Fixin' Up the Bungalow

-Gizmodyne Woodworking

More Kitchen Cabinets 4: Making Solid Panels and Cutting Plywood

My cabinets will have two visible solid panels. In this blog I will show the process I use in panel glue up (for bettor or for worse).

Stock Selection
Although the face frame stack is quartersawn, most of the original end panels in our house are plain sawn.

About a year back a neighbor game me some old growth fir.

This wood was beautiful and will become the most visible panel. I also resawed some old beams to create the stock for the second less visible panel.

I left the stock stickered for a few days before further surfacing.

I always lay my stock out with stickers. Never leave it laying without good air circulation, unless you want a cupped board.

Panel Layout
I set the rough length panels out and played with them until I got a grain pattern that pleased me.

The two center boards are from the same board and the outside boards are from the second board.

I marked a triangle across all four boards to preserve my layout.

I also mark “i” and “o” on the edges. This is a code for jointing. I hold the “i” sides inside towards the fence and the “o” sides outside towards the fence. If the jointer is off from 90 degrees this will create complementary angles that must add back to 180.


Glue up
I have been doing my glue up on my table saw covered by plastic. I only have giant clamps and really need to get some 2 – 3 foot parallel clamps.

Cleaning Glue with a beater chisel
I try to get as much glue as possible. It is a boring step, but easier than cleaning rock hard glue.

I left the panels to dry overnight.

I unclamped the panels and spent some time scraping and sanding them to the following result.

I think the panels will look great in the context of the cabinets.

Preparing Plywood Parts
In order to conserve plywood I drew out a quick cutting plan to conserve the plywood.

A friend came over and helped me support the plywood for the rips. he is interested in learning how to build cabinets and made a few of the crosscuts.

I use a panel sled for all of my crosscuts.

The panels are surfaced and jointed, but I treat each panel like a fresh board by jointing it, ripping to final width plus 1/8”, ripping to final width and then crosscutting to length.

Here are the panels cut to size.

Incidentally I finally tried out the blade that came with my SawStop. I had stored it two years ago without realizing that it was an 80 tooth plywood blade.

The cuts are perfect: splinter and burn free.

I will be using this for all of my ply cuts from now on. Who knew?

*Final Plywood Part Sizes.”
Instead of working from my original drawings, I am working from the face frames. To determine the length of the plywood rails and bottoms. I clamped plywood and solid panel offcuts to the face frame to represent the panels. I used my folding rule to take an exact measurement.

Then I cut all the rails to the correct length at the crosscut sled.

All of the parts are sitting waiting to be joined.

Next time:
Joining cabinet parts.

About The Author

Arts and Crafts influenced woodworker currently seeking old bungalows to restore in the Pasadena area. I design and build custom cabinets and built-ins. Also Stickley style furniture.


Leave a Reply