So I’m finally over my flu. I’ve since put almost 3 days into my project since my last update and I’ve gotten a lot done!
I made the face frame pieces for the drawer cabinet. I’m working with maple now and it took me a moment to figure out why my saw suddenly didn’t seem to cut so fast anymore – this stuff is hard! I guess that’s why it’s called “hardwood”, eh?
Making the face frame pieces was time consuming because I was working with rough cut boards. Luckily they all had one straight edge on them, so I would first make the other edge straight, and then rip them to width. I had some trouble ripping at first, but I realized that it was the blade guard that was getting hung up on stuff and moving (it’s an old saw I’m using and a little wonky). I seem to be able to keep it from doing whatever crazy thing it was doing now.
I decided to fasten everything together with biscuits, although pocket screws would’ve been a lot faster. But I chose biscuits because a) I’d already bought a biscuit joiner off craigslist when I started this project, b) I didn’t already have a pocket screw jig, c) I really don’t want any visible connectors – it wouldn’t be an issue with these drawers, but it would be with some of the other shelves I’m planning, and so I might as well get used to the biscuits. d) pocket screw holes are very inviting for spiders. Spiders!!
So I had to figure out the biscuit joiner thing. First lesson – make sure the blade is all the way retracted into the housing before you start it. Otherwise it rolls down your wood wreaking destruction. Luckily, nobody will be able to see where this happened. ;) It takes some practice to get to know exactly where the cutter is going to cut, but once you have it figured out then you’re good to go. Now I have all my biscuit slots and the face frame is ready to be joined together and fastened to the cabinet. I’ll just use dowels for the skinnier pieces. I think I’m going to stain all the pieces first and then join them together. Not all the pieces are attached in this pic, in case you notice any big gaps. ;)
I was debating what to do with the side. One side is against the wall in the corner, but the right side is visible. I really didn’t want one big smooth piece there. So I was hemming and hawing because I thinking what I might like is boards joined together with a touch of a bevel on the edges. But I didn’t really want spend a lot on maple boards when the maple plywood is cheaper. My solution was to cut the maple ply into “boards” following any existing lines in the plywood facing. I put rabbets in them and the little bevels. Then I glued them up overnight. It worked out pretty well! It’ll give the side some visual interest and make the cabinet a little more rustic. I’ll stain this up before I attach it also.
I still need to work on the top. I had to get more wood because I had the lumber guys rough cut it a tad too small. The top will be plywood, and I’ll put a rabbet in it to attach some simple molding to and finish the edge.
Meanwhile…I am almost halfway done with the top shelving section that sits atop these drawers! I’ve got the sides cut and dadoed, the 4’ shelf pieces doubled and glued together and rabbeted on both sides to fit into the dadoes. I had a little disaster cutting the dadoes in the side and realized that it is more goof-proof if I use my router. But I’m almost done with the case for the upper shelving unit – one little vertical shelf needs its dadoes and the top needs some rabbets.
I think I have one more day of cutting stuff, then I’m going to start sanding, sanding, sanding, and then clean the garage and then stain for a while. I’m at a turning point in my project where I think I’ve done all the skills that I needed to learn, and I have a lot more confidence to proceed. I feel very good about how it’s all going to come out! So excited. But man, I am so tired right now! I’m looking forward to building the drawers because the pieces of wood are a lot smaller than what I’ve been dealing with!