How to make a door for the small display cabinet

How to make the glass cabinet door

I slowly continue with the fabrication of this small glass cabinet to exhibit my lead knights collection. Now is the moment to make the door (or the window), and I will use my circular saw miter jig and some of the techniques I used to make the sides of this cabinet.

I would say that the most difficult part was to decide the dimensions I should give to this door. I never have known the right way to fit a door in a piece of furniture. When I tried to be very exact with the dimensions I always had to sand a lot after I put the pieces of the door together and before I put the hinges, because the door always brushed everywhere. May be a perfectionist will think I am exaggerating, but I decided to leave something like one millimetre all around between the cabinet and the door. But the truth is I am thinking in the pocket door system I will make, too. I think I could be more precise if I had used hardwood to make this cabinet window. But adding up my experience working with softwood and my skill level installing doors, I decided to make sure I wouldn’t have any problem when I put it in the cabinet.

How to drill the head of the strips

To put together the middle strip (the “muntin”) and the short sides of the window I use the same system I used when I made the sides of the cabinet. The problem is that this strip is too long to my drill press, in fact it is far longer than the column. But the base and the head in this kind of drill press are anchored to the column with just one Allen screw, so it is very easy to loosen them. We can clamp the base to the edge of the workbench, we loosen the screw in the head and we can now turn the head to be perpendicular with the edge of the workbench. Like that we add the height of the workbench to the height of the column and we can drill longer strips.

How not aligned dowel holes look like

I mention in the video that my first intention was to reinforce the miter joints with dowels. I had confidence in aligning all the holes for the dowels, but after I drill all the holes I couldn’t match the pieces properly. I should have drilled only the holes in one joint to see if I was able to have a good result. Some days one thinks everything will turn out well, but them everything went wrong.

How to glue and clamp the cabinet door miter joints

After I recovered from that disappointment, I decided that for the moment I should have to resign myself with some mitre butt joints. In the video you can pay attention to the miter cuts where I glued a dowel inside each hole and I cut them flush with the surface. And in the picture you can see how the dowels weren’t actually align. Once the glue dries I cut some grooves in the corners with the circular saw to reinforce the miter joints with splines, but we will see that in the next post.

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