Book Cabinet – Case Joinery

Poplar used for case top and bottom
Poplar used for case top and bottom

The poplar case top and bottom are milled and cut to final size then marked for dovetailed case joinery. Defining cuts made with back saw, then bow saw is used to clear the waste.

The sides (mahogany) extend beyond the case bottom. That “extra” material was made thinner than rest of side using a router. A shallow groove is also routed to aid aligning and marking mating top and bottom boards.

Sliding dovetails routed
Sliding dovetails routed

After case sides half blind dovetails are cut and chopped, the sliding dovetail slots are routed for three poplar shelves. A frame jig is used to keep the slots aligned. With the sliding dovetail slots cut, the mating dovetails are routed on the shelves at the router table. A tall fence and feather boards are used to keep work pieces vertical and firmly against the fence. Light cuts are made to each side, then tested for fit. The router table micro-adjusting fence (Woodpeckers) is much appreciated to sneak up on the fit.

IMG_9120The case is then dry fit and admired. It is shown here upside down. The side bottoms will be shaped at a later time. The small opening at the top (bottom as shown) will have a drawer. The rest of the opening will be enclosed by two tall doors. The poplar horizontal elements will be painted with black milk paint (plus top coat). At this point I also plan to do the black milk paint treatment for the legs as well.

Rather than contrast to the mahogany, the black is intended to set up a foreground/background characteristic to showcase the figured old-growth mahogany.

One thought on “Book Cabinet – Case Joinery”

  1. I’m glad I got to see it in person the other day. The milk black against that special mahogany is beautiful.

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