Can I Really Cut It?

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Anthony Bailey

Monday, January 12, 2015

Good question! This weekend I was in my usual DIY mode and my wife, Patsy, wanted a display cabinet in a different position where it would be easy for people to see and be right next to her computer workstation. It is a shallow cabinet, which contains vintage Christmas decorations and dolls etc., but the current one was in a dark corner. I needed to make the new version before removing the old one. The construction is very basic just butt jointed and screwed together after pre-drilling to avoid any splitting. Even the case front would still fit and go back on it using hook and loop fixing as before. This holds the framed polycarbonate sheet front firmly in place, but is easy to gently pull off when anything needs changing around inside the cabinet.

There was one minor problem, the shelf above the computer desk, which holds box files etc., oversailed into the new cabinet space because it was attached to studwork in the wall in that position.

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Now, I could have reached for the jigsaw and done the cutout, but it was just one and jigsaws are noisy and a bit aggressive working on a wobbly frame and not guaranteed to do a neat straight line. I had a Dozuki type Japanese saw with a rigid back, but it had a slight bevel in front of the teeth and the back didn"t extend right to the end of the blade.

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Could I persuade it to do a through cut in the board, even though it didn"t have a hooked starter tooth like some Japanese saws? I used masking tape to draw the shape of the cutout on and made the crosscuts first. Then, I started on the lengthwise cut, taking care not to oversail the crosscuts at each end. With no hook tooth to help, I wasn"t sure the blade would go right through as I dug a pit in the 12mm ply with the tip of the blade. Eventually, it neatly broke through in the middle and at that point I knew it was all over, I just needed to work outwards to both ends of the recess in turn.

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After that it was a simple case of screwing the cabinet to surrounding woodwork, tidy up paintwork, fit the hook and loop strip and rubber P-seal to exclude dust and the job was done. The kerf made by the saw were neat and narrow, I certainly couldn"t have done the cut with a western style of saw. Now my wife has been busy filling the cabinet with goodies and I can get on and remove the old cabinet!

Until next time,

Anthony Bailey

Photographs top to bottom:

1. Yea! Breakthrough...

2. The cabinet cutout fits nicely around the interfering softwood board

3. Patsy couldn"t wait to get all her vintage collectables in place and on display

(PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANTHONY BAILEY)

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