Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shaker Inspired Medicine Cabinet - Part II

So now it was time to mount the hinges, but a dilemma arose; the project and I disagreed. I had two sets of hinges ready to go (see picture in previous post), and all I needed was to decide which was best. The cabinet decided that neither set was good enough and insisted on me making new hinges. I tried for several minutes to argue - sure, this first set was a little too large, and this second set was a little too fancy looking for a simple medicine cabinet, but surely we could live with that, couldn't we?

No. The answer was no. Sigh.

It's important to listen to what the project is telling you - so out came what I needed to make some hinges for this cabinet:

A length of piano hinge salvaged from some doomed piece of furniture (not a piano, of course), and a hacksaw.

After cutting two new hinges (of the size the cabinet insisted on), I needed to add some screw holes. For this I used a punch to mark the hole location, and a hand drill to bore the hole (the punched mark helps keep the drill from skating off the spot):

I had thought that I could counter sink the hole screw heads with a slightly larger bit, thus the two in the photo. It didn't work out and I had to redo it as will be seen.

Also, you probably noticed that the hinges look different - not all shiny and brassy. I took them outside and heated them with a torch to antique them. This may or may not have made them easier to drill as well, but I doubt they were all that hard to begin with.

Now that I had my hinges, I needed screws. I couldn't find any that were right in my screw drawer, so I turned to my trusty "tiny parts" catch-all. It's an old cobbler's peg caddy, and I love it! If it's tiny, and I don't know where to put it, it goes here and I can always find it later. A close look will reveal the varied nature of its contents. Sure enough, I found the perfect screws in on of the cups.

Here are the hinges being tried on for size and spacing. I just played with them, moving them around until it looked right. The knob for the door has also appeared, I found it in the cobbler caddy - left over from some older project.

One hour later and I was back to where I had started. Finally, it was time to mount the hinges.

After knifing the edges of the hinge mortise directly from the hinge, I lightly chopped across the grain with a chisel. The router plane in the background is already set to a depth equal to the thickness of the hinge leaf, and will be used to clear the mortise.

And here's the hinge trying its future home on for size:

However, as I already mentioned, the screws did not seat properly in the countersink chamfers I had made, so I had to redo them. An actual countersink chucked in a brace did the job perfectly:

With the hinges mounted it was time to attach the stiles and door to the case. Here's the technique that I came up with: 1. clamp the non-hinge stile to the case; 2. space the door off of this stile and clamp the door to the case; 3. spread glue for the hinge stile, while it is lifted up; 4. drop the stile and clamp; 5. remove non-hinge stile and spread glue then re-clamp; 6. lift door to keep clear of any squeeze out. It worked great - but I almost forgot to take the picture. You can see the stile has already been down and I lifted it for the shot.

And the case with front attached:

At around three hours so far, this project was moving along nicely. Especially considering the whole hinge side trip...

Next up: the cap, back, and paint.

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