Modern Storage Tower

Spline-Cutting Jig  Use a two-piece jig shown above. Hold the door parts at 45 degrees and gently push them through the saw blade, leaving a saw cut 1/2" deep.

Spline-Cutting Jig Use a two-piece jig shown above. Hold the door parts at 45 degrees and gently push them through the saw blade, leaving a saw cut 1/2" deep.

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.

Clamping the Doors  When you have a door glued together, place cauls on each corner. The groove in the back will evenly distribute the pressure from the rope on the joint.The curved indexing surface ensures that the clamp always provides pressure at the same point on the joint.

Clamping the Doors When you have a door glued together, place cauls on each corner. The groove in the back will evenly distribute the pressure from the rope on the joint.The curved indexing surface ensures that the clamp always provides pressure at the same point on the joint.

Details

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.

Homemade Veneer Tape To apply the veneer, simply lay down a bead of woodworking glue. Spread it out with a brush or a handy finger. Lay the veneer on the edge and apply high heat (not the baseball kind) to the edge with a common clothes iron. When you see the glue start to bubble out of the joint, the veneer is almost set. Leave it on a little longer and apply pressure with a roller. A screwdriver shaft works in a pinch.

Homemade Veneer Tape To apply the veneer, simply lay down a bead of woodworking glue. Spread it out with a brush or a handy finger. Lay the veneer on the edge and apply high heat (not the baseball kind) to the edge with a common clothes iron. When you see the glue start to bubble out of the joint, the veneer is almost set. Leave it on a little longer and apply pressure with a roller. A screwdriver shaft works in a pinch.

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

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Glazing the Doors Place the doors (back side up) onto a flat surface. Lay a small bead of clear silicone into the rabbet. The stuff I used comes out white so you can see it, but it dries clear. Cut the pieces to size and lay them into the rabbet on the back side of the door. Place a small piece of plywood on the plexi to protect it and place a weight on the plywood to apply pressure to the plexi while it sets. I used a couple of woodworking planes for this. When the caulk is dry, apply a bead to the other side of the plexi, sealing it into the door.

Glazing the Doors Place the doors (back side up) onto a flat surface. Lay a small bead of clear silicone into the rabbet. The stuff I used comes out white so you can see it, but it dries clear. Cut the pieces to size and lay them into the rabbet on the back side of the door. Place a small piece of plywood on the plexi to protect it and place a weight on the plywood to apply pressure to the plexi while it sets. I used a couple of woodworking planes for this. When the caulk is dry, apply a bead to the other side of the plexi, sealing it into the door.

Jim Stuard is a former assocaite editor for Popular Woodworking.

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