|Project by Scottlj||posted 10-22-2014 09:41 PM||1141 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
This effort was probably my most ambitious to date.
It’s pretty much straight out of the $9.95 plan I got from here:
The only difference is I only built the top part as that’s all I needed to put on top of an existing sideboard, and I modified the sizes a little bit for our own needs. The general construction though, such as using splines in between the back slats, etc. are all per the plan.
It’s made out of C-Select pine. Total cost of wood was about $440. And I probably spent another $200 in other items including the stain and a couple of router bits, plus a 23ga pin nailer that I wanted anyway.
It came out pretty well if I do say so myself. Some key construction points and learnings:
- I need to measure more like 5 times and cut once. I really screwed up one board and had to go back to the yard for another $10.75 worth of board I shouldn’t have needed.
- I was trying to match the stain to a lower piece. We missed. It’s ok as I was able to correct it with a second coat. All I needed to do was add a little bit of black to the stain as it turned out. But I should have gotten more help in initial color selection as that could have turned out poorly. For the stain, I used General Finishing Gel Stain.
- For the screws on the back, I went with Square Drive Finish screws from Rocker. They worked great. And they look great too; though no one will really be looking at the back of the thing.
- To make the arch in the top piece, I did something a bit off plan that seemed to work out well. The plan called for using a thin strip of wood with a nail at center and on the sides to hold it in place, then draw a line, use a jigsaw and sand the result. This seemed a bit sloppy. So I followed the first couple of steps to rough cut with jigsaw. But then, I cut a thin strip that was just thick enough to take nails right though it’s width. I just nailed it with the curve in place into the back of the piece into which I wanted the smooth arch. This gave me a perfect surface for the bearing on a flush trim bit. So instead of sanding forever and trying to eyeball a good curve, the router gave me a wonderfully smooth and perfect curve. Oh… the problem with the original plan and why they said to sand it was that in order to hold the arch, the thin strip needed a nail on the inside of the arch. That wouldn’t work for a flush trim bit. Maybe there’s another way to do these sorts of things. I don’t know. I’ve got pics of the steps so maybe I’ll put them up.
- I don’t own a miter saw. So to cut the slats and other parts to length, I build a quick cross cut sled and used an extension clamped onto the sled, and a small stop block clamped to the correct measure on the extension.
- Heavy use was made of the WoodWhisperer’s idea of… I think he calls it “relative dimensioning.” That is, I used my core critical measurements that had to be right, (such as overall length, etc.), and made sure to get those right. Most everything else I didn’t care that much about 1/16th of an inch or so, as long as everything lined up. So while I tried to be precise with things like the stop block on the cross cuts for the height, it didn’t matter if I was off by a tiny bit, as long as the sides and the slats and everything came out exactly the same. And they did! So practically no sanding or minor corrections on those parts and the proof of the method came when everything was easy to square up on glue up.
- Glue Up. Damn. Everything worked out, but I should have used more glue when attaching the sides to the end slates and lower/upper rails.
- Clamps: I used pipe clamps, but I got some silver ones from Lowes, (not sure if they’re aluminium… I think they’re steel), but they’re not the black ones, so they didn’t leave any residue. When I bought them, I bought 10’ poles and they cut them and threaded the ends for me at 6’and 4’ So now I have both sizes as needed.
- The molding was put on with glue and a 23ga pin nailer and that seemed to work out ok.
I think that’s about it. This is the most complicated / involved thing I’ve built to date so it was a lot of fun.