A door to somewhere familiar (or, the walnut whiskey cabinet -part three)

A box is nice, and a box that hangs on your wall is functional, but a box with a glass paneled door, well now that’s just classy.

I knew from the outset that I wanted this to have a door. Partly to keep dust off the bottles and partly because I wanted to try my hand at something new – glazing. As of late I have purposely chosen each project with the express intent of building new skills, or trying something out on a small scale that will later be writ large in another project. The last door I made had some twist in it, so this was also partially to redeem myself.

When I started looking for door stock I remembered that I have a stack of salvaged walnut baseboards that I haven’t found a use for because every 18″ or so they have nail holes.  Some of them were perfectly quarter-sawn and the dimensions of the door were such that they fell within the nail holes so I chopped one of those up and began laying out the door.

I’m going to lay the next part out in more detail on the off chance that it might be helpful to someone. I used a pretty standard mortise and tenon construction, but I had to allow for the rabbet in which the glass would sit. Whenever I’m about to do something like this that I’ve never done before I consult ‘The Essential Woodworker‘ by Robert Wearing, and it has yet to let me down.

In the text Wearing works out several ways to join frame and panel (or glazed) doors, and I found that I could do what I needed by simply running the rabbet on the inner edge of all four pieces and then adjusting the back shoulders of the rails to cover the rabbets. It’s basically a matter of extending the haunch all the way to the back face of the rail.

In practice the tenon half of the joint looks like this. It’s not really that complicated, but it does require cutting it out in stages and checking for fit now and again.

After that was all together and the door was hinged to the cabinet, I measured the actual size of the required glass and went to the local hardware store to get it cut. This is a bit of an aside, but when I say “local hardware store” I mean as local as it gets. I can ride my bike there. Air conditioning means opening the doors and letting some floor fans blow. They sell a little of everything from seeds to boots and the guy who cuts glass is an old man named Leroy with three fingers on each hand. I’ve wanted to ask about the fingers, but I haven’t had the courage. (BTW, The store is for sale if you’re interested. Bob McCurry, the owner is ready to retire.)

At this point I was about ready to retire this project so I took the glass home and it was a perfect fit (Leroy nailed it as he always does). All I needed to do at this point was to make some glazing strips and put it all together which may actually have been my favorite part of this whole project.

Or maybe hanging it on the wall was my favorite part.

Or maybe sampling the contents….




2 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Nicely done and the contents ain’t too shabby, either!


  2. Rusty says:

    Dust on a whiskey bottle? What is that, I’ve never heard of such a thing?


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