My wife gave birth to our second child a few weeks ago. In preparation, we moved our 2 year old daughter from the nursery into her “big girl” room. We spent upwards of about $2000 on a bedroom set, which we are hoping will last her the next 16 or so years. I’m already disappointed in the poor quality of workmanship. We made the furniture store replace the dresser once already and I just noticed that the replacement dresser drawers are starting to hang up. I took the drawer out and found the problem. The wood that the drawer tracks are attached to is splitting and separating. Looks like I’m going to have to make another phone call. Other than enjoyment of learning and working on projects, I guess because I think I can do better than what we are shelling out 100’s or 1000’s of dollars for….well, maybe eventually.
So on to the actual project. My wife mentioned that she wanted one of those book cases that have the vertical dividers for the fabric drawers (think boxes). We looked at the usual stores and they typically wanted about $100 for a complete piece of junk. I mentioned to my wife that I thought I could spend about that in wood and make one that matched our daughters bedroom set. She looked at me and said something along the lines of “if you think you can do it, do it.” With some time off for paternity leave, I decided to get it started.
First things first, I came up with a design and got it approved by my wife. I have some experience using SketchUp at work, so I used that program. Here is what I intend to build:
I went to Lowes first to look and wood. While they had birch plywood, the birch lumber is special order only. I remembered a coworker who does woodworking say that there was a decent lumber yard in town for hardwood, so a quick google search landed me at Vetsch Hardwood. Wow do they have wood! It was a little strange driving up their driveway because it is kind of located in the middle of nowhere and the place just looks like a farm, complete with farm house. I tentatively walked into the first building I came to and was met by one of the owners. I showed him the drawing and dimensions of what I wanted to do and low an behold he lead me a rack full of birch lumber, but before a quick stop at the birch plywood. I received a free lesson on US vs import birch ply, which was unsolicited, but interesting. It is nice when people are passionate about their buisiness. It shows. I didn’t have room for a full sheet of ply, so I just purchased the lumber.
When I got home, I realized I had forgotten on tiny detail. How the heck was I going to turn the rough cut lumber (actually S2S, but with widely differing thicknesses) into usable boards?? Solution: Its good to know people with more tools than you. I made an apointment with a friend’s planer. After using it to smooth down the boards (a planer is now on my list of future tool purchases), I ripped and choped the boards to approximate size peices. I’m still undicided on my joinery method for this project, so I cut everything a couple inches long in case I decide now is the time to learn mortice and tennon. This is my small pile of boards, saw blade burns and all: