This project started out as a spreadsheet rather than a drawing; a series of measurements and calculations starting with the dimensions of a CD jewel case and the envelope of available space for the unit. This yielded dimensions for the dado placement for the shelves. I don’t have a table saw, so the rip cuts were made with a circular saw and straight edge.
I used a couple of pocket screws to fasten the uprights together temporarily.
Then I laid out the dado positions:
Next I routed out the dadoes with a jig I made for an earlier project. I inserted a piece of scrap in the first dado to make it easier to slide the workpiece to each new dado position.
The uprights with completed dadoes (now separated again)
I wanted to inset the back, so I used a rabbeting bit to rout a 1/2” x 1/4” deep rabbet in each upright:
The first dry fit:
I found, to my disappointment, that the shelf lengths were a tad less precise than I would have liked. I clamped a makeshift scrap-ply extension to my miter saw and used a speed square as a stop. Now the shelves were nice and uniform, if maybe an eighth shorter than I had planned. :)
Another lesson learned.
Edge banding next:
Trimming and easing the edges:
Next: Prefinishing the parts.
I predrilled and drove finish nails into the ends of the shelves. This allowed them to be suspended on long ply scraps so I could finish both sides.
I decided to try a home-brew of BLO, gloss poly and Mineral Spirits. People seem to have pretty strong opinions about this. :) In the end, I was pleased with the results. This is the first coat:
Trimming the uprights to final length:
It’s a good thing I saved this for this late in the project; I decided to alter the design a bit.
Getting 13 horizontals into their dadoes – with everything square – within the working time of the glue makes a novice like me nervous. I decided to clamp down guides to keep the first side, the top shelf and the bottom shelf square before I applied any glue. I also drew lines on the assembly table (a hollow-core door on sawhorses, actually) during the dry-fit that helped me to position the shelves in approximately the right alignment to mate with the second upright during the glue-up.
I used an absurd number of clamps for this :)
It may have been overkill, but all that prep made the process smoother than I had dared to hope. So much so that I even took a photo or two:
Adding the second upright:
This was a little tricky. I got the first four horizontals in their dadoes and applied a loose clamp, then continued working my way to the other end.
Then I applied the rest of my motley collection of clamps. It looked like a Foosball Table.
I used shim wedges and a long piece of ply scrap to apply pressure to the bottom edge:
Cutting and fitting the face frame trim:
Pocket holes to assemble the face frame:
Assembling the face frame:
I positioned the middle slat with the face frame clamped to the unit:
And put in two of the screws with it clamped in place (a right-angle drill attachment came in handy here):
Then a little sanding:
As the holes would never be seen, especially once the shelves were full of CDs, I decided to give myself a break and attach the face frame to the unit with pocket screws:
Fastening the top trim (the unit is 77” tall, so very few people on Earth will ever see these screws)’
Cutting the (prefinished) back panels to size:
Marking the screw hole locations (the spreadsheet numbers were very handy for this):
Finishing the trim and outside surfaces:
Finishing in progress: