Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Working on the top for the cabinet swapping

I was planning on practicing my veneering techniques on it, but it was not very practical, as the depth of the repair areas are more than the paper thin veneer you get today.

I thought about making 2 or 3 layers, but thought this could be tricky to ensure it lays flat and what if I punch thru one layer?

So I decided instead to glue in a chunk of maple I splitted from a small piece.
Figured, as long as I have one flat face to glue, I could then leveled off the chunk without worrying about punching thru.

Chunk of split maple "cooking".

Next batter up after I do initial trimming with my trusty German No 8 knife.

The next tricky part would be to minimize the damages to the adjacent surfaces so I don't end up having to sand the whole top and refinished it.
But if that does not pan out, no big deal. I just want to try if I can make localized repairs, in prevision of doing just that on her big parlor cabinet, which she doesn't want to be refinished, just fixed up.

After a few minutes with the knife and the block plane,
it is almost flush, scraper is next to finish it.
I'm happy with the tight glue line.
BTW they are both same color, it is just the flash changing the colors

Had a closer look at the cabinet construction, it is made of glued up narrow maple boards then sandwiched with a layer of softwood, and finally a maple veneer on each side.

Slice of wood I cut to enlarged the opening for the sewing machine.
That cut surface is off my Bosh jigsaw with a special tooth geometry blade, 
darn good if you ask me. 

On this close up you can see what I was describing.
When I recessed the hinges, I went down to the solid wood part.
You can also guess the thickness of the outer layer, much thicker than today veneer for sure. The patches I'm making are the thickness of the two outer layers.

The blade I used was a BOSCH T101BR clean cut.
It is a High Carbon Steel blade with very clean milled teeth. 
10 TPI reverse pitch for clean cuts, and it sure deliver as promised!

The whole cabinet is made as such. 
All laminated hardwood construction with face veneer on both sides.

 I guess I should not be surprised.  Knowing the large demands for sewing machine cabinetry, this makes lot of sense.  They are not wasting much wood with this construction method and the results are a strong and stable cabinet.
Very clever these sewing machine cabinet makers :-)

I do not know if this is in fact a Singer cabinet, but judging from the quality of its construction, I believed it is.

Now the only remaining patch to put in is the small one by the small flip board up front.  It may sound a tad too fussy, but cannot have the fabric catch in that spot, hence the top should be as smooth as possible.

Then more butt scratching to figure out how to blend in the repairs on the top :-)

Bob, finding little shop time lately, but making some progress nonetheless.


  1. This type of veneered laminated panel was available in the years 60 in home improvement stores (it was called "panneaux batten" in Belgium). After a quick search (what is the proper name?), it seems that with the advent of MDF it is not anymore available.

  2. Looks like the butt scratching to date paid off. I'm looking forward to seeing how you blend the patches in. Finishing isn't in my top 4 bazillion things I like to do.

  3. After further search, I have found this (three layers instead of five) :
    look for "panneaux 3 plis"