Friday, April 21, 2017

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (94)

Now working on fitting the bifold doors to the client's cabinet, adjusting door width at the sides of the stiles, as before:


A shot of one of the shavings through a tenoned area of the stile, just for kicks:


Planing is satisfying when it is going smoothly. Doors are now fitted to the second cabinet (not illustrated).

On a door-related matter, I purchased the door and drawer handles from Japan, and they come with plastic 2-part cups, as shown below:


The one half of the plastic cup, is like a washer under the nut. After the nut is tightened, the excess threaded rod is snipped off, and then the plastic cap is snapped into place.

I'm not too excited by the plastic bits for these cabinets, and started thinking about what alternatives might be worth a look. For the door handles, the threaded rods can be unscrewed, so it seemed to me that they could be replaced by a countersunk allen button head screw. I looked at a few online bolt supply sites and noted that the closest thread sizes to what I thought I had were M2, M2.5, and M3. I was suspecting these threaded rods were M2.5, however when I got to the shop and put the caliper on the thread, I got a different value:


That does not correspond to any known metric thread standard, including JIS metric thread standard.

I took the threaded rod and nut to a local hardware store to see if I could find something which was the same, and the closest I got was inch-scale #4-40 threaded fasteners. Checking into these later, the standard for diameter for #4-40 thread is 0.1120", which works out to 2.8448mm, pretty close to the caliper measure shown above.

I'm not however totally convinced that the Japanese handle threaded rods are sized to #4-40. It is not far-fetched to think that they might use a non-metric thread standard, as I've seen Japanese circular saws with a 25.4mm arbor (=1"), and found the lock cylinder on a Japanese temple lock to also be inch standard. But, I'm not sure in this case what to think. While a #4-40 threaded rod will fit the brass nut, and the Japanese threaded rod will fit a #4-40 nut, when I tried to fit the Japanese threaded rod to a #4-40 acorn nut, it wouldn't thread in, while a #4-40 threaded rod would thread in to the same nut. So, there appears to be a minor difference in the threads between the Japanese parts and the #4-40 stuff. A bit of a puzzle.

In any case, the threaded rods going into the Japanese drawer handles are more firmly installed, and not easily removed, so it looks like I will have to go with them after all. The handles on the doors could be swapped out for allen bolts however, using #4-40 parts. I'll give this matter some more consideration before doing anything further on this. Funny how some minor things like that can turn into more of a trouble than one imagines initially. Why one earth do they feel the need to use an odd thread size for something so mundane as drawer and door handles? The mysteries of life....

Setting that matter to one side, another hardware task needed to be dealt with and that was enlarging the countersinks on the Brusso hinges to accept #6 screws. I initially tried to do this using a countersink in a portable drill, with the previously-established drill hole in the wood as a guide, however this did not produce clean countersinks by any means:


The mill was the way to go, with a suitable fixture for the hinge the only hitch. I put the Kurt vise back on the work table, trammed it into alignment, placed a block of bubinga in the vise, and then milled a pocket in the block to accept the hinges by friction fit alone. This milling was done with a 1/2" down spiral carbide bit to leave clean sidewalls.

The milling was done from a 0-x and 0-y point, so I had a ready means of finding the offset of the screw holes without trying to measure them directly on the hinge.

I have a set of Weldon 82˚ countersinks to draw from for this task:


This is the 'piloted' set, though the 4 smallest lack pilots. I find these countersinks cut very cleanly. USA made and everything.

With the countersink fastened into a 1/4" collet, I moved the table over 0.75" from the 0-x point, which brought me to the middle of the hinge. The DRO was then reset to make the middle the 0 point for x-travel. Then I simply moved over the y-travel to a point which corresponded to an even inch measure from my starting point, 0.3125" in this case. I strongly suspected that the hinge holes were spaced on some even imperial inch measure from the hinge edges. And they were.

Here's the first countersink:


I moved the table over so I could put a fastener in to check if the countersink was deep enough:


It looked good I thought:


Once depth and positioning was set, all the hard work was done. I now shift the table on x-travel to the next countersink location, in this case, 11/16" away:


Then countersink:


Then shift back to the other side, which is also 11/16" from the middle:


Drill again:


Next, shifting over to the other hinge leaf, using y-travel, the hole centers of which turn out to be 7/8" away from the first line drilled:


Similarly, the other holes on that side are drilled by shifting along the x-travel by 0.6875" each time:


The hinge was popped out of the fixture and it was time for a final check back at stile central:


Zero issues:


Any further pre-drilling into the wood that was required was accomplished, as before, using a suitable VIX bit:


That process, without putting all the screws in mind you, was repeated for the other 11 hinges. The hinges are now all done, save for another bit of patinating and a final application of wax. Another tick off the list.

I set the bifold doors and their hinges aside for the time being and moved on to the bonnet components, looking to complete them and do a final assembly on that unit. First task was to give a final clean up on the curly shedua stand-offs, which I did on the super surfacer, then a last check for fit of those parts onto their sills, and then I could kerf the tenons on the intermediate pieces and mask off around the mortises in preparation for a glue-up:


Wedges also needed to be made - here I'm checking them for thickness at the tenon sides:


More wedges remain to be cut before the glue-ups can proceed, so I'll tackle that task next round.

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Hope you enjoyed.