Having a busy schedule and a 2 yr old does not lend itself to significant shop time. I finally took a couple half days and got some work done. Working out of my garage with a requirement that cars have to go back in at the end of the day limits the amount of work I can bite-off at any one time. My intention was to get the birch ply first and build the chassis, then go back for the MDF and build the drawers, doors, top and back. However, when I get to the local HD they have one delaminated piece of birch play, so MDF first it is.
On the first day I clear-out the cars and setup the ‘ol table saw:
After cutting the sheet goods down to a manageable size with a circular saw, I was able to cut the various parts I needed from the 1/2” and 3/4” MDF, along with the 2×4’s for the bottom:
A well layed-out cutting diagram really helps minimize waste and extra cuts. That combined with an accurate fence allowed me to plow-through the material in a couple hours and get the garage cleaned-up. As always, I have scrap left over and I probably kept about half of it for future use:
The next day I decided to assemble as much of the MDF pieces as I could before I went to get the plywood and cut the chassis pieces. So, out comes one of my favorite jigs of all time – The pocket hole jig:
This is the first time I’ve tried pocket screws with 1/2” material, and my opinion is it’s workable but has its limitations. The screws are designed for joining 1/2” material, but they will not rest flush under any circumstances. The heads are always slightly proud of the surface. I have sufficient space around the drawers that this won’t be a problem, but it’s something to think about if you’re designing anything with close tolerances. If I tried to drill the holes deeper to bury the heads the screws would poke-out the other side of my test material. Also. with MDF I needed to set the clutch setting on my drill to 2 to keep from overdriving the screws. The drawers are sturdy, and with the bottom/side mount rails I am confident they will be fine:
Once I finished assembling the drawers I went to another HD to get the birch ply. They had plenty, but it was some of the lousiest ply I have seen. Of course, it was the Chinese stuff and it looked like it had been standing in water on the edges. There was even mold growing on the ends! I managed to find 2 decent pieces of “classic” birch ply I could use (regular 3/4” birch was $39.95 nd “classic” was $34.95 – not sure what the difference was”. Time was running-out, so I cut the sheet goods down to size with the circular saw again and then took them to the table saw to finish. I stacked everything in the corner so I could get the cars in the garage (Thank goodness I have that 4 ft extension on the garage!):
This last picture is just proof you can get 2 cars and 2 motorcycles in a garage and still be able to occasionally use it as a workshop if you don’t mind cleaning-up at the end of the day:
Hopefully I’ll find time to do some more assembly here in the next couple days.
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