinges. The glue bond was fine, it was the blue tape on the doors that couldn't handle the weight of the doors.

 duct tape

I tried duct tape for the next attempt and it was a dismal failure. The super glue wouldn't stick to the the duct tape. The surface of it is shiny, slick, and super glue doesn't like it.

 shifted on me

I used wide  (1 1/2") blue painters tape for the third attempt and that worked. I put one piece horizontally and 3 pieces vertically and they held. However, I was so focused on the the glue job I missed that I had put the doors on with them butting against the top.

I marked the top with a piece of scrap that was a little less than 1/8" thick. I then planed the tops down to the pencil lines. The gap at the top isn't as wide but I think it'll be ok as is. If not I can also plane a wee bit more off it.

 this close

It is barely 4 frog hairs past the door stop. I really wanted to use this knob. I had a back up plan that I would cut a finger grab on the top edge of the drawers to open/close them.


The knob is now behind the front of the sides and the drawer stop. I drilled a 1/8" deep hole for the knob to sit in.


I like the knobs more than the finger grab. I thought I had some larger ones like this but I don't. I ordered 8 more knobs like this from Lee Valley. Same finish and style but in 3 different sizes. They are coming ?

 1/4" too short

I thought I might have been able to get the back on with two pieces of 1/4" plywood. The second larger piece was a 1/4" too short. And it was the largest piece of 1/4" plywood I had too. I'll be making a road trip to Lowes tomorrow.

the motif

This will be my first carving of leaf/branches thing. I have carved some things before but those were moldings and matching broken carvings. This is the motif and it is ready, set, go. I free hand drew it over the two doors.


Forgot to snap any pics of the actual carving but I got it done. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I only had one glitch (on the left) when I had to carve straight across the grain. The chisel was sharp but it didn't like cutting across the grain. Not much I could about it and I turned the blow out on the cross grain into a bud. FYI an eraser doesn't work on boo boos like this.

 Wally World run

I am thinking of painting the motif but I didn't have any small paint brushes. Got 25 of them at Wally World for $8. I three small acrylic paints for 58 cents each. I was on the fence with painting or leaving it as is and covering it with shellac but I think having it painted against the pine back ground will look better.

I tried a couple of other choices before I went to Wally World. Brown Leather dye was the first failure. I bled through into the surrounding wood of the branch. Second choice was Van Dyke brown paint which wasn't much better than the dye. It might of worked but I don't know how to thin it because it was thick and wouldn't lay down with a paint brush.

 looks ugly

It was too late to paint this now. Besides I have to let what I did already dry before I can use the acrylic paints.

accidental woodworker

road trip......

Mon, 02/05/2024 - 2:46am

 The local Woodcraft store in RI lost its lease several years ago. The owners of the franchise either didn't want to find another store to lease or they just said No Mas. The closest Woodcraft to me now is in Walpole Ma which is 46 miles one way from my house. I went there today to get some hinges. ACE, Lowes, and Home Depot didn't have any no mortise hinges (I couldn't find any at Lowes/HD). The ones at ACE were too large for my application. It was a nice change of scenery for a sunday for me.


I went with a generous margin on the sides and the top. The drawer will be partially under the shelf and I don't want it to bind on me.

 dry fit but.....

It went together off the saw and it is now something that I expect to happen. The back edge needs to be trimmed some. I purposely it wide until after the drawer was together and I could mark for where the drawer slip would be placed.

 2nd dry fit

I made a slight error in marking the drawer slip making the back about an 1/8" too short. No biggie and it will never be seen and it if is seen, I doubt anyone would question it. Got this one glued and cooking before lunch. After lunch I went on my road trip.

 bought them all

I would have bought more of the far left hinge but the two packages left didn't have any screws (typical for chinese made hinges). The next two to the right are for the current cabinet build and the other 3 will go in the hinge bin.

 the 2nd drawer

Got a good fit and I did better on the half pins this go around. The first drawer was as good fitting as this one.

 gap on the left

Still clueless as to why it is the left side half pin that I have gaps with. I get them on the right too but the ratio for that is 10 to 1 or better.

back trim needed

I sawed off most of the waste and left it a bit proud on both drawers. After they have cooked I will flush them to the sides.

 fits backwards

Because the back top is proud, it wouldn't fit in the drawer going in the correct way.

 glued and cooking

#2 needed some assistance from the clamps. A couple of the tails weren't fully seating. The clamps closed up the gaps. 

I met my goal of getting the drawers glued and cooking today. I will do the slips tomorrow and tackle getting the hinges on the doors. I also have to figure out knobs or something else for opening/closing the two drawers.

accidental woodworker


Sun, 02/04/2024 - 2:59am

 We finally had a sunny day. The past week plus has been filled with gray overcast cloudy days usually with rain. The temp wasn't that warm (39F/4C) but it was nice walking weather. Tomorrow and monday is supposed to be sunny too but the temps are only going to be in the high 30s to low 40s F (4-6C). I'll take the days as they come.

 happy face on

The bottom of the doors are laying on the stop and they ain't rocking or moving at all. I tried this last night before I hit the rack. I couldn't wait until the AM to check it out.


The doors aren't flush but the amount of proud is pretty even top to bottom. I planed the rabbets a wee bit deeper to flush the doors.

 gap is too small

You would have thought I would ever say that a gap is too small? I want a gap here so the doors will swing open/close freely.  The top and bottom overhang may play stupid wood tricks and curl downward into the door's swing zone.

 door stop

With the rabbet in both doors, they both fully share the 3/4" width of it.

bottom fit

There will be gap at the bottom of the doors too but the bottom doesn't have a door stop rail to hide it like the top does. The first step was to plane the bottom edges of the doors parallel to the bottom of the carcass.

 good enough for now

The gap is slightly larger at the top than the bottom. I am holding off on the final gap until after the hinges are installed. That way I will have a better idea of the door swing and how much clearance I need.

 not my first choice

Going with no mortise hinges due to the thickness of the doors (5/8"). The screws going into the door will have to be shortened as they are too long as is.

 pencil line

The tops of doors aren't straight across with each other (left was higher). The pencil line is parallel to the underside of the top and that is what I planed the two doors down to.

 don't like these hinges

The biggest headache I have with these hinges (especially ones from China) are the screws supplied with them.The countersink in hinges is usually too small or non existent. Impossible for the hinges to close fully. I experimented and practiced screwing the hinges together. I want to work any bugs out in scrap before I commit to the doors.

The first one I did a slight mortise for the hinge and it didn't work. I made it a frog hair shy of the thickness of the hinge but it was still hinge bound. On to experiment #2.


This gap is acceptable because it won't be seen as you face the cabinet and use it. It isn't that big and the two hinges make it consistent top to bottom.

The hinge barrel isn't making full contact along its length with the edge. One screw didn't go in dead nuts even and plumb. That kicked one corner of the hinge barrel off the edge. This would also cause headaches with opening/closing the doors.

 Stanley hinge gizmo

This sits in the countersink and you hit it with a hammer. Supposedly the gizmo self centers in the countersink. Hitting it sends a rod into the hinge hole and a punched hole for the screw. It didn't work for me. One hole was centered but the other one was offset and in the wrong direction.

 left hole

Definitely not even remotely centered. A screw in this would skew this half of the hinge. I think the problem with the Stanley gizmo is that it is a wee bit too big for this countersink.

 blurry pic

Let me decipher it for you. The left side of the hinge is kicked up a 32nd or more. That makes this hinge toast IMO.

 3rd attempt

Still missing the target. The short leaf part of the hinge is slightly off and there is a misalignment between the two wooden parts. It is slight but it is enough to show up and make the doors look like crap.

 4th try

I double, triple checked to make sure that my pre drilled hole was centered and  that I screwed in the screw as plumb as I possibly could do it.

 hinge leaf is wonky

The two hinge pairs aren't the same but they are close. This set of two has both hinges with a bend in them. Which is another headache with these no mortise hinges or these ones. The metal isn't that stiff and I have seen tightening the screw dish the hinge leaves. I flattened this set out on the anvil and then decided that I didn't mix and match these hinges. 

 hinge choice #3

I am not a fan of laying hinges on the outside edges and having the entire hinge exposed. These are ok-ish and would work but I nixed them. They are stopped hinges and I want to be able to fully open the doors on this cabinet.

 hinge choice #4

I wouldn't be averse to using Soss hinges on this cabinet but the doors are too thin. The only drill bit I have to install these is a brad point bit and the center point and spurs would punch through to the other side. I have 8mm Soss hinges but they aren't strong enough to handle the size of the doors.

red neck clamping

It worked so don't laugh at me. I needed to plane a rabbet on the sides for the half blind dovetails for the drawers.

 went the wrong way

I confused myself on this wanting to minimize the amount of end grain showing. I should have made the two tails wider. Instead I made the pin socket bigger. I'll finish up the drawers in the AM. I killed the lights here.

accidental woodworker

where's winter.........

Sat, 02/03/2024 - 3:02am

 Today is ground hog day. I haven't checked in with Punxsutawney Phil yet to see what the next 6 weeks are going to be like. I can't imagine it being any worse than what the proceeding 5-6 weeks have been. On my walks I have seen trees and shrubs already starting to bud. Not complaining but winters sure haven't been what I remember as a kid. I can still recall snow and frozen ponds after thanksgiving.

 ready to unclamp

I bought a roll of garbage bags for this box and I can't find them. I can remember sledding as a 8 year old but not where I put garbage bags less than 24 hours previously.

#2 ready to shed clamps

No surprises taking the clamps off of the cabinet. I thought I might have had a hiccup with the fixed shelf. I only got a clamp on the front edge and nothing on the back. There is a gap there but I can't see if there is one at the front.

on a clean bench

One habit I have gotten into is putting away tools on the bench before I kill the lights. I have lost a few small tools in the past and I don't want to repeat of any of that. If the bench had been dirty and covered with shavings, I would have put away all the toys first.

fingers crossed with the doors

doesn't look promising

The left looks to be straight but the right one appears to have some run out at the far end.


The doors aren't even and flush across the faces. The proud runs from flush at the bottom to almost an 1/8" inch at the top. After snapping this pic I realized that the left one was laying on the hamper's hinges.

 lots of real estate

I made the bottom a little wider than necessary. I did it so after the doors are opened one could put spice jars there while searching.

looks are deceiving

The doors look good vertically but they aren't. Both of them are rocking. I was expecting one to ok and one toast but not both.

top door stop rail

I am not gluing this in place. I may have to take it out to install magnets for the holding the door(s) closed.

 big arse gap

Both doors are rocking with the left door being the worse one.

right door

It lays flat on the top edge of the side. I have it aligned with it and it looks to be square/parallel to the top and bottom. 

not twisted

I put my 3 foot winding sticks across the top and bottom of the cabinet. I don't see any twist in the carcass. Wanted to check and make sure the cabinet wasn't shaking hands with the doors.

 garbage box

The bottom was twist free but the top wasn't. Two runs around the top with a plane removed the high corners.

 shelf pins

I have had made a lot of pine bookcases end up with ugly shelf pin holes. Soft pine doesn't support the plain pin and it will eventually elongate the hole. I like the shelf pin cups and I glued them into the holes with fish glue.


I didn't think this all the way through. I wanted the shelves to be inset from the front edge by a 1/2". That puts the shelf pin way too close to the front edge of the shelf. Moving the shelf pin inboard isn't an option so I made two new shelves.

 small notch

I like to notch the underside of the shelves for the pins. It keeps the shelf in place and keeps it from moving when things are taken or placed on it.


There is nothing at the bottom of the cabinet to act as a stop for the doors. In fact the right hand door has barely any rocking at all. It was falling down here at the bottom when I was checking it. I am going to try and make the doors work as is. I have had to deal with worse situations than this.

 door switch

The rabbet plane fence moved on me during the first run down this door.  This was the right door and was underneath door. I am planing a rabbet on both edges so you can't see past them into the cabinet when the doors are closed. So the right door will now be the left one and the left one promoted to the right.

 right door is proud

I was ready to give up these doors. Trying to fit two wonky doors can have you sitting in a corner crying real fast. On the bright side the 1/2 notch came out spot on. The doors are flush to the outside edges and there is a 32nd of a gap where the doors meet.

another twist test

I laid the level at 4 spots going from the top to the bottom. The level read the same at all four spots. That told me that the frame isn't twisted because if it was the level would not have read the same.

 needs to be built out

Another thing I didn't think all the way through. I should have made the bottom shelf flush with the front edge - that would have been a continuous door stop like at the top.

 sawing out a door stop

I didn't want the door stop to be a square piece of scrap. I wanted something with curves and this is want I came up with.

 I like it

Can't use this one because it is too thick. It a 1/4" too thick and I didn't think of this before I sawed it out. 

 used the second half

The offcut from it was spot on for the thickness. To my eye this looks a 100% better than a square piece of stock.

too short

I feel like I'm writing a three bears story. First it was too fat and now it isn't tall enough.


Noticed this while making this door stop. If I make it taller it will hide this hiccup. It looks like a clamp divot?


The new one in place and the second one I made to the right.

 drawer stock

The front is a 1/2" thick and the sides and backs are 3/8". The thin rectangular pieces are the drawer slips. I made an extra set of them because I am thinking of  two different slips. Haven't decided on which one yet.

 first idea

Is to make these slips like the ones on the 15 drawer dresser. Idea #2 is to make the bottom panel flush with the slip.

it will be done today

I have 2 coats on it now and I'll put on two more before I hit the rack. I don't have to find where I hid my garbage bags because the wife bought some.

 ready for shellac

I am tempted to mix up some more gossamer shellac so all the drawers look the same color on the interiors. But when the drawers are closed I don't think to do it. Film and updates on the 11o'clock news.

accidental woodworker