Chiffonier mirror installation

I got to try out another new tool today…

It’s a gimlet. We’ll talk about that later.

First, I had to trim the 1/4″ cherry plywood panel to fit. I made sure to scribe all my cut lines and cut them with my fine tooth crosscut panel saw…chip-out on this thin ply is hard to tame unless you follow this regimen.

The mirror is installed inside a double rebate. I learned this from the wisdom of Robert Wearing and his book “The Essential Woodworker”. The mirror sits in the first rebate, then there is an air gap followed by the plywood panel which sits in the second rebate.

I trimmed the panel with the smoothing plane to sneak up on the perfect fit. Then I came upon a decision, which took me a fews days to decide.

I could not decide how to attach the plywood to the frame. I looked at everything from clips to screws. I finally decided on screws. I figured they would be the easiest yet strongest solution should the mirror ever break and needed replacement.

I wanted to go with brass screws with the cherry. Another decision…what size and how many? Another couple of days past.

I ended up with #6 5/8″ brass screws. I would set them 1/4″ in from the edge of the rebate, and there would be 12 of them.

Another decision. Seriously? How to drill for the brass screws? Another couple of days.

Enter my new tool, gimlets. This little tool has a lead screw head followed by what looks like a fluted drill bit. It’s a hand tool that you hold in your hand…no brace or drill. The gimlets are sized according to screw size so you can tailor them to your brass screws. Perfect. This would pre-cut the screw hole in the panel frame and drill through the ply at the same time. All preventing the brass screws from stripping.

I marked out where the screws should be with ruler and awl. Then, pre-cut and drilled with the gimlet. Then finally, drive the screw home with a spiral ratchet screwdriver…making sure to clock my screws of course.

Mirror done…Windex and all.

– JR









There’s a hole in my panel dear Liza


After I cut the curve on top of one of the panels, I saw a big gaping hole in the top. I took me a while to figure out exactly what happened. To my credit, it’s from work that I did cutting the grooves in the panel a few months ago. So basically, I forgot the mistake I had made.


Back when I made this mistake, I had accidentally plowed a groove deeper than I what was needed. Therefore when I cut the tenon for the mating rail, it didn’t fill the entire groove.

No biggie.

This fix is fairly straightforward. Cut a wedge to fit matching the grain pattern and trim to fit.


Look in’ good

– JR


Chiffonier final shaping

More practice shaping…

Just like the shelves, I started the process of shaping the panels with a template from Sketchup. I had to piece this one together out of four sheets of paper. It was a little tricky, but some blue painters tape came in handy.



I simply traced it on each panel, making sure to keep it square. From there it is just trying to stay on the pencil line with the bow saw…by the way, the repair on the bow saw handle is holding just fine.


The cut is a little rough as you can see in the photo. However, a little work with the rasp, spokeshave, and scraper smoothed everything out.


Next I have a repair to make.

– JR

Get a handle on your Gramercy bow saw

If this ever happens to you, please read on…

I have been using my Gramercy bow saw for a few months now…I had made about five or six cuts at the time of the incident. The handle was always a little questionable since I had the saw, and I blogged about that here.

Basically, the handle that you hold when cutting always seemed like it wanted to move. At first I thought it was just me…this is my first bow saw, so I have no reference to what I should be feeling. Well, I should have listened to my gut, because the handle finally did let go. Right in the middle of a long sweeping cut, the handle just spun in my hand.

You can read for yourself on the Tools For Working Wood website how much research they put into this saw…and especially the pains they went to for attaching the handle to the pins. It sounds like they have it covered and the thing should never break loose. Here is what they state on the website:

Gluing the hardware into the handle is simple enough, but brass doesn’t readily stick to glue. So, our ultimate solution was to cut some grooves in the shaft and then file a single flat. When the glue hardens in the handle, it catches in the grooves to prevent pulling out. Glue on the flat prevents the brass from turning in the wood. With the tension on the blade taken firmly by the brass shoulder, the glue doesn’t even have to be very strong.

Well, apparently the glue does have to be strong…because I broke it. You can see in the photos the epoxy never took hold of the wood handle.

What to do?

I decided to put my energy into fixing the handle. I am a woodworker. Therefore, I pulled out the old gorilla glue and a couple of hours later I was back cutting curves again.

So if it happens to you, now you know what to do.

– JR




Chiffonier Flushing Pegs – Veritas Flush-Cutting Saw


A package arrived today at the house…

It was my latest order from Lee Valley. I ordered a few items, but the one I needed most at this time was my new flush cut saw. The next step in the project was to trim down all those drawbored pegs. I ordered the saw with the teeth that cut on both sides, which turned out to be very useful, as I had to maneuver around a little bit…my rails are slightly higher than my stiles.

Anyways, this little saw is a dream to use. The teeth are set only on one side so there is no chance of cutting into the work-piece. As a result, the saw pulls to the other side, which is good for not marring your work. However, there is a little clean up after the cut…but it is minor.

I realized tonight that Veritas always seems to think of everything. For example, etched on the saw blade is ‘this side up’ for the dummies like me who might put the set side down and cut into the work-piece. There is also a depression on this side for your finger to sit as it pushes down on the saw.


Well, how does the saw cut?

The saw starts easily and cuts fast…really fast, while at the same time keeping a very clean and smooth cut. I made 24 cuts through these walnut pegs tonight in just a few minutes…and I am usually incredibly slow. At first I started the cut by holding my finger on my off hand down on the blade to keep it flat on the work-piece. After a few pegs, I just let the saw do the work.


It only took a quick paring with a chisel to get things perfectly flush. The remaining 23 of these look just as good.


I can’t wait to use this puppy later in the project when I trim some through tenons.

– JR