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  • Cutting perfect square holes in a panel

    Hello,

    Start by looking at the Thomas Moser Blanket Box shown here: Thomas Moser Blanket Box

    Notice how the drawer front is the lumber that was directly removed from the front panel of the box. This is a trick that adds visual interest to the piece, and must be done perfectly during construction to avoid ruining the entire front panel.

    What is the best way to make a perfect cut for removing the material that will become the drawer front? The cut must have a thin enough kerf so as to not leave too wide of a gap around the drawer. And the cut must not do any damage to the box's panel or to the drawer front as the cut is made.

    Any suggestions?
    Steve Goldstein<br /><a href=\"http://www.steveweb.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.steveweb.net</a>

  • #2
    I would think a jigsaw with some clamps and a guide should work
    Colorado Deck and Framing - When perfection is demanded

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    • #3
      Norm Abrams did a project that had this detail. The way he did it was to rip the piece into three pieces. after that he cross cut the center section to the left and right of the drawer front and then glued the peices back together. After that trim a slight amount off of the drawer front to achieve the spacing that you want. Here is an ascii of what I am talking about

      ___________________________ top
      ___________________________ rip one
      | drawer front | cross cuts
      ___________________________ rip two
      ___________________________ bottom

      If you use a thin kefr blade to make the cuts, there should not be a noticable difference in grain once it is glued back up. As a matter of fact if you look very closely at the picture of the example that you posted, it appears to be done the same way (piece just above drawer is lighter with different grain)

      [ 11-03-2005, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: RRitch ]
      -Rob<br /> <a href=\"http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/\" target=\"_blank\">http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/</a> <br />Damn, I hit the wrong nail again. Ouch that hurts

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      • #4
        Rob is right on track with what I was thinking.

        Woodslayer

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        • #5
          FORGIVE ME FOR SAYING THIS, BUT THE PIECE IN THE PICTURE DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY CUTS, SAVE THE CUT OUT FOR THE DRAWER. I CAN SEE NO EVIDENCE THAT THE MATERIAL WAS CUT INTO SEVERAL PIECES AND REASSEMBLED. THE ORIGINAL QUESTION SEEMS TO STILL BE IN PLAY. OR AM I MISSING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?
          IF YOU\'RE WORKING HARD, YOU\'RE DOING IT WRONG

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          • #6
            I think Toolguy is correct. From the picture (enlarged) I think I see grain running contineously across what would be the cut line, if it had been cut.

            I'm a long way from an expert in this, but I would approach the cut this way.

            Start the cuts on the TS, similar to a stopped dado. That is postion the wood over the saw blade and raise the blade through the wood. Cut as long as possible without over cutting. Finish the cut out with a jig saw or scroll saw. To do the short (vertical) cuts would probably require changing the blade to a smaller diameter, say a 7" blade from a circular saw. This approach would leave some clean up because of the differen kirfs of the TS and jig saw blade. So I would try to cut to the outside of the TS's kirf with the jig saw. Leaving the majority of the clean up for the cut out piece, easier to work on than the interior edges of the panel.

            I'll be very interested to hear reactions to this approach – part of my learning process. [img]smile.gif[/img]
            Dick

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dick L:
              I think Toolguy is correct. From the picture (enlarged) I think I see grain running contineously across what would be the cut line, if it had been cut.
              Actually, I can officially settle this. I sent an email to the Thomas Moser company and asked them (straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak):

              "We rip twice across the width and cross cut twice to remove the drawer front and then glue the pieces back together again (less the drawer front) to form the face of the blanket box."
              Steve Goldstein<br /><a href=\"http://www.steveweb.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.steveweb.net</a>

              Comment


              • #8
                DickL,

                If done properly with the correct setup, once glued back together, the rips would barely be noticable. Of course this requires alot of attention to make sure that the saw is exactly 90 degrees, and careful attention to the grain during the glue up, but It can be done.
                -Rob<br /> <a href=\"http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/\" target=\"_blank\">http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/</a> <br />Damn, I hit the wrong nail again. Ouch that hurts

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                • #9
                  Thanks for getting the true cutting technique sorted out. I'll put that one in my bag of "heard of tricks and techniques" for when I get into a similar situation.
                  Dick

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dick L:
                    Thanks for getting the true cutting technique sorted out. I'll put that one in my bag of "heard of tricks and techniques" for when I get into a similar situation.
                    Just remember to make the panel 1/4" taller than final to compensate for the saw kerf. Then after you cut the drawer front out trim 1/8 from top and bottom to allow clearance at the top and bottom of the drawer, also this will allow the grain to match. you will already have the left and right clearance from when you cut the drawer front out.
                    -Rob<br /> <a href=\"http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/\" target=\"_blank\">http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/</a> <br />Damn, I hit the wrong nail again. Ouch that hurts

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just remember to make the panel 1/4" taller than final to compensate for the saw kerf. Then after you cut the drawer front out trim 1/8 from top and bottom to allow clearance at the top and bottom of the drawer, also this will allow the grain to match. you will already have the left and right clearance from when you cut the drawer front out.
                      This is good advice.

                      Now that I've started building this project, I can tell you to also make the panel a little wider to allow for width compensation too. Even though I was using a thin-kerf blade, I found that if I aligned the pieces to the left and right of the drawer in exactly the same position they were in, this left too wide of a gap to the left and right of the drawers. I ended up pushing the pieces to the left and right of the drawer in slightly to compensate.

                      As for the top and bottom of the drawer front, I made passes on my jointer to create those gaps. I set up the jointer to remove 1/32" per pass, then I made an equal number of passes on the top and bottom edges of the drawer front until the gap around the drawer was to my liking. By taking equal amounts off the top and bottom, you will keep the drawer front centered in the hole, so the grain will remain aligned with the pieces to the left and right of the drawer.
                      Steve Goldstein<br /><a href=\"http://www.steveweb.net\" target=\"_blank\">www.steveweb.net</a>

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                      • #12
                        I created this table using the same technique. Rip the drawer front out and gluethe pieces back together. If you use a sharp, thin kerf blade, the joint is almost invisible.

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