Kicking It Off
Developing a cutting list was easy, too: we simply took measurements from our mock-up, another benefit of a prototype approach to woodworking design. There are several major parts to this project.
The plinth, or base, holds everything off the ground. The two side drawer cabinets share a common base panel that covers the plinth and becomes an attaching point for the bottom glides on the center console. The center console is attached to a sub-top that’s flush with the casework beneath it, and this in turn is attached to the solid cherry top which overhangs the casework by 2-1⁄2″ at the ends and 5/8″ at the front.
I started with the easy stuff. I built the plinth using solid cherry for the front and sides for durability on these high traffic parts and cherry veneered plywood for the back and middle parts.
I decided to spline the mitered front corners and plowed dadoes for the cross members, then used a fun little trick called glue blocks to reinforce all the corners. As woodworkers through the ages can attest, glue blocks deliver amazing strength with just a small amount of effort and material. I glued and clamped the plinth together and then allowed the glue to cure.
Once everything was set, I mounted six heavy-duty lifting levelers to the front and back — it is important to have the ability to level a big piece of casework like this — without using old carpenter’s shims in your living room!
Before I went any further with the casework, I decided to glue up the top. It is a bit out of sequence, but I could come back to it as I waited for other clamped and glued subassemblies to cure. The top is a simple, butt-glued panel. After I jointed and planed the stock, I examined the grain patterns and composed the pieces. I glued the top together and then set it aside for future attention, once I had built everything else.