I've finished half of the cabinets for my kitchen and I thought it
would look interesting if I were to put those little square pegs near
the corners of the doors. I'm using maple and I was thinking of walnut
or mahogany pegs. I have a morticing machine but I'm not sure how to
go about it. Any advice or comments welcome.
Shouldn't be too difficult. Don't own a mortising machine, but offhand, I'd
say to practice a bit. No through cuts, do part from one side, flip it, and
then cut from the other side. Shouldn't be too hard to make a little corner
jig for multiple units.
You'd could probably use a flush cut saw for trimming the pegs too.
Saw David Marks do this on one of his shows on the dish lately. If I
remember correctly, he drilled the (round) hole where he wanted the peg to
go, and then used the mortising chisel (not in the machine), without the
center auger, to square up the hole, tapping it with a mallet to get
started. Then he cleaned up the sides with a paring chisel, and set his
pegs. I remember that he domed the tops of the pegs on a disk sander
before installation, which seemed really smart to me.
As to choice of woods - I like the pairing of cherry with maple, and the
woods seem to finish similarly. Walnut with maple seems too contrasty to
my eye, but then, I probably won't be spending a lot of time in your
kitchen. Walnut end grain takes up a lot of oil, and other finishes. Try
some, and see how you like the effect. Mahagony might exhibit similar
behavior. Or not.
Your local hardwood dealer might have some interesting exotics to consider,
especially since you can get a LOT of pegs from a board foot.
Have some fun with this. Practice on scrap, and see what the other
'interested parties' have to say about the trial runs.
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