I’m building a little rack system currently, and I just keep failing miserably. I wanted to do something a little nicer than usual, so I made some 1/4” walnut pegs, and was planning to face the front edges of the rack with 1/8” walnut strips, and drill and peg through that with lighter wood that matches the plywood of the sides and shelves. To hold the shelves in, I’d drive pegs through from the outside, walnut pegs through ply sides, the inverse of the fronts. For whatever reasons – cost savings, space savings, ‘coolness’ factor, I went with very thin plywood. Not only did I keep screwing up measurements and cutting things wrong, causing me to have to change the shapes in the plans in ways I didn’t like as much, but eventually the thinness of the ply caught up with me, as clamps were bending it all over the place, and pegs were just smashing through the side walls of the shelves, even after using Rockler’s pro doweling jig. Wrong selection of materials, and lots of dumb mistakes.
In part 2, I stopped by my local plywood shop, and got 1 each of 3/4” and 1/2” baltic birch ply in 5’x5’, having them cut it to 30”x30” panels so I could work with it more easily, and fit it in my hatchback (on laughing :). The rack walls are about 24”x24”. I realized upping it to 27” would take care of the profiles of the shelving, and still leave me 3 8” tall shelf sections, so I fixed my plans, and promptly screwed up again, cutting all of the panels to 24”x24” before I realized what I was doing.
In part 3, I put those panels back in my wood storage shed, and prepared to wait until Monday to go get another piece of the baltic birch ply (almost $60… sigh). As I did so, I noticed I had 5 2’x4’ “handi-panel” sheets of 3/4” ply – 2 construction – though nice – and the others regular birch ply with okay faces. I decided to just use those. I cut out 24”x27” panels this time, then as I cut in the stair-step shapes I needed, I realized the panels, unlike the baltic birch ply, were way out of true. I had carefully checked the baltics, and they were dead-on 90° – impressive – but these were crap Home Depot grade boards, with something like 3°-4° angles at the corners. Also, the rough edges made me trim my one 24” dimension down to 23 3/4”, sort of messing my design up a bit.
In part 4, I’ve decided to go tomorrow to get another baltic birch board, and just carefully do it the right way this time. I’ve had lots of practice at it now. I can still use the 8 ruined boards and their many cutoffs, but it’ll be awhile before I find a use for this many small pieces of plywood, especially small pieces of 3/4” ply. They’d make for some pretty beefy little boxes ;)
Ever have a project like this? I feel like as I age, I’m descending into madness. I measure and check more than twice for each cut, but nothing saves you from just having the wrong idea in your head. I checked that 24” measurement 3x, but it should have been 27”. sigh…
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator