Glue-up time! First thing: sanding. Then more sanding, to make sure everything was truly nice and smooth, and that all the drum sander, blade, and router marks were gone. Then it was glue-up time, using Titebond’s liquid hide glue:
Why liquid hide glue?
I prefer to use liquid hide glue for the following reasons:
- It acts as a great “lubricant”, and it actually helps the joinery slide in much more easily when the fit is a bit on the tight side, as finger joints must be.
- It has a very long open time; this is perfect when I have many areas to cover. Just take one look at the corners on this little cabinet — it has a bunch of finger joints, and glue must be applied to every one of them with an acid brush.
- Liquid hide glue, like its counterpart, hot hide glue, can be repaired, unlike modern yellow glues.
- Liquid hide glue will not interfere with the Waterlox varnish I will apply as the finish.
Clamping is a must when using finger joint joinery. I don’t use cauls when I use the Bessey clamps, as I have installed cork with packing tape over the cork; this keeps the glue from sticking to the clamp/cork surfaces. Eliminating the cauls simplifies the glue-up. I recommend you do this, too.
Following the glue-up, I always use a scraper, to remove the excess glue. Then I use a hand plane to flush the fingers to the rest of the board:
In this case I sanded all surfaces, following the hand plane. The reason: all boards have a lot of figure, and I did not want to run the risk of tear-out. Sanding was truly my friend this time.
Time for doors
Once the glue set, it was time to start on the doors. The book-matched door boards were well acclimated to the shop environment, and they were ready to cut just oversize at the table saw. Then I trimmed them to size on the shooting board:
Next: trim the doors to width, make the hinges and the door pulls, and install the hinges. Only then will this cabinet be ready for the finish.