The next step is to glue the doors together. To do this in one step you need to make small tulip-shaped clamping cauls as shown in the diagram. These cauls push the miters together no matter where the clamping pressure comes from. The other neat thing about these cauls is that you use a length of rope to provide the pressure. Simply twist a small stick into the rope like you would on a bow saw, and turn it until you get as much or as little pressure as you want. After the glue is dry, remove the clamps and clean up the doors with a chisel and plane.
Covering the Edges
When you’re done with the doors, go ahead and add some solid wood edging to the top piece. Cut the 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ edging for the top, miter the edging and attach it to the top piece with biscuits. Now cut the chamfer on the front and sides as shown in the diagram.
By now the case is ready for the edging. Cut the edging from 13/16″-thick stock in 1/32″-thick strips. Rip this edging from a wider piece of wood. To be on the safe side, rip the edging on the outside edge of the blade — don’t set your fence for 1/32″ and cut it that way. You apply this edging the same way you apply commercial iron-on edging: using adhesive and heat. The only difference is you supply the yellow glue and the edging as shown in the photo. Glue the long edges to the case first. Clean them up with a chisel and file. Cut the edging for the shelves and apply them next.
Screw the top in place, plug the holes and cut the plugs flush. Now fit the doors in their openings. The object is to have a 1/16″ gap all the way around. Hang the doors using loose pin hinges (these will make the doors easier to install). One problem these hinges cause with a small gap is that one edge can bind against the partition. You can remedy this by planing or sanding a little radius on that inside edge to make the door swing freely. Install the pulls and make a couple of shop-made stops with rare-earth magnets. Nail and glue the stops behind the screw heads on the door pulls and use them to hold the door closed.
Make the feet from a glued-up “L”-shaped piece of solid wood. Rip a 45-degree bevel on two pieces of 3/4″ x 2-1/2″ x 25″ maple. Biscuit them together and glue them up using the rope and cauls you used on the doors. It’s possible to use one long piece of rope to do the entire glue-up. Just keep knotting the rope strategically and re-wrapping it around the next caul. Cut the feet to length and cut a 1/8″ x 1/8″ rabbet in the top outside edge of each foot. Cut the tapered profile shown in the diagram. Glue and nail a corner block to the inside corner of each foot. This block allows you to screw the foot to the bottom of the case. Glue and screw the foot flush to the case corners.
CD Drawer and Finish
The last casework to do is make the CD storage drawer. It’s basically a small plywood box that accommodates plastic CD racks that screw into the box sides. Make a note that you have to cut these plastic rails down one space to fit the design of the tower.
Make the drawer front first. Simply take the front piece and cut a 1″ x 1/32″ rabbet on the front of the door. Apply veneer to the small rabbet, simulating the outline of a door with a solid panel and apply iron on edging to the top and side edges. The front requires stopped grooves be routed in its back side. Do this using a router in a router table. Build the box according to the diagram and hang it in the case using 1/2″ drawer slides on only one side of the box. This opens up the other side for the CD racks. Screw them in place and make sure a CD fits OK.
Sand the entire unit. Apply three coats of clear finish. Finish the back separately and install it when you’re done. This makes finishing easier.
When the finishing is done, it’s time to “glaze” the doors using silicone. For this project, it was just as easy to use Plexiglas. Re-hang the doors when the silicone is dry and you’re ready to clear off that computer desk to get the day’s work done. PW
Jim Stuard is a former assocaite editor for Popular Woodworking.