Chiffonier shelf cross rails

Let’s make some shelves…

As always, I started flattening and truing one face of the board…it just so happened, the first board drove me crazy. Every once in a while, I get one of these boards that for some reason, just won’t cooperate with me…or perhaps I was just off my game.

I continued to work this board for a long time, until I realized I lost almost a full 1/4″ of material. I got it as close as I could and called it done. When the time came to final thickness of all the boards for the shelf cross rails, I had to go with the least thick board…my friend who wouldn’t cooperate. As a result, all these pieces ended up being around 1/2″ instead of my goal of 3/4″.

This really is no big deal at all…I actually prefer this thickness now for the shelves. It seems to lighten the middle of the chiffonier and balance the piece overall. I compare it to a drawer that has 1/2″ sides with a 3/4″ front face. Those 1/2″ sides keep the drawer from looking too bulky…that is exactly what the 1/2″ cross rails do for this chiffonier…funny how things just work out.

Anyways, here they are in final dimension…ready to be marked up for tenons.


I’ve got (16) sets of mortise and tenons to house these four boards into the sides of the two panels of the chiffonier.

– JR


Chiffonier – fitting the mirror


The frame for the mirror goes together the same as the panel…

The only difference on this frame is the mirror sits in a rebate instead of a groove. Originally, I was planning on setting the mirror in a groove. However, then I thought about replacement of the mirror in case it ever should break.

Adding a series of rebates allows the mirror to be replaceable. The mirror sits on the first rebate, followed by an air gap, then a thin panel is attached to the second rebate.




Those white squares are foam pieces to help create the air gap.

I had the mirror cut from a local glass shoppe. I got to step into their shop, which was pretty cool. At the time I had stopped by, they were replacing the glass on antique door. I got to watch the process as they cut the mirror for me.


Pretty good fit.

Next, I think I’ll move onto making the cross pieces for the two shelves.

– JR

Chiffonier – panel raising

This part was easier than I thought it was going to be.

I made some reference marks with a marking gauge about 1 1/2″ from each edge. I used that line and the tongue I had made to fit the panel in the frame as guides.

I tried a few different planes before I settled on two that I stuck with. I started on the end grain with my jack plane to remove most of the waste and at the same time, set the bevel angle. Then once I started approaching my guides, I switched to the smoothing plane. I found it best to skew the smoothing plane on the end grain to prevent tear-out.

Once both ends were done, I worked the long grain sides. Same process, jack followed by the smoother. I have no idea what bevel angle I ended up with. I just know I like the way it looks, and that’s all I care about.

Before I called it done, I did a once over, checking for tear-out and uniform bevels. I used a square on the ends, which did help me locate some areas that needed a little more work.

I also paid attention to the corners where the end grain bevels meet the long grain bevels. It’s important to adjust these bevels until they make a mitered corner that points directly into the corner of the frame that is holding the panel. If you can’t achieve this, your eye will pull you away from the corner and it won’t look so good. Of course, most people won’t even notice…except for us crazy woodworkers.

Next, I’ll start working on the other frame that will hold the mirror.

– JR