I ordered 5 sheets of 3/4” maple ply from Tampa Intercity Lumber (if you are in the area, they are very helpful and carry nice stock). Until recently I did not have a decent table saw (more on that later), so rented shop time from Intercity Lumber and cut down the panels to 15” widths before loading into my Avalanche and heading home.
Here are the cut down panels
For the face frames, I also purchased 32 bd ft of 1×8” maple, which I then cut down into 1×2.25”. The router profile did not look good on regular 1×2 stock.
Here is the profile
Although I have a planer and joiner, as well as several hand planes, I find 8 ft lengths difficult to dimension from rough stock and I made the judgment that the time saved from stock prep could be used elsewhere on the project. Ripped using my RAS – which can be done safely if the saw is tuned and you have an anti kickback system.
I did use the planes to clean up the ripped stock.
I also had some nice maple stock left over for a future project.
Made a test block (see the profile picture above) and then routed the face frames in three passes on my router table. Used feather boards to both hold down the stock and hold it against the bit. Made a mistake on the first couple of pieces by not cleaning up the edge before routing, thought that running against the fence rather than the bearing would be enough. Made for an ugly profile in a couple of places. Adjusted height for last pass against the test block to ensure I got the result I was looking for. Even with three passes and reduced router bit speed, I still got some tear out. Raised the bit 1/64” to get rid of the worst and had to sand out the rest.
Marked out my side panels clearly to ensure I cut the proper pattern in them.
I cross cut down the panel lengths to create the shelves using the radial arm saw. 1/8” shallow scoring cut, followed by through cut almost entirely eliminated splintering.
I then cut the biscuit joints and drilled the pocket screws for panels.
Biscuiting the panel
Biscuiting the edge
Drilled pocket screws between biscuit slots. Tried el cheapo jig to start, got bad results. So I bought an older Kreg K2 jig and it works awesome. Lesson learned (over and over again) – cheap tools are not worth it. By the time you are good enough to make a cheap tool work, you can have saved up the money (from time lost and stock screwed up) for a good tool.
Cut shelf brackets and toe kicks on RAS as well. Used Kreg jig to drill in pocket screws for joinery.
Used 150 grit sand paper to clean up panels and used 1” blue tape to cover glue areas.
Here is the last step in creating all the pieces
-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn