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Ammo Cabinet

Cutting dados 
with your router and table saw

9/03

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I tried to draw the cabinet to scale, but with the irregular shape of the wall, effecting the drawer depth, the fact that the drawers need to be a specific depth for the customer, I decided to make a template. It's full size, and I dragged it over to the job site to make sure it would fit through the doors. We also determined the drawer sizes and scribed the right side of the face frame to the wall. 
First I like to make the shelves, to establish their thickness. I found some stock with a very good finish from the mill, so this will save me time resizing the stock. I used biscuits in my shelves, but you could also use dowels or a spline. They all do a fine job, but the biscuits are faster. Here are a few tips on edge gluing boards:
Edge gluing boards with biscuits
Edge gluing boards with dowels
Edge gluing boards with a Spline
Self Centering Doweling Jig or Complete Doweling Kit
Self Centering Doweling Jig or Complete Doweling Kit


Fluted Dowel Pins
Fluted Dowel Pins


Dowel Pro Jig
Dowel Pro Jig


1000 Piece Biscuit Mix
1000 Piece Biscuit Mix


This is the Dubby Sled I like to use it for cross cutting large panels like the shelves. It's advisable to use a sled to control your work piece better, a miter gauge is just too small. Even if you were to use plywood for your shelves, you should still use a sled as an aid. 
After cutting the sides of this cabinet out of oak vineer plywood, i setup for cutting the dados for the shelves. 
Now that I know my panels are still 3/4" thick, I chuck a 3/4" straight cutter with 1/2" shank in my router. 

The pic at left shows measuring the distance between the blade and the edge of the router base. This will determine how far the fence should be placed from the dado location. 

This pic shows my router against the fence. The dado is 1/4" deep, so i was able to cut these dados with a singe pass.
Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557
Porter-Cable Biscuit Joiner


Incra Miter Express Miter Sled
Incra Miter Sled


INCRA Precision Marking Rules
INCRA Precision Marking Rules



Saw & Router Guide


Feather Board

Table Featherboard
Table Featherboard


36'' & 48'' Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps
36'' & 48'' Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps


Clamp-It® Assembly Square and Clamps
Clamp-It® Assembly Square and Clamps


To cut the rabbits along the back, I move to the table saw. I use a sacrificial piece of pine clamped to the rip fence, to keep the blade from touching the metal fence.
Also it's a good idea to use feather boards to keep the work piece tight to the table. If the work piece lifts off the table, the rabbit would be shallow in that spot.
This is the inside of the left-hand side. Now is the time to sand the interior, impossible to do a good job after it's assembled. If your careful you can also stain and finish the inside of your carcass before assembly. Remember to keep all your glue areas clean of finish. I'm going to try this next time.
Ok, now the fun part! The pic at left starts the assembly of the carcass. I only glued the back 6" of each dado, then nailed up thru the bottom of each shelf into the joint with a finish nail gun with 1-1/2" finish nails. This allows the solid oak shelves to expand and contract in the plywood dado. The plywood is a manmade material and is very stable, so it won't react to seasonal changes like the shelves. 
I use a framing square to keep things square. The thin blade of the square is a little tricky to clamp to the cabinet. Rockler makes a wide plastic square designed to do just this, you can see it here.

Clamp-It® Assembly Square and Clamps Clamp-It® Assembly Square and Clamps
Align it, clamp it, and fasten it to get perfect 90 degree angles every time! Here's a solution that's so simple, you'll wonder why it took so long to develop!..

Clamp-It® Assembly Square and Clamps

Almost done with the carcass, notice I still don't have enough room with out opening the double doors! I need a bigger shop!

See my Ride: 1600 Vulcan Crusier

 
36'' & 48'' Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps
Aluminum Bar Clamps


45° Lock Miter Router Bit
45° Lock Miter Router Bit


Forrest 8'' Deluxe Dado King
Forrest 8'' Deluxe Dado King


Here we have the left side of the face frame clamped to the carcass. I used biscuits to reinforce the joint.
You never have enough clamps!!!

Here I'm assembling the top drawer. The drawers are one inch narrower then the face frame opening, to allow for drawer slides. I'm using full extension slides rated for 100 pounds.  The drawer corners are joined using a lock miter joint. This is a very strong joint and invisible if you cover it on the top.
Learn how to make drawers with a 45° Lock Miter Router Bit.
Originally the lower half of the case was going to show the exposed the drawer fronts, but now the drawers will be hidden behind matching doors. I think the overall lines of the cabinet will be smoother with vertical doors top and bottom, instead of doors above and horizontal drawers below. One reason I never cared for the amour look.

But since I put a little effort on setting up these mock double drawer fronts, to help me understand the layout, here's a page that shows you how to layout this optional drawer style. 
 


Layout and make  Double Drawer Fronts.

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Here is one of the four raised panel doors. Because of seasonal changes in humidity, the panel will move about 1/8" per foot across it's width. If the panel were to shrink that much, wood that was in the style groove would be exposed. That's why it's important to finish the panel before the assembly. 
More about making raised panel doors here.
This grid fits in the top drawer and will hold pistol magazines. This was quite project in it's self! 

Learn how to make multiple dados with relative ease here!

Here's a pic of the new drawer configuration. I had to push them back a bit to allow for the inset doors, but things worked out ok. I had fun installing the recessed drawer handles, 
Learn how to install Recessed Drawer Handles!
 

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