Cutting out the Cabinet Sides

This past weekend I started cutting wood.  Things are getting real now.

I started out with a nice big pile of wood.  It’s amazing how heavy 10 sheets of 3/4″ of birch/maple plywood is.  It’s bad enough getting them in the car and then you realize that when you get home you have to unload them and stack them and then get all of the car seats back in the car.

Since I was going to be making 3 machines, I need 6 sides and that’s not a lot of fun work to do all of those layouts.  I decided to make one perfect side and then use that as the template.  I really can’t remember the last time that I had used a compass.  That had to be dug out of my old art supplies box.  Purchased from the Iowa State University bookstore.  Good times!

The Finished Template
finished template (Medium)

Since I’m using a template, I can just trace the template on the next board and do a quick cut just outside the pencil line with the jigsaw. That way i can trim off the remainder with a flush bit on the router and have an exact duplicate of the template.

Cutting outside the line.
cutting outside the line 1 (Medium)
cutting outside the line 2 (Medium)

Once the new side is rough cut, it can be stacked on top of the template and clamped down.
stack (Medium)

You can see the size difference in a shot from below.
template and rough cut (Medium)

A good before and after routing a fillet on the corner.
before routing corner (Medium)
after corner (Medium)

Once finished you can’t tell where one piece starts and the other ends
finished closeup (Medium)

finished routing (Medium)

Using this method, the time it takes to cut out a side is greatly reduced from about a half hour to less than 5 minutes. It also keeps the perfection of the template intact. It actually takes longer to clamp the boards together than it does to do the cleanup with the router.

The final product after a few interruptions took around 45 minutes.
finished stack (Medium)

Happy Building!


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