Friday, March 23, 2018

Pilot ladder cabinet 6, carcase

After blogging about the too large back panel, I decided to follow the advice of Brian Eve, namely to cut the thing apart and pretend that it had been an exercise in making bridle joints.
I really don't like to do something like that over, but I think that it really was the best solution. That way I won't be pushing more problems ahead of me for the rest of the build.

The stock for the carcase ended up being closer to 1/2" instead of the 5/8" that I had hoped for, so instead of a groove for the back panel , I decided to make a shallow rabbet.
I used my Record No 50 combination plane for that task, and I have to say that a dedicated rabbet plane does a better job in my opinion. I will admit that having some stock that is far from straight grained didn't help either.
Eventually the four rabbets were acceptable, and as they will all be hidden under the frame of the back panel, the look of the surface doesn't really matter that much after all.

I sawed the pieces to the correct length, and marked out for some dovetails.
The wood is considerably harder than the pine or spruce I usually work with on board, so I had to trim the dovetails a bit to make them able to go together without splitting the boards.  One of the corners was a bit loose, but the remaining three were nice and tight.
The sides of the carcase were pretty flat. The top and bottom were quite a bit more warped and cupped.

Finally I glued it all up and made sure that it was square.

The next task will be to make some dadoes for the shelf and the divider between the cabinet part and the drawer part.

Record No 50 set up as a rabbet plane.

Glued up carcase. 


  1. I like your planing bench: highly flammable, corrosive and harmful...perfect!
    Workmanship of risk, heh? :-)

    Bob, who worked on dangerous benches too

    1. Haha! I think the best sign of the lot is the one that says, "Harmful," as if that wasn't obvious from the "flammable" and "corrosive" signs.

    2. Hi Bob

      The benchtop sits on top of a cabinet designated to aerosol cans and flammable stuff etc.
      I have no idea why they had to put all those warning stickers there, but it looks like a dangerous place indeed.
      I think the first sticker reads TOXIC. but that one can't be seen on any of those pictures. (and I don't think that we have anything toxic in there).


    3. Hi Brian

      Offshore rules tend to be be very safety oriented places, so the HARMFUL sticker is just in case you thought that you could eat or ingest: TOXIC, HIGHLY FLAMMABLE and CORROSIVE.
      After all they could just be Danish candy!


    4. Ouch, I am a fraud (guess you already knew that)
      The left most sticker isn't labelled TOXIC, but instead: WARNING PESTICIDES.
      I hope that you haven't lost all faith in my blog because of that ;-)
      The only pesticides I have ever seen on a ship are anti cockroach spray. But we haven't got any of that at the moment..

  2. Wow, look at all the clamps. This looks like the best woodworking ship you've had. Also I'm curious why you're making dadoes after gluing the carcase. It must make something better or easier.

    1. Hi Jeff

      Actually i think that I had a bit more clamps on Artemis, but some of those were quick grip types.
      Here we have two regular long clamps that will span 24". Sadly one of them has got an issue with the pivoting round pressure pad on the threaded part. But is is still a lot better that once where I had to use lashing bands for clamps.

      The reason for making the dadoes after gluing up is that I can make sure that they will be positioned right where I want them according to the face frame.
      So I plan on making the face frame first, then position it on the front of the carcase, mark out for the dadoes and make those.
      I am only able to do it this way because the back will be glued in a rabbet.
      If I had made a tongue and groove back, I couldn't do it this way as easy.
      But please remember that not all my work methods are logical if you have access to nice flat stock and a good workbench etc. But they get the job done out here.
      The same goes with the outside of the cabinet. It has not been smoothed yet. It is only scrub traversed. So the surface is not very nice.
      But I have had some success in using the tactic of making stock flat and fairly square - but not necessarily the same thickness. Then while I assemble parts, I try to make sure that one side of the assemble is flat, so all the uneven surfaces are on one side. Then I level those out in the end.
      It isn't something that will ensure a 100% square object, but it will help in getting the job done in a reasonable time.
      Technically I suppose that I should just become better at stock preparation :-)