This weekend we almost got the new cabinets entirely done. We had quite a few learning experiences along the way, which I’m extremely thankful for since these are just garage cabinets. I’m not exactly making pieces of fine furniture here out of Cherry or Oak . . . but I’m definitely learning a lot along the way.
Here’s the first picture—the back on the cabinets. My daughter and I jumped in the truck and hit the local big box store for some Lauan plywood. (Ugh—am I destroying rain forests???)
One thing that I learned was to double check measurements—I laid the first sheet of the white dry erase marker board material out for the door and cut it – but realized that the 2nd piece was now too small . . . Grr. We decided to cut all the boards down to the smaller size. Had I measured, I would have split the panels in half and then had less gap in the middle . . . but oh well. I ran into a little snafu when attaching the material also.
I tried to glue the door and marker board together, but the panels were warped and the door surfaces weren’t 100% flat. Rather than attempt to glue the whole shebang together, I opted to get some screws and fasten them that way. We first thought of using the decorative kind with a cap, but when we looked, they didn’t have quite enough and at .78 cents per 3 pack, it was going to be a bit expensive. Instead I oped for #6 screws and some decorative washers, which I think turned out pretty nice in the end.
The last thing to worry about was the door hinges . . . and that’s another learning experience. I got the template out and drilled my first holes, but I didn’t pay attention to the directions. I had to go back and remove screws because I didn’t have them quite positioned where they need to be. I still need to fiddle with the doors on alignment, but I think I’ll do that when they are up on the wall and “settled”.
I had a little brain fart (if you will) on the use of the Shopsmith. I was preparing to rip a 2×4 at a 30 degree angle for the french cleat on the wall. I wrestled the blade/table combo for quite a while trying to figure out why I couldn’t get things to work exactly right on that. I finally realized that I needed to run the quill out from the body to get the table to tilt properly. (DUH!) That just goes as another little learning experience. My dad helped me align the table and fence for it when they were over last time. I got to peek at his thread drawers he’s building when I was over the other night.
It’s fun to see how we’re both learning new things in wood working—regardless of how long we’ve been doing it. I noticed a long forgotten scrap of wood in his shop—it had a couple of curves cut in it and I recognized those curves and held them up and we both remarked “that looks like a bed part”. Yep, it was a scrap piece of wood that my dad had started, or practiced doing the bed that he made me when I was a kid. I still have that headboard, it’s in one of my son’s rooms at our house. Someday I’d like to make my daughter a headboard like that too for her bunk bed.
My last “experience” of the weekend just came as I was leaving to take my daughter back home. My wife and I had a very full weekend together with her. We spent time with my parents, and the next night my sister and her fiance. My daughter got to spend time with her cousin (my sister’s daughter). I got to learn my dance routine for an upcoming father/daughter number at my daughter’s dance studio. (It’s going to be a lot of fun.) We also went to see her artwork at the district wide art fair and enjoyed a movie together on Sunday afternoon.
As we were heading out the door, I had a huge wave of angst over all the projects still waiting to be done . . . there is just so much work to be done on the house and everything else. It’s soon going to be lawn mowing and pool season . . . along with house repairs. There never seems to be enough time for everything and I was feeling kind of lost. When we were heading down the road I glanced back and saw my daughter reading her children’s Bible. At that moment I remembered what the most important things are . . . and it’s not all about what projects need done. God has me at work on some much bigger projects, and he’s teaching me all the time. Just like me fiddling with the Shopsmith, or aligning the hinges . . . he’s working on knocking off my rough edges and make me more efficient. I can’t expect to be perfect in everything I do with wood, or what I do spiritually, but the more I learn the more I can grow.
-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO - http://myoldgarage.blogspot.com