Gun Cabinet

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This good-looking pine cabinet was designed primarily for the storage of rifles, shotguns, and fishing rods, with a lower cabinet for related gear. If you're not inclined to hunt or fish, you will find that with the addition of adjustable shelves, it will serve most admirably as a curio cabinet.

The cabinet is made in two parts, both for ease of construction and for moving. The lower section has a shelf and plenty of storage space, while the upper section is high enough to hold most rifles and shotguns. The plans show a wood frame and glass door, which are relatively economical and easy to make. If you are willing to spend about an additional $50, an eight-light sash makes a very handsome door and can be ordered through your building supply dealer. These pine sashes are available in 156 x 24 x 54", and should require only a bit of planing of the lower rail to fit the cabinet as dimensioned.

Start construction with the base unit by cutting the six bracket feet according to the pattern. Four of these are joined in pairs with splined miters to form the front feet. The remaining two are rabbeted and glued to the notched rear pieces.

The base molding is best shaped with a router, though a separate molding can be glued to a length of % x 2'A" stock. This molding is cut into three parts and mitered as shown. Glue the base molding to the feet, flush with the outer edges, and reinforce the joint with glue blocks.

Next, cut the lower-cabinet bottom, sides, and top to size from glued-up stock. Rabbet the lower edges of the sides to fit around the bottom. The back edges of the sides are also rabbeted to hold the recessed V," back panel. Join these parts with glue and countersunk finishing nails. Use 2-penny common nails to fasten the back panel.

Align this assembly on the base so that the back of the panel is flush with the back ends of the base. The front edge of the base molding should extend I Yi" beyond the front edge of the cabinet bottom. This allows for the addition of the two small doors, which are thick.

Fasten the cabinet to the base with glue and countersunk finishing nails. Shape the rounded trim from a length of % x %" pine, mitering the ends and fastening it around the cabinct top with small countersunk finishing nails. Cut the plywood back panel to size and fasten with small nails.

Cut the rails and stiles for both lower doors. These can be easily tenoned and grooved with the bench saw. The beveled panels are shaped for an easy fit in the grooves. Assemble the doors dry to ascertain that all parts fit well before finish sand-

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ing. gluing, and clamping. Do not glue the panels in place. They should be left free to move in the door-frame grooves. Drill the corner joints to receive a ^-square peg, which locks the slip joint and provides a decorative touch.

The parts for the upper cabinet are next cut to size, sanded, and assembled. Glue and nail the sides to the top and bottom, making sure that the assembly is square as the glue sets. Add the shelf and back panel, nailing at 8" intervals. The panel fits into side rabbets and covers the back edges of the cabinet top and bottom. The filler strip is cut slightly long, nailed to the top and sides, and is then trimmed flush with the sides.

Cut a triangular strip and glue it to a 4' length of crown molding as shown in the detail. This molding is then cut, mitered. and nailed around, flush with the top edge of the cabinet.

Rails and stiles for the upper door are cut. tenoned, and grooved as shown. It's best to take the overall door measurements from the completed upper cabinet, and make the door frame very slightly oversize. Later it can be planed to an exact fit. Make sure the door is square and flat after gluing joints and clamping. As was done with the lower doors, the corners should be locked by driving in ^''-square pegs.

The double-thickness window glass rests in a rabbet formed by nailing a VS quarter-round molding to the door frame as shown. The ends of the upper and lower moldings should be copcd to fit neatly over the side moldings.

Lay the glass in place and add square retainer strips that have had undersize pilot holes pre-drilled in them. To avoid cracking the glass, push brads through the retainer strips and into the frame with long-nose pliers. For a neat appearance. these strips should be mitered at the corners.

Cut the butt and barrel rests and glue them in place. The barrel rest must be cut to suit your particular weapons. Cover the cutout portions of the rests with strips of green felt, cemented on to protect the butts and barrel bluing.

Finish sand the cabinet and remove all dust before staining the interior and exterior. Seal all surfaces with three coats of satin varnish, rubbing down each coat with fine steel wool, and using a tack cloth before adding the next coat.

Install magnetic catches for the lower doors. A cupboard latch, engaging a slot in the cabinet side, can be used for the upper door. If there are children in the house, install a cam-type cabinet door lock.

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