|Project by Dan Corbin||posted 01-02-2014 03:33 AM||1550 views||1 time favorited||5 comments|
I say that these are a failed project, but they still function perfectly. I learned a LOT in making this, and I will absolutely be making another set soon, and hopefully much better.
First, I used oak plywood from the big box store. I began by cutting dados in the full sheets with my router. All I had was a 1/2” router bit to cut a 3/4” dado, so each dado took two passes. I didn’t have an 8-foot straight edge, so I jointed a 2×4 flat and clamped it to the face of the sheet. I don’t know if my 2×4 was less than straight, the clamps were letting the straight edge move, or what, but the dados were anything but consistent. What dados I couldn’t cut in the entire sheet (there was a shelf or two that had to come out of a second sheet), I had to cut those separately—my measuring was rather off and you can see that one of the uprights isn’t square. Next time, I must plan, measure, and mark MUCH more carefully.
Once I cut the dados, I cut each strip with my circular saw, which was very time consuming. Once the sheet was small enough to handle on my tablesaw, I switched to cutting the boards there. Strangely enough, the tablesaw began to rip out huge chunks of the red oak veneer, which looked awful. The blade was also getting stuck in the board, which left nice burn marks all over the edges. I’ve since learned that the saw blade in my table saw is of extremely low quality, and I wasn’t using a zero-clearance insert. I think that fixing both of those things would have made it better. A track saw is now on my list of tools I want.
Next, I glued up an entire shelf at once and put just 4 pipe clamps on it to hold it together. You can see that some of the vertical spacers didn’t seat into their dados, which made the horizontal shelves all kinds of wavy. I think this is due part to the above-mentioned problem in laying out and cutting my dados. Next time, way more clamps, glue up less at a time, and check both sides to make sure that all of the dados have seated properly.
These are all reasons why I say that this project was a failure. But I learned so much from this, and the shelves are absolutely usable (we are suing them for our DVD storage). I just never bothered to finish them since there were just so many things that went wrong.
-- ~ Dan, North Carolina, http://www.facebook.com/torahanjyuu/