When last we left our hero, the nerd hole bench project seemed a bit nearer to completion. Since then, all the drawer slides were installed, the drawers were built, and the facings for the drawers were cut to size, moulded, and sanded smooth. This all happened in the week of vacation I took between Christmas and New Years. What's left to be built are the benchtop, two sliding shelves (basically two very shallow drawers) for the cupboard, and the cupboard door.
I started working on the door this morning. It is to be a floating panel door. I picked up some nice 1 x 2" maple at the Depot for the stiles and rails, measured the door opening on the cabinet, cut the maple into four pieces of the proper length, and hunted up the moulding cutter for the table saw. I have a set of cutters for the moulding head that cut both the grooves for the panel and round over the inside edge of the frame. I also have a corresponding set of cutters that cut the ends of the rails to match the profile of the stiles so that everything fits nicely together with little extra work. Theoretically.
In order to cut the ends of the rails, they must be clamped into a tenoning jig, which holds them tight and vertical as the pass over the moulding head. A runner on the bottom of the jig slides back and forth in the miter slot on the top of the table saw, and it's supposed to be a tight fit. I wanted to do a test pass on some scrap wood, but when I went to slide the jig down into the slot, it turned out to be too tight of a fit. It wouldn't go. I checked both the runner and the slot for corrosion, and polished the edges of the runner and the slot. Still no joy. As near I can figure the cast iron slab table top on the table saw had contracted enough from the change in temperature that the slot was no longer quite wide enough to hold the steel runner on the jig. Only that particular tool, though. The crosscut guide that also uses the slot fit fine. Very odd.
I didn't need the jig to cut the profiles along the insides of the stiles and rails, so I did those. Now I need to figure out an alternate method the cut the rail ends. Thinking about it, the tenoning jig is not the ideal tool anyway, at least the one that I have. It only has a single clamp to fix the piece into the jig, and I'll need to have a second sacrificial piece of wood behind each piece to prevent tearout. I saw a homemade jig in a magazine recently that runs along the rip fence instead of in the table slot, so perhaps I can build something similar that would work.