With my new rolling lathe stand rolling and standing well, it was time for some drawers. This was also a great opportunity to start using up some of that huge pile of free, scrap alder I got 6 months ago. I hadn’t used any prior to this, and while the smell of the lumber and dust when I picked it up brought me back to my childhood – they made me vividly recall toys and painting easels from my kindergarten – cutting it fresh smelled sweet, and reminded me a lot of something like Kool-Aid® powder. I like it :) I selected some lengths of similar thickness near the target width for my face frame:
In the last two pics in my scrap alder link above (1, 2), you can see that longer pieces stuck out the front of the shelving a bit. We’ve had some rains late last year, and early this (and this week is pretty constant, heavy rain), so those got wet and a bit moldy. I was eager to try to use some of that and see if I couldn’t sand them back to pretty. You can see the mold here:
I got a little shock when I picked one piece out of the pile and felt something squish under my finger beneath it. It was a brown widow with 2 egg sacks. Thankfully, though brown widows have much more potent venom than the smaller black widows, they are far less aggressive. You really have to want to be bitten, though I suppose this was pushing it :) You can see the little orange-red hourglass on its belly.
I scraped off the egg sacks, but threw the spider, who was fine, in my “woods,” which are just 3 Hollywood junipers in my tiny back yard. Here are the pieces milled up and pocket hole drilled. I’m getting a little burn from my saw – visible here – so a tune up will be in order soon.
I worked around the natural sections:
Here are the frame glue ups:
And the carcass glue up:
Here’s everything dried:
I’d been wrestling with how to enclose it, considering everything from full sheets of something outside to small scrap pieces glued haphazardly to the inside, but then a few restrictions decided it for me. The carcass was built to slide snugly in between the legs, so no outer panels. I didn’t want dust and chips to accumulate inside the frames with inside panels, as then there’d be 3/4” insets. I hadn’t wanted to go the floating panels route, so in the end, it was down to inset panels. I got out my little RIDGID laminate trimmer, a 1/4” rabbet bit with bearing I didn’t know I had, and had never used (don’t you love cheap variety router assortments?). It was surprisingly easy to set it up and rout the frames, maybe 15 minutes in all, including vacuuming up afterwards.
A little bit of chiseling in the corners to make them square (getting pretty good at it now), and cutting some scrap 3/16” hardboard I found in my wood storage shed, and I was able to close up the sides of the carcass with inlays. The glue up gave me a chance to use my spring clamps. I never get a chance to use them. It was fun.
That worked out pretty well. Hardboard shouldn’t move like regular wood does, so the nice tight fit hopefully won’t cause me any problems. Also good was that I was able to ROS the sides and panels to flush, and all of the mold is completely gone! It worked. I had a feeling there would be good wood hiding beneath.
For the top, I’m going to use something like 1/2” ply and roundover the top front edge. It’ll act as a little shelf under the pipes that hold the tools. For the bottom, who knows? Hardboard, ply, whatever I have laying around to seal it up so the drawers don’t fill with dust.
Speaking of… next up, drawers!
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator