Hand Tools Archive

laziness on the door miters...

David Weaver
..on the last door yesterday (much interfering shop and yard stuff preventing work on the cabinet), I finally figured out that it's a whole lot easier to do the miter fitting if the cross rails are mitered to the depth of the bead quirk (not sure if I got terms correct) and the all final fitting done on the stiles until the miter is tight with the bottom of the rails dead on the marked line for door height (this will be adjusted later when fitting the doors to the cabinet - but it's nice to start with those marks being nailed so that the beads on all door rails are equally far apart from each other).

The thing that took me a while to figure out? the corner paring jig that I'd made a year or two ago to do this operation on kitchen cabinet doors has a rabbet less deep than the rail/stile thickness (good), which means it can be gripped from the side by a vise, or it can be held in place by a hold down. I prefer the former for no good reason. loosening and tightening things is fiddly.

On the very last door (last stile, even), I realized that once everything is in the jig, if the rail is already miter, it can be kept loose to test fit. Tiny extra cuts to the miter on the stiles to get the fit dead on are easiest made if nothing is loosened, but the (unfinished) far end of the door stile is tapped with a steel hammer to advance it just a tiny amount.

Much pain in the butt avoided, and each corner fiddle takes about 1 minute instead of a couple of minutes trying to place the corner miter in the same spot and then tighten it in the vise (or affix it with a hold down for the surface users).

I understand that this is not a preferred method after Bill and Derek coached up the fact that the miters could open over the long term. On a piece of cabinetry of the quality I'm making, that could just be addressed with a fill stick and some careful rubbing.

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