Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cabinet doors

We cut out the face panel for the head's cabinet and set to work on making a door for it.
A couple of decades ago an ol' shipwright taught me how to build these doors.
They are easy to make, allow good ventilation, and are surprisingly strong.

You can make them any size, I like my frames to be 1.5 inches wide and about 7/8" thick to allow them to be routered down making a rabbet around the edge to inset them into the door frame. This leaves me with a half inch thickness atop the panel face.

Once the frames are cut I run them through the saw with the blade set to half an in depth to make the groove for the slats.
We made the slats by ripping boards to the width we wanted then running them through the table saw to get the strips. A thickness planer was used to clean em up and get them all to a uniform thickness.
Then several coats of finish was applied and after they were nice and dry they were cut to length on a chop saw. This is by far the most tedious and time consuming part of the process. I usually spend a day and make a large number of slats at one time and apply the finish and store them in long strips. That way when ever I get the urge to make a door I have plenty of slats on hand and  just have to cut them to length and the door can be assembled very quickly.
I bevel the ends of the slats slightly to make inserting them easier.
For the frame I like to inset the top and bottom rails a half inch into the side rails. this hides the groove for the slats when the door is viewed from the top (or bottom). A screw can be driven into the top and bottom rails from the sides if you like to stiffen it up and covered with a nice wood plug.
The slats are simply popped into place without glue (none is needed) working from one end to the other.
When we decide what the length of the door should be we typically divide it by the width of the slats and then adjust the length slightly so that the last slat fits perfectly without trimming the width.
I forgot to do this on this door so the last slat is a little narrower as a result,...but it will be at the bottom and no one but me will know!.....well, and all of you now..... 
Bending in the last slat.
Test fitting the door and panel.


Tom Hlavac said...

Don - are you happy with your electric "engine" system? Which model did you install? I'm "almost" the new owner of an older Alberg 30 and will be replacing the engine.

How did you set up your energy storage - just batteries or do you have a genset also?

flip said...

AHHH one day. Just getting started now. All my tools still fit in one small bag..

Don said...

Hi Tom, Sorry for the lateness of the reply I missed this question.
I am very happy with the electric set up and have batteries only , no gen-set. Hawaii is almost always windy and the distances to get to open water are very short so there is no need for me to motor much at all.As a result I only have four batteries and hardly ever run the engine for more than ten or fifteen minutes.....half hour tops.