By all rights I should have been able to complete this project today. However, the heat and humidity ran me out of the shop around mid-day.Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler and I should be able to apply the finishing touches to this first HB Tansu.
What I was able to accomplish, before the heat went above 90deg, was to complete the construction of the sliding doors. I started by taking the doors out of the clamps and trimmed off all the horns from the stiles. Then I planed the faces and brought all the surfaces flush. One of the doors had an ever-so-slight twist in it. But a few quick swipes with the smoothing plane on the high corners erased all evidence of unevenness. From there I ran each door on the shooting board. This ensured that all corners of the doors were square. Now I had to tackle the creation of the tongues that ride in the bearer grooves.
The ideal tool for creating the tongues would be a moving fillister plane. I don’t have one, yet. To create the tongues a rebate is cut into the top and bottom rails. Since the rails intersect the stiles, the beginning and end of this rebate will be a cross grain cut. The rebate required across the top of the doors is 10mm(W)x10mm(D) and the rebate across the bottom of the doors is 3mm(W)x10mm(D). After taking inventory of my available tools I decided to make use of my shop-made cutting gauge and my Record 043 plow plane.
A plow plane,
by design, is not intended to cut rebates. (Correction: I located a copy of the original manual for the Record 043 and it indeed was intended to cut rebates. You can view the manual here.) So I fabricated an auxiliary fence that would allow me to “hide” a portion of the blade. My widest cutter for the 043 is 12mm. This gives me enough blade for cutting the 10mm wide rebate at the top of the doors. With my auxiliary fence slid against the skate, the width of cut is 3mm. How’s that for luck? Another lucky coincidence is that the maximum depth of cut for the 043, with the depth show installed, is just barely over 10mm. What the Record 043 doesn’t have is a knicker for cutting cross grain. Hence the need for the cutting gauge.
The process was to set the cutting gauge to the desired width, 10mm or 3mm. Run the gauge on the door paying special attention to the cross grain areas. From there it was just a matter of setting the 043 for width and cut the rebate. It worked pretty well. I had to trim a few fuzzy bits on the cross grain areas as I progressed, but all-in-all not too shabby. I’ll still be saving my pennies for a dedicated rebate plane, but this process works for right now.
The fitting of the doors was a little fussy. Try, trim a shaving, try, trim, try , trim…..You get the idea. Then comes the sweet spot, that one last shaving and the door pops in and runs smooth. I made yet another error on these doors today. You can probably spot it in the photos. Not a big deal, just a nuisance. I also carved out the finger pulls in the doors. These are simple, nothing fancy. I knifed the vertical walls and scooped out the recess with a sharp chisel. I like them, but will be thinking of other ways to add a finger recess.
Tomorrow should see the end of this project…..maybe.