I started with taking measurements of the initial cabinet and combining that with measurements taken from the miter saw itself. With these numbers in hand I created a basic plan in Google Sketchup. Usually I put together a rough drawing and some basic numbers and then I’m off to the races. This usually means I am constantly “planning” throughout the whole build. Learning to use Sketchup is helping me get away from this. I have also made drawings at full scale to see how things will look and to plan the joinery accordingly. Here’s the beginning Sketchup drawing.
After I started drawing it out, I decided I wanted to make the main cabinet mobile so I changed methods and used a story stick for each cabinet.
With plans in hand, I could start to think about material. Initially the plans called for using 1/2” White Melamine. When I got the wood store I noticed they were having a sale on 3/4” shop grade birch plywood. As it was slightly cheaper and I though I might stain it, I decided to buy several boards of it. Two boards I had cut into four pieces and the other two into 3 pieces. While I have all of the tools to cut 4×8 sheets, I hate doing it so I always pay the little extra to have them cut the boards into more manageable pieces.
So how should I put the boards together to make the initial cases? In the past I have used the Kreg Jig but things have a way of shifting ever so slightly when I use it. I could use dadoes but I really didn’t want to spend time clamping things up. I thought of using my Festool Domino but I still wasn’t having the level of success with it that I wanted. In the end, I decided to use a combination of the Kreg Jig and the Dowelmax. Using dowels would let me get the references I required and the Kreg Jig would hopefully eliminate the clamps.
While the dowels did a good job referencing everything, not all of the screws held well in the plywood so I ended up using clamps anyway.
A note of the Dowelmax…I love it! It’s really easy to use and once you get used to the various configurations, it’s really easy to get what you want. I have all of the usual joinery tools including the Festool Domino and I continue to go back to this jig. It’s not cheap but it’s totally worth it.
The cases went together fairly quickly.
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