Flutterby™! : Prototype kitchen cabinet door

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Prototype kitchen cabinet door

2008-06-12 01:20:00.544183+00 by Dan Lyke 16 comments

I built a prototype of one way we might want our kitchen cabinet doors to look. This'd be if we go with inset doors, I need to build a sample frame for this.

I also think that we'll be staining that maple to look a little bit more like the slight orange tint that maple has when you leave it out in the sun. We're still going back and forth on stile shape and the profile we're going to use. Aaaand, the pore filler in the mahogany wasn't colored dark enough either; when using oil as the finish on the baseboards this didn't matter much, but with wipe-on poly the pore filler didn't get saturated enough to darken.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Woodworking Home Improvement ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-12 08:10:46.969192+00 by: spc476

I feel your pain about the alignment issues, Dan.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-12 13:26:32.097897+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I think I've got the angle pretty close, but getting the Domino dead-nuts on for the tenons in those miters is tough 'cause I don't want to bend the pointy edges with the alignment pins. I think I'm going to have to build a jig of some sort to help me out.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-12 21:30:45.169766+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

This sure looks like a lot of work! But may I ask a question as a visual and style dummy with aging eyes? Is it supposed to be two colors like that? It kind of looks to me like caramel dripping out of a hole in something, is that the shadows and the wood grain? Maybe there's another picture that might help me parse it visually correctly? Sorry for being dense...

Oh and PS, whatever you said in your previous comment was complete gibberish to me, and sounded SO GREAT! :-) Surely there must be woodworker porn somewhere, right? (Rule 34, was it?)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-12 23:14:37.95345+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, the frame is eastern maple and the center is Peruvian mahogany. I think we're going to go for straight frames, rather than having that arch in the top and bottom, which should minimize the "caramel dripping out of a hole" effect, and, as mentioned above, put a little orange in the maple, either via stain or sunlight. We were hoping for kind of a James Krenov contrasting woods effect, but this is a little too much.

So, yes, there'll be two colors, but probably not so strikingly different colors.

I need to put up some pictures of the mahogany baseboards on top of the white oak floor, for comparison.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-12 23:29:19.230895+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Oh, and just to follow up even a little further on alignment issues: At the edge of the table, my fence is probably 2½' from its axis of rotation, and if I'm off by 1/32" or so at that edge, it's visible when I put the edges together. The only thing that made this one work is that the diagonal joint is similarly off.

I guess that makes sense, 'cause 1/32" at 2½' is, if Microsoft's calculator is to be believed, nearly ¾°.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 13:30:40.566475+00 by: Nancy

With future pictures would you show:

  1. a point of reference for size
  2. a pic with the cabinet door open or partly open too; I can't quite visualize the open door on the prototype; seems like the opening is too small?

I LOVE seeing the prototypes! But, like Diane(?), I tend to look at them more from a design perspective than a woodworking one. I do think less contrast will look better. And I wasn't sure about the contrast of the sharp angles of the frame vs the rounded interior either, so it sounds like you're bringing those closer together too...is this sorta like building your house by committee? (HAHA) I AM just kidding...I KNOW how much input I have!! ;-)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 14:49:08.783876+00 by: Dan Lyke

Cool. Yeah, I'm totally in to input, Charlene wanted the straight lines after seeing this, but the "caramel dripping out of a hole" gives me a strong visual of "what are we trying to avoid?"

I'll try to build a cabinet-like frame for that door as I envisioned it this weekend.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 17:48:59.103666+00 by: m [edit history]

As you have noted, the eye can see incredibly small deviations. On the last job requiring miters, I cut, a measured 45.9 degrees. I can't verify the accuracy of the machinist grade combination square I used to make the measurement any better than that, so I didn't adjust the miter saw. This was in a piece I had made the 7/4" x 4" molding myself, so I know that the sides couldn't really have been square to any such of accuracy. The corners not meeting properly really annoyed me, because while the frame was for a headboard, it didn't even have to close at the bottom. This of course simplifies the 360 requirement problem.

Because it only took a couple of weeks for the glaring problems with the corners not meeting to disappear, I think I am finally closing in required precision.

It is true that a 1/32" is a bit much over 2 1/2", and doubling that is problematic. But, sometimes it pays to stand back from the work for a couple of weeks and a couple of feet.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 19:27:46.170568+00 by: m [edit history]

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 21:03:49.181645+00 by: Dan Lyke

One of the things I'm going to try as I build the mock-up cabinet frame is doing an inset or half-inset space with rounded corners on the door, just so that I've got a little freedom to plane a bit off the edges here and there...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 21:47:40.555002+00 by: m

That sounds interesting about the inset space, can we get a pic when you do it?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-13 22:19:06.711945+00 by: Dan Lyke

Sure, if it works... I think what I've learned from this one is that it's probably going to get destroyed in interesting ways as I alter and change it to try different ideas, or I'm going to end up building a lot of these (not too many, 'cause although I can come up with more cheap maple, the mahogany is pretty precious).

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-14 02:28:06.641377+00 by: Nancy

Why wouldn't you build the prototypes with cheap wood and envision the coloring? (Or stain an approximate if you really had to)??

I really like Diane's 'caramel dripping out of a hole' description. It's certainly not appetizing and I LOVE caramel! (But dripping out of a hole? Not unless it's the hole in the bottom of a chocolate!)

It's really evil of me, I know, but I'm hoping you make some really wacky prototypes so we get more of Diane's descriptive phrases....

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-14 11:03:37.761853+00 by: topspin

Why wouldn't you build the prototypes with cheap wood and envision the coloring? (Or stain an approximate if you really had to)??

Yah, here's an example of someone digitally manipulating a picture to create.....uh.... {sees Dan coming at him with a T-Square and blood in his eyes.}

Seriously, while I realize there's nothing like "sample in hand" and practicing the corner alignment, you're pretty good with pixels, color, and texture so you can probably spare the good wood.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-15 13:18:17.142163+00 by: m

There are significiant values in making at least one mockup from the wood to be used in the final product.

As Dan noted above, the finishing process demonstrated that it would not produce the proper pore closure, and the finish itself did not come out as expected. Even more important is the machining process itself. Settings with cheaper, and usually much softer wood do not always reproduce the results when working with harder woods. Different woods, even of the same hardness frequently machine differently. Splintering, splitting, cut cleanliness, edge sharpness, cut depth per pass, stress released warping, sanding requirements, etc, change change from wood to wood, and tree to tree. Even board to board, but of course board to board variation is the one least able to have a general solution for the project.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-15 20:31:29.709798+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, what M said. Between figuring out how to cut the slots in those frame pieces without splintering, getting the miter right, and making sure that the round-over on the interior didn't slop into the miter, it took me three tries to get to those frames. There'll be a time for mock-ups (and we've already done some in some 3d software to try to see how the kitchen will look), but it's not yet.

Besides, right now, especially knowing that I've got a line on more of the maple, the maple actually is my relatively cheap wood.