Well, after about a week and a half of really building these cabinets full time, I’ve learned a couple things.
1. I love working in my shop! I’m having a blast doing this, and am really hoping I can build things in the shop full time. If I didn’t have to trim a house again, I don’t think I would mind. Of course, part of that may be because I am getting to use my new toys, a Steel City jointer and a planer. More on those I’ll post in my workshop profile.
2. I wish I had enough work to make hiring a helper feasible. If only to help with milling lumber to size and do menial tasks like drilling shelf peg holes. I do have my little brother to help me on Mondays, but he is still learning a lot. We will see how he works out.
3. I really need better lighting.
4. I will never feel like I have enough tools! I’m really hoping to get a shaper in the next couple of months. I guess the not enough tools goes along with never enough clamps.
5. Contrary to popular opinion (well, at least, my opinion), I don’t know it all. Every day I feel like I’m learning something new, sometimes due to trying it the wrong way the first time. :) For example, the lesson of Always Pay Attention to What You Are Doing! Luckily, it was only one face frame for one cabinet, but instead of using my drawings while cutting parts for the face frame, I went off of “memory” of the size of the cabinet. So I built the frame 1/2 an inch less wide than I should of because I forgot about the panel that will be added to the finished side of the cabinet. Of course, I remembered right as I finished sanding the frame, at which point, the glue had definitely set, so I was unable to reuse the side pieces.
Another lesson learned: Always double check that your planer knives are securely seated and tightened. I came very close to having a knife get thrown, which would have caused who knows how much damage to my brand new planer, let alone possibly me. Thankfully, I caught it before it fully came loose because the planer just didn’t sound right and the test piece I ran through came out VERY ugly.
6. I really need a second dust collector! I know this could be covered under #4, but this is just frustrating. Moving my Delta portable dust collector between the table saw and the jointer and planer is a time consuming pain. So I guess, the real point here is that I can’t wait until I truly build a shop with integrated dust collection.
Speaking of dust collection, I am amazed at how much dust a jointer and planer make! I need to figure out something to do with it all.
7. I have a lot of respect for all those that have come before that built cabinets without the help of all the tools we have now. I can’t imagine doing this without tools like my Jointer, my Festool Domino and TS 55 Saw, or my Kreg jig, let alone doing it all without ANY powertools whatsoever!
8. Is it normal to dream about using your new jointer? Or am I just working too much?
9. I need a bigger shop!
10. Did I mention that I have the best job in the world?!
Here are just a few pictures of the progress so far. The cabinets are all spread out in the first picture because I had them laid out in the order that they would be going up so the contractor could see them.