I got the casters on yesterday, cutting some scrap wood board to fit along the edges inside the bottom, and joining them in with pocket hole screws from underneath. Extra sturdy now, and the wheels are all in plane with each other. I wasn’t sure how tall they were, and it was critical, as I was designing this to be as high as possible, while still fitting comfortably under my work table. I have Rockler’s digital height gauge, and it showed me they were all exactly 2.5” (actually about 2.46”-2.48” :).
I factored the wheel heights into my on-the-fly designing, and when I put the planer on the top of the assembled cabinet (w/ wheels), it was all exactly 1/4” shorter than the table’s clearance. It fits perfectly. Sweet!
The aggressive 60-grit random orbital sanding got everything flushed up pretty well, too, as seen here:
That baltic birch is always so amazing to me, after a lifetime of construction grade ply.
Note that the handles stick over, in case I need to lift it again one day. I hate picking this thing up. It’s like dead lifting. I have to stretch everything out first, shake out my hands, crack my shoulders, elbow, neck, wrists, jump up and down and wobble my head left and right, like I’m preparing for a boxing match. Then I take a deep breath, and straining, hoist it into the air finally. This cart is supposed to do away with all of that forever.
That poplar can be pretty nice looking. Here’s the drawer glue-up, all made of scrap ply and 1/4” hardboard from different projects. It’s so nice to dig into scrap, and only scrap. All my projects require trip after trip to Home Depot, because no scrap is quite right. I guess I finally reached critical mass:
I used simple rabbet joints for the drawer, glue-only, clamped tightly. With minimal sanding it was all very flush. I over-sanded a bit on the front panel, but that will have a decorative poplar piece that matches the rest of the cabinet screwed over it, so it doesn’t matter:
I cut the rabbets with 4 passes through the saw table, moving the ShopStop on the Incra Miter 3000. It has teeth that positively lock every 1/32”, so I could pretty quickly run through the cuts. No need for a dado set, or for cleaning off the currently-buried router table. I’m rearranging for better flow, so the router should be easily accessible again soon.
I’ve made a handful of drawers before, but I think this was the most sharp and clean one yet:
And now for the bad news, the ‘big mistake’ in the title. I didn’t forget, but rather completely failed to notice that the rabbet joints made the drawer a 1/2” wider, so my very exacting work gave me a glued-up drawer that is exactly 1/2” too wide. I was doing so well, too! I screwed the bottom-mount drawer slides in, and did a test fit. Each drawer slide needs 1/2” clearance between the drawer wall and cabinet wall. With the drawer 1/2” too wide, one slide fits in, as does the drawer, and then the other slide is completely out of the hole, which is exactly right, for a drawer that is exactly 1/2” too wide:
I have a couple of ideas to remedy this. I ran through a lot of options, from remaking the drawer, to routing the slides into the drawer 1/8”, to routing the slides into the cabinet walls, and relieving the front so the slides could slide in, etc, and didn’t like any option. I don’t want to buy new slides (e.g. for mounting under entirely, avoiding clearance issues altogether) as I want to keep this built entirely of my scrap, to deplete my pile, not add more hardware to the mix. My ideas are about fixing the drawer so it’s the right length, with minimal redoing of anything. I’ll post on that next, when and if it works.
Wish me luck!
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator