DeWalt PowerShop Build #4: Uncertainty and Missteps

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 04-26-2014 02:10 PM 2246 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: More Pieces, More Progress Part 4 of DeWalt PowerShop Build series no next part

I’ll come right out with it: my hand-tool-centric ‘trim to fit’ approach is not working on this build. Not at all. That’s bad because there’s been (and there will continue to be) re-work on the cabinet in several areas. It’s also good in a way, because attention to dimension (as read by a stick rule in this case) and square shouldn’t be dismissed in a build as unique as this.

Up to this point I’ve held the cabinet together using bar clamps, by the way. I’m not sure when I’m supposed to nail the carcase bottoms in place, or the 2×4 struts in place, so I’ve not done so. With the shelf runners in place from Installment #3, though, I could get the one shelf planned for the double box cut and installed. The one thing preventing me from making these parts permanent up to this point will be addressed (or dismissed) soon. Here’s what the graphic says:

I ripped the plywood and cut the notches without issue…

But when a brought it to the cabinet frame, it was clear…

No way this piece was going in without some disassembly. I tried lowering the front of each runner, but that was a no-go too.

So I removed them. Good news is, they each will go back in place in the right place as I have a spacer board cut that sets each end at the right distance from the carcase floor. So two steps back, one forward, but we have a fit.

The furring strip looking things are supports for said shelf, btw. Here’s the PSB with inside bottom and shelf installed (small side was not an issue vs. the larger side)

Some attention was needed re-working the leading-edge, benchtop ‘doublers’ that are shown on the drawing. I’ll spare you the gory details, but some of the material over the past several weeks moved. A lot.

That piece was remade…

At this point I decided to bring the pieces into form, not only “because it was time,” but also there’s a need for the space… A cabinet this size takes up a chunk of real estate I can’t afford to be without over the long term. So for assembly, one strut (the front) was predrilled for 2 ½” stainless screws and pulled tight rather well. Before final, though, I had to touch up a number of the notches to get the fit just right. The #92 shoulder plane happened to be the right width for the job!

The back strut was pre-drilled and nailed usung 3” galvanized ring-shank nails. Why did I screw the front and nail the backside? Basically it was overkill using screws that I otherwise want to conserve for a suitable outdoor project, so once it was clear the ribs wouldn’t split open by ring-shank, I stuck to that approach for the rest of the fasteners.
With the framework made permanent, it was on to the floor pieces for each cabinet side. Those were screwed to each rib at each vertical; 12 screws for those that count such things. All of this was straightforward enough, so it was on to the face trim.

The drawing calls for narrow 1x stock to be added to the face of rib-and-strut framework in the shape of an H for each carcase; nothing (strangely) in place to cover the leading edges of the plywood floor boards. That approach doesn’t appeal to me at all, so I’m going to over-achieve and add face trim at the base of the cabinet to be glued then nailed in place.

I cut the verticals to width then laid them in place to mark and cut later for length. When I cut the lower horizontal face frame piece things wouldn’t square up… Some checking ensued before it was clear the left-most rib stood ½” shorter than all the others. Ugh. At least it was an outside piece, but still, it has to be re-built because the missing fraction is between the drawer and the floor, where a shim couldn’t fix the problem.

The floor was unscrewed, the front strut was unscrewed, and the rib beat free from the back nail. Some quick cuts got me a piece that was much more gooder (to dimension and square!), and together it went. Put the rib in place, screwed and nailed it together and finished-nailed the face trim.

But not so fast… Face trim in place, noticed another issue! Now the floor is set back from the rib! Double ugh. Take it apart (again) so I can plane the rib face to match the floor (which I know is right). Looks like the new rib grew that missing half inch in more than one place! Unbelievable. Gotta pay more attention to my cuts, I guess. Planed the edge of the rib to come flush with the floor,

And again nailed the face.

With that done, time to celebrate, right? Huzzah! But no, another oversight. I should have nailed the toekick into place before running the face trim down to the floor, because now it’s very tough to get to. I’ll solve that at a later date. Oh, and the vertical face trim runs long as a variation from the drawing; I wanted the piece to look more like a piece of shop furniture than a kitchen cabinet.

Then it was time for the plywood backer. Not much craftsmanship here (wow, what an understatement for the whole build so far, right??), just note that the piece is more than 8’ wide so pieces were needed. There are verticals to be added that will hide the butt joints above the top, and the piece will be painted too, so appearance is not an issue at this point.

Some scrap plywood was temporarily screwed into place as a top, and a cabinet was moved into place at (roughly) the 65% Complete mark. You can see the RAS is already at home…

One more:

And that, ladies and gents, is it for awhile. The cabinet and this blog series will now be shelved due to priorities in my life other than woodworking. The PSB still needs three drawers, three plywood endcaps and three pairs of doors. Oh, and a decent benchtop along with a good coat of paint. It’ll get done, when I’m not sure, but I’m happy with where it is at present. So much to do! The saw is already more useful… So until next time, as always, thanks for looking!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

17 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1651 posts in 2474 days

#1 posted 04-26-2014 02:55 PM

I have found it quite strange how, sometimes, a measured set of plans turns out to be only a ‘suggestion’, rather than a ‘given’ and we are again building a ‘prototype’, but at least it’s a place to start.
[Insert tab ‘A’ into slot ‘B’].

” The saw is already more useful…” , that’s ‘W’ in the won – lost column. ;-)

Best Regards. – Len
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Brit's profile


7545 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 04-26-2014 03:40 PM

Look like it has always been there Smitty. Great job as usual. Your ability to recover and find alternative methods is always an inspiration.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View theoldfart's profile


10170 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 04-26-2014 03:51 PM

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Nice bit of cabinet making there Smitty. Take a break, have a brew/tea/coffee, whatever floats your boat.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Slyy's profile


2840 posts in 1857 days

#4 posted 04-26-2014 08:27 PM

However long it might be until you can revisit the completion of this particular project, I certainly look forward to it Smitty. As discussed in previous segments of this build, I really appreciate and enjoy your particular ideal and character for this shop build!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View Don W's profile

Don W

19014 posts in 2769 days

#5 posted 04-26-2014 09:18 PM

No hurry. It’ll be there when you’re ready to finish and hopefully so will we.

A good fit so far.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View ToddJB's profile


8294 posts in 2332 days

#6 posted 04-26-2014 10:21 PM

Yea for regained floor space and yea for functionality. I hope your other priorities go well and you may get back to the shop sooner than later.

Thanks for sharing.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View stefang's profile


16133 posts in 3536 days

#7 posted 04-28-2014 08:59 AM

It all looks nicely done to me Smitty. I think the adjustments you have made are a normal part of any project with so many parts. This will be a very useful addition to your shop.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Freakazoid's profile


66 posts in 2980 days

#8 posted 04-28-2014 10:52 AM

Looks great Smitty! I am looking forward to seeing more progress and definitely understand that it will take time. This project is one of my favorite plans that I have saved and I am looking forward to the day when there is enough room in my schedule (and shop!) to build it.

-- I can complicate anything

View ToddJB's profile


8294 posts in 2332 days

#9 posted 04-28-2014 01:28 PM

Smitty, when you get a chance (zero rush) can you explain your dust collection box thingy you made around the blade?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2820 days

#10 posted 04-28-2014 05:07 PM

Todd, that’s an easy one.

Thanks, everyone, for the comments and encouragement!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View ToddJB's profile


8294 posts in 2332 days

#11 posted 04-28-2014 05:23 PM

OOOHHHHH…. Gracias.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2820 days

#12 posted 05-03-2014 02:56 PM

Ahh, what a pleasure to rip now!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View terryR's profile


7437 posts in 2510 days

#13 posted 05-03-2014 11:30 PM

Nice set up, Smitty. I really hate it when life gets in the way of shop time. :)

Awesome watching you make adjustments during the build! Anyone could make a square box on a square floor with square lumber. Problem-solving is where the craftsmen ( You ) come in.

Thanks for the lessons and inspiration once again!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2820 days

#14 posted 05-04-2014 03:16 AM

Thanks, Terry!

Here’s something to try with a SCMS.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2820 days

#15 posted 02-22-2018 01:09 PM

Okay, 3 1/2 years later and progress has been noted on the PSB; rails and stiles were rough cut from some pine stock last night. So maybe an installment / update within the next week or so on the three pairs of cabinet doors needed for this piece.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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