With the planning more or less completed, it was time to decide on what wood to use. I recently acquired quite a bit of hardwood lumber, using up my lumber budget for about a year or so, so I was quite set on using what I had, rather than buying wood specifically for this project. The problem is, I didn’t really have any that were suitably sized for this project (in width or thickness). Furthermore, since I am making this cabinet small, there is a really possibility it will be replaced before long with something a little roomier.
So why aren’t I making a larger one from the get-go? There are a number of reasons, and without getting into the details, I wanted something I could build relatively quickly, I have limited space, I don’t see myself collecting a huge wealth of hand tools in the near future (I am still mostly a power tool woodworker) and there may have been other reasons that seemed equally valid.
With all this in mind, I ended up picking out a few nice 2×4’s I had lying around. With three, 4’ each, resawed in half, I would have enough to make the side, top and bottom panels. I have a few more that I will use for the face frame and maybe some of the interior constructs (2×4’s are cheap anyways, so if I need more I’ll find more).
To resaw these boards, I first scored the edges with my table saw, taking small bits out at a time until a strip of wood about 1/2” wide remained in the centre. I used a handsaw to finish the job. I did it this way because I felt it was safer than going all the way through with the table saw. I also cross cut the boards to 27”/20” lengths as well, resulting in a total of 12 boards.
I do not have a jointer, so I surfaced this rough face using my No. 4, checking for flatness with my Veritas straight edge.
Getting through all 12 of these boards took some work (still getting used to the more labour intensive hand tool woodworking), but I was quite happy with the results.
At this point, I thought I would be surfacing the other faces/sides by hand, but I was fortunate enough to be perusing Craigslist at 11:30 PM one night and saw this at what I figured was a steal of a price:
(feel free to skip this story if you want to move on)
I had been planning to upgrade my table saw at the end of this year with a $500-$700 one such as the Ridgid, or Steel City `hybrid’ saws. Recently I decided a planer would be more useful, since I already own a table saw which doesn’t especially do a bad job. I was at a stand-off trying to decide between the Ridgid R4331 (550 CAD), the Steel City 40300H (470 CAD) or the DeWalt 735 (590 CAD if I want it with the feed support, 509 CAD without).
In the end, I was about ready to go for the Steel City (cheapest, smallest…etc), but the store that sells it wouldn’t be open until the Tuesday (yesterday now), so I would have to wait. Well, later that night at about 11:30 PM, I saw a CL ad for the DeWalt 735 with feed support advertised for 250 CAD stated as `barely used’ (like everything else advertised on CL, but in this case it was certainly believable). I emailed him right away to see it the next morning, and despite his phone ringing off the hook until my appointment, he was gracious enough to give me first priority wince I emailed him first. So now I have a planer, and some money left in the budget to build a nice cabinet stand for it.
End story time
Getting back on track with the project, with one face flattened, I sent them through the planer. As shown in the photo above, before beginning the planing process I inspected the grain direction on each board and set them up on the planer so I can focus on planing safely while the machine is turned on. I ended up with some nice boards, just over 1/2” thick.
Now I have some nice S2S boards. The next step will be jointing the edges (by hand and table saw) so that I can glue them together to make larger panels.
Thanks for reading, hope to catch you again next time.
-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada