Door, cornice, soffit

pin in bottom of door stile

I spent a few days working at my desk recently & in doing so re-read some notes from 20-22 years ago about the Essex County cupboards. Turns out the door hinges more easily than I had planned. So today I got a few bits done. Above is the pin in the bottom of the door. The hole it fits is 3/8″. I tilt the door up and that pin falls into the hole in the bottom rail.

tilting the door in place

The hole in the top rail is bored all the way through – so the top pin simply pokes through from above into the matching hole in the top end of the door stile. Simple.


The way I had done it before the top pin entered the rail from below. The bottom pin fit all the way up in the door & then dropped down when the door was in place. To get it out, you had to tip the whole thing upside down. This cupboard will be beastly heavy. Now you just reach in above the front top rail & lift the pin up. Door pops out.

So then I could install the cornice. I’ve test-fitted it before, so I knew it worked. Just a matter of pinning the joints.

pinning the cornice

And then the soffit. The more I work on this thing, the heavier it gets.

Never to be seen again, once the top goes on

I forgot to shoot it standing up, but here it is from below; the soffit colored to match the rest of the oak.

(pt 31 Essex County cupboard project 2021/22)

8 thoughts on “Door, cornice, soffit

  1. From now on, be very careful of the rear soffit joints, they’re the ones always broken on period cupboards with trapezoidal storage units. Duh.

  2. Great to see your progress on this mammoth project. With doors hinged on wooden pins, how do you get an even gap top and bottom please?

    • Ideally there’s just enough space north & south so the door doesn’t stick. But it does sit on its bottom edge. so bound to be uneven. Not to worry. The goal is for the door to open & close easily. That’s all.

  3. Crisp looking door. That pinning from above the rail, is that something you came up with or is that a traditional 17th century thing? Thanks

  4. “Never to be seen again, once the top goes on”

    Will you leave a message for posterity in there ?

    I admit I like to leave a greeting in hidden places, be it in furniture I make or in buildings I work on — a greeting to unknown, future sons of dust.

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