|Project by Tim Dorcas||posted 08-14-2010 06:11 PM||3117 views||27 times favorited||12 comments|
There’s a lot twists and turns on the way to making this Miter Station. I wrote about making it here. Essentially I was tired of crosscutting long pieces on my table saw and I wanted to practice making cabinets. The idea was to see if I could build something cheaper, faster and better made than medium grade kitchen cabinets. In the end, I’m not sure how much cheaper it was but I think I made the best of what I had. The shells are shop grade birch plywood. The drawers are poplar and the drawer fronts are maple. The ultimate goal was not to build a museum quality piece but to make something nice.
Some learning lessons:
1) It took a lot longer than I had hoped. I thought I could crank this out in about three weekends. It took a lot longer than that.
2) This was the first time I used water based stains and dyes. Let me just say, I don’t think I will be using anything else. I have been following Charles Neil in his weekly Mastering Woodworking series (a great subscription based tutorial program) and he advocates using water based products. I see why. If you look at my nightstands, I think I had to use four coats of Minwax black stain; not to mention the waiting time for everything to dry in between. With the General Finishes Ebony Dye (and in some cases Black Stain), I used two coats and I could apply both coats immediately. About the only bummer is that the black is so black you can’t see the tiger maple door fronts. Oh well.
3) This is the first project I used with a sprayer – more specifically the Earlex Spray Station Pro. It made top coating much easier. And again I used a General Finishes water based Gloss top coat. That helped to speed things up as well. It dried in no time so I could add layers fairly quickly.
4) I hate sanding! There is no part of the cabinet (even the drawers) that didn’t get sanded at least a couple of times. Even with the Festool ETS 150 which admittedly makes sanding a little easier, I can honestly say when I knew I had to sand something that day, I was unhappy. Lots and lots of sanding!
5) I cheaped out on the drawer slides. Next time I will spend the money and get full extension drawers for everything.
6) Black cabinets in the shop are a no no. This is probably the cleanest it is ever going to be.
The initial design was to have the middle cabinet roll out when I had something too long to fit in that space. Considering the amount of effort that went into trying to make all of the cabinet surfaces level and flush, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.
There are a few minor things left to do including making a dust collection system to contain the debris. However I really need to finish up another project so it will have to wait.
As all projects are…this was great learning project. And I’m at my favorite part of the woodworking process, sitting back and admiring what I have achieved.
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