I had such high hopes that magically I would get the sliding doors for this cabinet finished in one day, haha. There’s so many little details I always forget until I’m in the thick of it. For instance, cutting stopped dado’s by hand with a router plane can be a time suck, but I love it.
I’ve been keeping my tools right beside me as I work, very convenient. It never ceases to amaze me how many hand tools you can fit in a small space.
I started by mortising the stiles. Brought the aburatsubo out because these mortises will see no glue, just a wedged tenon to hold things together, so no worry of spoiling the glue surfaces. I love working with an oiled tool, it really eases the work. Camellia oil smells wonderful too.
Each of these mortises is in a different state of being cut. First is a ‘v’ notch (on the right). Then a hole drilled down in the center, in this case a smaller diameter drill than the mortise width. The hole allows the chisel to drive quite a bit deeper for the last operation, cutting straight down and to the end grain lines. Normally I’ll cut all the ‘v’ notches at once, less switching between tools and postures. The faint wetness around the edges of the mortise is from the oil that lubricates the chisel.
With the mortises cut I pulled out my router plane and tackled the stopped dado that house the interior panel.
The router plane scoops into the cut, and I chop down a bit ahead of the cutting depth at the end of the cut to free the shaving. Once all of the dados are cut in one direction I re-set the fence to finish the groove at the other end going the opposite direction.
How about some action footage?
Notice how I offset the panel groove from the mortise and tenon to preserve the strength of the mortise. This kind of detail is straight from Odate’s book “Making Shoji”
Most days these cool planes sit on a shelf gathering dust. Today they all get to come out to play. I used my plow plane on the rails, after cutting the tenons, to drop in the panel groove.
And then the skew rabbet plane got some action cutting the rebate on the outside edges that ride the sliding door grooves in the cabinet carcass.
Lastly my little chamfer plane worked some of the edges. I love the skewed cut on this little guy, gives a brilliant shine to the cut surface of the chamfers.
What was once a simple stick, two days later becomes quite a bit more complicated in cross section. Why would I spend half a day doing something I enjoy when I can spend two days in the doing?
Seriously though, tomorrow I’m going to finish these doors up and get the cabinet rolling.