I have far too many DVDs and not enough places to put them so I decided to build a DVD cabinet. My design is based on a desire to make a large dovetailed cabinet and the fact that I have a bunch of left over wenge, padauk and a 1/2 sheet of bird’s eye maple plywood. I am not a sophisticated draftsman and use Microsoft PowerPoint to get the basic proportions right.
In my first session:
1. Mocked up drawer using shop scraps
2. Glued up panels
3. Flattened one side using planes
4. Flattened other side using a router sled
Step 1: Mock Up
The final dimensions of the cabinet are really based around the size of the drawer which I made to hold 4 rows of DVDs in basic sleeves (I throw away the cases), with a 1/4” divider in between. Using left over 1/2” particle board, I used pocket screw joinery to make a quick mock up.
Step 2: Glue Up Panels
I then cut my stock to rough length, matched grain on the panel pieces to get a consistent match, marked the good faces and glued together. Note I did not thickness plane the boards beforehand, nor did I use biscuits for alignment. In retrospect, this was a mistake that cost me a lot of time. I figured I could align one side during glue up and just plane down the results. Unfortunately, on a large panel (24×48’), I got problems with creep and a slight twist. Short cuts always seem to take more time.
Step 3: Plane one side
With my glue up complete, I used my #4 1/2 to take off the high spots then my 21” jointer plane to get one side flat.
I am aiming to get flat enough to put in router sled for final thicknessing.
Step 3: Get to final thickness with a router sled
Since the panels were too wide to put through my 14” planer, I decided to build a router sled. Again using left over scrapes, I cut a set of 8”x60” strips and cut biscuit slots every 6”.
Which I could join into L shaped “rails”
I put the rails on saw horse on the drive way and leveled them using shims and checking with a digital level. I used to have a Wixey but I have had them stop reading accurate after 14 months, since Wixey only has a 1 year warranty and will not do anything after that, I now buy the cheaper iGauge boxes, which so far have lasted (and if they don’t I am out a lot less).
Using the same jig I created for routing dados on large panels, I use 3/4” bit in my laminate trimmer to smooth the surface.
The result is ok and I can clean it up with a plane.
If I were going to use this technique more often, I would change my approach slightly and use a larger plunge router with 1/2” shank bit. This would give me more control over the bit height and less chatter … I think this application strained my trim router. I would also use a double layer of plywood for the router sled as I did notice it flexing up and down as the bit hit irregularities in the board.
-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn