Monday, 20 March 2017

The scapradekijn for the Muiderslot, part 3: the bottom ridge, shelves and back boards

This post continues with the story of the making of a hanging cupboard for Castle Muiderslot. Part 1 and Part 2 considered the carving of the panels. This part will show the carving of the bottom ridge of the panels and the making of the shelves and back boards.

The bottom ridge

Also the bottom ridge made use of a jig. Fortunately the size of the jig rounds was similar to one of my Forstner bits, so it was easy to make the jig. However, using a jig and router with a guide ring adds extra material to the points, and therefore the pinnacles of the ridge had to be filed sharp. Also the half-depth part of the ring could easily be drilled with a Forstner bit. The centre point in the wood created by the Forstner bit would be removed anyway, so this created no aesthetic problem. After that the central hole was drilled with a smaller Forstner bit, and the remainder was carved with a carving knife.

Bottom ridge as in the second scapradekijn from Cologne.

The jig and the result of the jig. The pinnacle points had to be filed sharp at a later stage. For stabilisation the panel was larger; the lower part was cut off  later.

Left: The result after routing and the first drilling steps. Right: Holes drilled with a Forstner bit.

Left: This was followed by carving of the lower ridge. The pinnacles had to be filed sharp as the routing jig was not able to do this. Right: The carving finished. The fitting of a hinge is tested here.
 

The back boards

The backside consisted of three boards with the same thickness (11 mm) as the front boards. In fact they were the boards that remained after the best looking boards were used for the front panels. The backs boards were fitted into grooves on the side panels and on top (shelve) board. They were a bit chamfered at the sides to create a tight fit into the 10 mm groove. The three boards were fitted to each other by a V-groove. Using a V-groove was commonly used to attach boards to each other in the construction of medieval furniture. For instance many of the medieval chests in the Lüneburger convents use V-grooves (see K.H. von Stülpnagel - Die gotischen Truhen der Lüneburger Heidekloster).

The three boards were clamped in the double screw vise. A modern clamp was used to hold the boards together at a higher point. The three boards together provided a stable platform for the router with a routing fence and fitted with a V-bit.

Left: The ends of two of the boards were extended, so that routing would go smoothly towards the end/start of the board. Only two of the three boards need a V groove. Right: The corresponding V-point was planed. A marking gauge was used to denote the three edges (top, left and right) of the V-point. The top was then rounded, so it would fit  perfectly in the groove.

Left:  The V-groove and V-point. Right: The three boards together.


As the boards were too large for the backside, the left and right backboard had to be sawn to fit. Then the edges had to be chamfered by plane to 10 mm - the size of the grooves in the side panels.

The backboards fit into the back of the scapradekijn. However, they were also too long and some sawing was needed here too. On the right photo you can also see the holes at the top for the iron rings to hang the cupboard on the wall.

The shelves

The scapradekijn contains three internal shelves and an outer (top) shelve. The shelves, like the side panels are thicker than the front and back panels (16 mm instead of 11 mm). This was done for several reasons: some panels and shelves contained grooves for the back boards and shelves; the shelves would need to carry the weight of the objects; and furthermore, the shelves needed to be large enough to contain the pins fixating the construction. The three internal shelves were less deep as they ended at the back boards, whereas the top board was as deep as the side panels.

 
The shelves test-fitted into the grooves. They have to be sawn to their correct width and length. 
You can also see the grooves for the backboards.

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