|Project by Boxguy||posted 07-25-2016 03:23 AM||1016 views||0 times favorited||15 comments|
Thanks for looking! A special thanks for all who take the extra time to leave comments. That is what makes doing these detailed postings fun for me. I will respond to all your comments as soon as I can.
Pictured is a different kind of box. It is made to hold 36 iPad-like computers for use in elementary classrooms. Derrick teaches fourth grade and the problem was how do you store and organize a computer for each kid while not taking up too much space? This is the solution we created, a tower of small shelves with a box on top. (The shelves and computers will be numbered later.) Derrick did most of the work on this project. I just helped.
The box on top holds assignment papers. Kids pick up their assignment and their computer, and then put their completed papers back in the box and computers back on the shelves when they are finished. If the tower looks short, it might be because Derrick is 6’ 9” tall.
We wanted a design that would be super sturdy because kids can be tough on stuff in classrooms. We also wanted it to be easy to assemble, so we built it like we build boxes. All three sides are wooden I-beams. A 2×3 with a dado groove filled with a glued-in panel of 1/2 inch plywood.
Finish: Three coats of Minwax wipe on poly. 800 grit sanded between coats and a final coat of wax applied with 0000 steel wool. So we wouldn’t gum up the slots for the Melamine shelves, we used a rattle-can spray finish on the slotted areas.
Top box 14×16 x 5
Total height 52”
Side panels all 12×48 x 1 1/4
Bottom stand 3/4×24 x 24
We have made four of these towers now. That is 576 cuts for shelves. Obviously you need a system that is accurate and efficient.
Start with a 2×6, plane it and sand it and round off the front side with a 5/8 roundover bit. cut the rounded part off the 2×6 and mark it for top and bottom and which board it came from so you can match the grain when you glue it back in place at the end. See the example above. After you have cut the 36 slots in the 2×6 saw the 2×6 in half lengthwise so it is a 2×3. It literally cuts the time in half and the slots match perfectly.
We used this jig with its aluminum “tongue” to cut the slots. It works just like a box jig. Cut a groove, move the groove over the tongue and cut the next groove.
This is another view of the jig for cutting slots. Notice the box at the back of the jig. This is so the saw blade will remain covered after the blade passes through the board. When you are doing a monotonous task at the table saw you want to be as safe as you can.
Making 144 shelves also takes planning. They were all made from 1/8 in Melamine. If you cut the slots with a 1/8 inch thick blade it makes a good fit. This Melamine comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets and is sometimes used as inexpensive tub or shower surrounds. Home Depot carries it in the bathroom area.
The cut-out curve on the front allows kids to reach in and grab their computer easily. We cut these 10” lengthwise from a 4×8 sheet then stacked 4 of the 10” x 8’ sheets together and pin nailed them three times on the end furthest from the miter saw blade. That way each cross cut produces 4 pieces. We then stacked up 8 of the 10” x 12” shelves, put a pin nail in two corners, cut away most of the curved cut-out on the band saw and then brought it to exact shape using the end of a large belt sander. This way we could produce 8 shelves at a time. You look for efficiency when you need to produce 144 shelves for a project.
Derrick used the first one we made in his classroom last year, and it worked well and really was a help organizing kids, papers, and computers. The last three we made were for other teachers in his building.
Well, this is a different kind of a box, but a box never the less. Keep boxing and keep posting.
-- Big Al in IN