I’ve been steadily planing away at the pieces for the file cabinet and have now milled the top and bottom and the two sides. For the back I have a piece that is approximately 13″x20″x5/8″ and the cabinet itself will be closer to 22″H x 17″W x 16″D and so it’s not big enough to be used as one piece but it’s really too thick for that anyways. I also wanted as much of the lumber as possible to come from the same board/log. So I figured I’d try my hand at resawing. I don’t have a band saw and I thought this would be a good exercise in sawing to a line and sawing straight. What I didn’t anticipate was the energy I would expend to do it. But first a trip down memory lane…
Here’s a shot of the original board that I’m building the cabinet from-nice flame figuring:
And the rough pieces prior to milling (very cupped and twisted):
And now for the back. Once re-sawn I’ll shiplap the two pieces together and plane a groove on the two side panels to slide it into. Here’s the original piece planed and jointed (in addition to significant twist, etc, the grain on this board is highly figured, lots of chatoyance which makes it quite lovely but also challenging to plane w/o too much tear-out) :
To begin the resawing process I determined the exact thickness of the board and set my marking gauge to bisect this, marking the entire perimeter. Since I had not done this before I really wanted to make sure I did a good job sawing w/o drift so using my finest kerfed dozuki rip blade I began cutting on the line at each corner until all my kerfs matched up.
Next up was the ryoba. Unfortunately the largest one I have is a 240mm blade and so I was not able to saw straight through. This meant having to saw at angle for the majority of the process, working on one side at an angle, then back to the other side and so on. If I had to guess, I’d say the whole process took about 2 hours.
And here’s the final result (the back of each piece is a little rough but I’ll just clean it up with my fore plane). Most importantly, by taking my time I avoided drift and kept both pieces the same width. Once I plane it down, I’ll have two exact size pieces each 1/4″ thick with a beautiful matching pattern.
I stickered them last night as there will be some movement, but since they are so thin, it won’t be a problem after final assembly.
I could have just as easily used a piece of 1/4″ plywood and in fact this will be on the back of the cabinet where no one will see it, but it in my mind, I’d always be aware of it and that would have bugged me.
I’m still trying to figure out the design for the drawers and the face. I may use some elements of a shoji screen for the front, but I will still have to build the drawers, etc.
As I was sawing last night it occurred to me that this piece uses basically every major wood working skill, especially since I will be dovetailing the top to the two side. A good project to cut your teeth on.