Just for Kicks

After a few weeks of limited bench time, I’ve now got the top rail and kick fitted to the bookcase, which means that only the backboards remain before I can make pretty and call this project done. Fitting the rail and kick was straight forward and quite satisfying. I prepared both components an inch over-length and left them a touch over thickness, which meant that I was able to sneak up on a tight fit. I had previously marked out the rabbets in the sides, into which both components fit, using a Veritas mortise gauge. At the time, I left the gauge set to those measurements, which meant that I could mark the precise width of the rabbet onto the kick and rail instead of measuring out from a ruler.

The first stage of fitting the rail and the kick was to show each component to the carcase, and mark off the precise length needed (again, without the need for taking numerical measurements), and cutting a little off the line. I then snuck up on the fit by shooting the workpiece with the LN No51. Once the workpiece was at the right length, I took the thickness down until it fitted snuggly in the rabbet by taking fine cuts with a smoothing plane. The rail should press into the rabbets with light mallet taps – if it is overtight then the corner of the rabbet can split, particularly on the kick where the mortise is very close to the front edge of the side.

Once both the rail and the kick were fitted I glued them in position. The rail is simply glued into the rabbets, while the kick is glued to both the rabbets and the underside of the bottom shelf. Next I will process and fit the backboards, and then clean up the exterior of the casework before applying a finish.

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