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Ana White Sideboard - Recommended Design Changes/Humidity

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Forum topic by nogeel posted 07-09-2015 08:55 PM 1876 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nogeel

68 posts in 535 days


07-09-2015 08:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pine joining question sideboard humidity wood movement

My wife would like me to build this sideboard from ana-white.com. I need advice on a couple of things as a new woodworker. (This project has helped justify some tool purchases and she is ready for me to pay up ;) )

1) I know projects are on her site tend to be designed for having minimal tools (basically a sander, circular saw, drill, and kreg jig). I don’t want to go over kill, but want to make a good piece of furniture that will last and handle wood movement. As someone with who also has a compound sliding mitre saw, table saw, router, and band saw are there not overly complex changes I should make to the design to improve the quality. I am still planning on making it out of pine.

2) How do I account for wood movement in the building process. My shop is a 20’ x 10’ shed on cinderblocks that I run extension cords to in Tennessee where the humidity today alone is ranging from 50 – 86%. Do I need to find a way to rig a de-humidifier out there while I am not working on the project? Are there design changes I should make? Would the kreg joints split the wood when brought inside due to change in humidity? Any advice would be really helpful.

Thanks so much. It is so great to have a community like this as a newbie.

-- Jeff, Tennessee


18 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

808 posts in 1700 days


#1 posted 07-10-2015 01:35 AM

I have a humidity problem here in FL. I cut the pieces to almost the correct dimensions then bring them into the house to let them acclimate for about two weeks.
I tried the dehumidifier and it just would not do the job in my two car garage shop. In the winter I have little to no problem.

-- Jerry

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jmartel

6574 posts in 1615 days


#2 posted 07-10-2015 02:54 AM

Wood movement problems that I see in the design:

The 2 end panels. The center slats should float in the outer frame rather than being pocketholed in as she does. The exception to that is if you shiplap the boards and leave some movement room if you wanted to screw/glue them in. Really, I would dado the frame on the tablesaw and make stub tenons on the center boards and let them float (no glue).

The top. The breadboard ends are going to cause problems if you pocket hole it as she does. I would either do away with the breadboard ends, or do a proper one that is doweled and allows for movement.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View endgrainy's profile

endgrainy

237 posts in 1353 days


#3 posted 07-10-2015 03:11 AM

I’m not sure you need this many pocket holes to make a table top:

http://ana-white.com/sites/default/files/3154805970_1330359621.jpg

In fact, you can just do a panel glue-up without any pocket holes and be fine.

Agree with above suggestion of not attempting to attach the breadboards with pocket screws.

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

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jmartel

6574 posts in 1615 days


#4 posted 07-10-2015 05:10 AM

Also, I think you can find plans to one that look very similar to that, but will actually hold up nicer over time. If you’ve got nicer tools than a circular saw and a kreg jig, you might as well go for broke. Here’s one from Wood Magazine #155. PM me if you want the plans.

For instance, you could replace the door paneling with beadboard, and instead of the arched lower stretchers you can just do wide base molding like the ones in your photo show.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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jdh122

879 posts in 2283 days


#5 posted 07-10-2015 06:02 AM

I’d forget the breadboard ends (the top is not wide enough to require them) and use a solid panel rather than frame-and-panel for the sides. Then you can attach the top with no wood movement issues, at least in terms of seasonal changes – keeping the wood stable while you work it is a differnt issue.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 946 days


#6 posted 07-10-2015 10:52 AM

Jeff,

I would keep the breadboards because in my eyes they are an integral part of the style of this piece.

IMO pocket screws have a very limited place in furniture building of this type. I know I will get arguments about this, but I feel if you’re going to build a project of this quality and want it be a family heirloom, then take the time to use traditional joinery techniques, in this case mortise and tenon. You won’t find many fine furniture pieces held together with screws. If doing them by hand is too daunting, you have a router and a table saw. M/T is a skill you should master anyway, so why not now? You could use pocket screws on the doors I suppose, but its so easy to make a frame and panel door that just needs glue so why drill holes in them?

There appears to be no apron under the top, which IMO is a design flaw. The table top is not supposed to hold a table together. In fact is it supposed to be attached in a way that allows for movement, IOW, it kind of “floats” on the base. The base is structural and should be built to eliminate the possibility of racking and that is the function of the aprons. They are usually 4-6” wide. I notice the Woodsmith version at least has a narrow apron, which is better than none at all.

As for the humidity, the issue, of course is changes in humidity, not the humidity itself.

I, too have a shop in FL and deal with this issue all the time.
Fortunately I have a climate controlled room off my shop I can store parts and pieces in while in progress

You don’t necessarily have to tote your project inside every night. There are other options.

You can use a large plastic bag or wrap the wood in cellophane.
The idea is simply to keep the wood in a steady state environment.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1077 posts in 3007 days


#7 posted 07-10-2015 04:10 PM

I had a friend tell me recently…beware of Ana White joinery. It will eventually come back to bite you on the butt. He built her farm table with a zillion pocket screws and after some awkward moments watching it go crazy in his wife’s dining room…it now sits in her garden so she can use it to take care of her flower pots and is out of view of “her” dining room where no one can see the mess.

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org

View nogeel's profile

nogeel

68 posts in 535 days


#8 posted 07-11-2015 12:22 AM

Thanks so much for the feedback and any more is welcome. On some level I think I am just going to ignore her joinery. thinking mortise and tennons for the door frames (and for the sides). Along with proper bread board joinery. This is getting bigger than I planned, but it is more fun customizing a plan and making it my own.

1) If I roughly cut the pieces and then bring them into the house to acclimate. Is there anything I can do to help prevent cupping or bowing?

2) What is the best way to make the table top? Butt joint? Tongue and groove?

Thanks again for all of your feedback. I feel more encouraged and it doesn’t feel as daunting now. If I can figure out sketch up by the time I finish planning it I will post the plans up.

-- Jeff, Tennessee

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jdh122

879 posts in 2283 days


#9 posted 07-11-2015 07:29 PM

2) The best way is to just glue them together (what you mean by a butt joint, although that term really means something else). Tongue and groove doesn’t really add any strength, although it may help a bit with alignment (although to me it’s not worth the hassle). Glue is stronger than wood, and a long-grain to long-grain wood joint is the strongest joint in woodworking. It does need pretty straight wood, though, generally made that way with a jointer, although there are ways to do it with a tablesaw or router table (and with handplanes).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 946 days


#10 posted 07-12-2015 08:08 PM

You don’t have to take the wood inside every night, just put it in a plastic bag or wrap it in saran wrap.

Wood movement is due to uneven moisture content and/or internal stresses in the wood. Its going to happen, but there are things we can do to control it. Most depends on moisture content, the wood grain and the species of wood to some degree.

If you’re milling the wood yourself, the most important is when milling take equal amounts off both sides.
Don’t ever plane just one side of a board. This keeps the moisture content balanced between the two sides.

As your milling your stock, always stay big. When I’m making doors the stiles and rails finished dim is 2 1/4” wide. I will usually start by ripping stock to 3”, let it set a couple days, then take 1/8 off both sides. All the time I’m watching for changes in the wood. I might rejoint it and send it through the TS maybe 3 times to get to 2 5/16, then I finish off with hand planes for a perfect edge. This technique will work well for this project.

Just xcutting a board shouldn’t cause any trouble.

If I’m really concerned about cupping (this is worse the thinner the board gets) I will either put them in plastic bags or wrap them in poly wrap.

Also, be aware even little things like putting them where a fan can blow across will cause cupping because its drying one surface out faster than the other.

2) I agree with the previous poster. Simply do a panel glue up by edge gluing and make breadboard ends. Be sure your boards are jointed straight. If you don’t have a jointer it will be difficult, but not impossible.
There are videos on how to do this as well as a breadboard edge.

Do you have any handplanes or chisels? If so, perhaps it would be a good thing to let us know what you’ve got and what a potential tool budget might be before you start on this project.

Sound ww’ing is a longer path to go on, but along the way, but in the end you’ll know you built it right and it will last for generations. Good luck and post some pics on your progress.
I know

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View nogeel's profile

nogeel

68 posts in 535 days


#11 posted 07-13-2015 03:55 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Right now I am working on merging the feed back I have received, the plans jmartel sent me, and the original plans to create the plan I am going use.

As far as other tools I have a set of Harbor Freight Chisels and that is about it for hand tools. I keep trying to find a good deal on a hand plane, but it seems all of the ones people recommend are quite pricey and I haven’t found a good place to a good used hand plane. So advice on other tools is welcome and where to get it as someone building up there shop on a budget. I am going to try to borrow a sears 4” jointer from my dad if he can find it. I am in the process of getting pipe clamps (I do have about 8 few bar clamps and planning on at least 4 pipe clamps). Table saw wise I am going to get a dado stack before i start the cutting part of this project.

I am not milling my own wood since I don’t have a jointer and planer. And since this is my first major project I am still planning to make this out of pine from a couple of lumber yards hear in Middle Tennessee. This does make me a littler nervous at finding long straight boards for the top.

-- Jeff, Tennessee

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nogeel

68 posts in 535 days


#12 posted 07-13-2015 04:57 AM

Thought I do have a $40 gift card to woodcraft…

-- Jeff, Tennessee

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 630 days


#13 posted 07-13-2015 05:14 AM



I m not sure you need this many pocket holes to make a table top:

http://ana-white.com/sites/default/files/3154805970_1330359621.jpg

In fact, you can just do a panel glue-up without any pocket holes and be fine.

Agree with above suggestion of not attempting to attach the breadboards with pocket screws.

- endgrainy

Her overzealous use of the pocket hole jig is a bit much for me as well. But I have to give her credit for bringing more women into the workshop mentality of building things with their hands. For that reason, it is a positive influence. We can only hope they are willing to graduate up to better techniques. Ana White is a good organizer and spokesperson for the craft. But she is not my favorite. My favorite is this April Wilkerson of http://wilkerdos.com . Check her out. She is not the average woodshop lady.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View nogeel's profile

nogeel

68 posts in 535 days


#14 posted 07-13-2015 09:57 PM

If I could get this Craftsman jointer for around $100, would it be worth adding to my shop for doing projects like this? Or should I wait for something better?

-- Jeff, Tennessee

View ZXDrew's profile

ZXDrew

9 posts in 513 days


#15 posted 07-14-2015 02:53 AM

It looks like there is a 6 inch jointer, probably HF, nearby. It’s not the best quality but you might have better chance getting it tuned up easier.

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