Over Engineered

and most accurate way of drilling dowels, see photo 7.

A pillar drill will do, of course, but the morticer has all the adjustments and stops to hand as well as a rugged cast fence.

The groove for the 2mm MDF backs has to be cut to the backward slope of the shelves. I used a router with a guide bush which follows an angled MDF template, see photo 8. The front edge of the side is located against a fence - this is doweled on so that it can be flipped over for the other hand - and the jig is lined up with each shelf by sighting through a hole.

A dowel stop indicates the bottom of the cut which is run out through the sides so that the backs can be slid in, after the unit is painted.

Fitting

When the shelves are assembled they can be put together between the discs - and the filling pieces, with their angles taken from the drawing, can be tried - note that the angles of each edge are different.

With everything correctly in place mark the position of the filling pieces and use this line to position the screw blocks. These blocks should be located a touch back, so that when the filling pieces are screwed in, they pull the whole unit together around its circumference.

I screwed through the sides of the shelves into the filling pieces to

ABOVE: Photo 7 Morticer fitted with a chuck for drilling the dowel holes for the joints that hold it all together ensure all was firm, but I don't think this was entirely necessary.

The carousel slides into the cabinet from the back. Its bearings are held in broad pieces of 25mm MDF which fit into shallow grooves in the top and bottom of the cabinet and are secured with screws. The exact height of the unit is critical, and adjustment can be made by planing down the pieces which hold the bearings.

Photo 8 Router with guide bush and template is used to cut the grooves for the backs

I was amazed how easily and truly the finished unit spun, and although the gap at the top and the bottom is only a millimetre, the carousel does not catch, even if you push on it.

If I were to make the unit again I would use less MDF in the core and discs, but I would stick with the robust bearings.

The bottom bearing is the most important and I used a tapered thrust bearing that comes from somewhere in a Land Rover, whilst the top bearing is a simple sealed example, see photo 9.

I got an engineer to make me a couple of discs with spigots to fit each bearing. They should be a tight fit in the bearing so that they do not turn - an engineer's fit -where you have to hit it sharply with a hammer and block to enter It and know that once on, It's a waste of time trying to remove it.

AHOVE - Photo 9 Land Rover parts come in handy for furniture-makingl

Photo 4 Cogged discs top and bottom allow easy turning of the carousel

' ' Photo 5 Disc is centre pivoted with a bolt and wing nut to the router table, to ensure a true circle is cut

E! Photo 6 A curved fence is set up to cut the coves and mouldings on the discs

Coved discs

Cogged finger holds

3mm MDF backs f Cassette bay

Coved discs

Cogged finger holds

3mm MDF backs

f Cassette bay

  • CD bay
  • 25mm filling piece

Grooves continue so é the backs can be slid in

  • Main case biscuit jointed together
  • CD bay
  • 25mm filling piece

Grooves continue so é the backs can be slid in

  • Main case biscuit jointed together
  • Packing
  • gt; Top of cabinet

Finishing

I like painted finishes and enjoy the contrast of uniform colour and smoothness with the variety and texture of solid wood. I also think that a painted finish helps to smarten up the inside of a cupboard like this - where there are so many and varied things crammed in. But be warned, it is a time-consuming and mercilessly critical finish!

I suppose you could tnake this unit in perspex or in birch ply, and make a feature of the laminated edges, but I feel MDF is the ideal material.

There are many different finishes that can be applied to MDF but it particularly lends itself to painting.

For me, the two requirements of

"Be warned, it is a time-consuming and mercilessly critical finish!"

a good, and trouble-free finish are proper preparation and a trip to the car body shop suppliers.

As far as possible all the edges should be sanded before assembly to at least 180 grit and care should be taken not to damage the surface of the MDF.

Now, with the shelf units assembled, but without their backs, go over everything and fill any dents or gaps - heaven forbid! - with car body filler.

After a final sand I prime ail the edges with spray putty, thinned so that it can be brushed on. Spray putty has a very high solids content and, after a few thin coats and a fine sand, the edges should be smooth and shiny.

Next I spray everything with a coat of spray putty, and then spray the paint.

If you're looking to do a really good job, you can now spray a protective clear lacquer and cut back with buffing compounds -although this is not really appropriate for this job.

I use a not particularly good HVLP spray gun, and long for, but cannot justify, a top-of-the-range set up. However such equipment is not really necessary, as you can buy any colour of spray putty and lacquer in aerosol cans. ■

together

* 25mm bearer carrying bearing in shallow groove in top and bottom

4 Tapered thrust bearing disc is only a segment l

* 25mm bearer carrying bearing in shallow groove in top and bottom

4 Tapered thrust bearing disc is only a segment

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