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Craig Ruegsegger

Why 5 of 6 drawers fit nicely

All six drawers for the cabinet were assembled over the last week. This was the smoothest drawer assembly process I can remember for any project I’ve done. Every joint together perfectly, every bottom slid in easily and fit snugly, every drawer was square. Then came time to fit the drawers into the carcase.

5 of 6 drawers

5 of 6 drawers

As you can see, there are five drawers in place. What about the sixth one? Turns out it needed some special attention. Read more

Dovetail jig tips

With just a few hours in the shop last weekend, I got a lot done. I needed to dial in the router bit depth before routing dovetails on the drawers for my shop cabinet. The jig’s template and stops were already positioned, so I loaded a couple of test pieces into the jig, and set the bit for what looked like a reasonable guess at the proper depth. You can probably imagine what the test joint looked like.

Well, you’d be wrong! It went together beautifully! I couldn’t believe it. Taking this as a good sign, I started routing drawer joints. I rout dovetails so infrequently I took note of some tips that I plan to file away with my jig for reference next time I get it out. Here they are:
➢     Lay out your drawer pieces and label the inside bottom edges. Use BL for Back Left, BR for Back Right, FR for Front Right, and FL for Front Left.

Labeled drawer parts

Labeled drawer parts

Read more

Drawers and more

The last photos I posted of the step-back cabinet showed just the carcase. In just this last weekend, I’ve accomplished a lot.  The inside of the door and bottom of the upper cabinet have laminate applied, and everything that needs painted, is. Except the false drawer fronts and pulls which haven’t been made yet.  And that’s good, because I had just enough paint to cover the carcase.

Anyway, here’s the cabinet painted and in place.

Step-back cabinet carcase

Step-back cabinet carcase

I’ve already stashed my Tormek in its new home.  Looks happy, doesn’t it?

Step-back cabinet 2

Step-back cabinet 2

Here’s a closeup of the lower carcase showing the cleats that will accept the drawer slides. I went kinda fancy here: that’s cherry plywood!

Drawer cleats

Drawer cleats

These started as 24”x8” pieces salvaged from an old project. (That’s why they’re stained.) They’d been laying around for several years, and there was just enough to cut up into cleats. Along with the material I used for the drawers, I’ve been able to consume a fair amount of scrap. (Note to wife: See, I told you it would come in handy!)

Speaking of drawers, here are some of the drawer parts, midday Saturday, waiting for final jointing and planing.

Drawer panels

Drawer panels

By Sunday evening, all the panels for the drawers were completed, except for cutting them to finished length. (Note to self: Buy more parallel jaw clamps. Then buy a few more.)  Hopefully, I’ll peck away at that during weeknights, as well as cutting test joints. Then next Saturday, I should be able to get the drawers assembled, maybe even mounted! Dare I say it out loud? This may be done in a couple of weeks!

After that, I intend to deep-clean the shop (again), placing much of the debris into the new cabinet. Then I’ll get to work on the next item on the list: a TV stand for my new big-screen!

Craig

Back to the shop (cabinet)

My wife is able to drive again, so I’m slowly relegating my role of Mr. Mom. That means some shop time! Over the last month, I’ve been in and out of the shop numerous times to grab a tool, a roll of tape, or something. The only problem is my bad habit of simply setting things on the nearest horizontal surface when  done with it instead of putting it away. So I took a half-hour to refile a month’s accumulation, THEN got started on my cabinet again.

The backs have been installed, and door latches, too. Because my dovetail jig is part of the clutter that is still waiting for a home in the new cabinet, I decided I might as well put it to use and dovetail the drawers. It’s been a while since I’d used it, so I went through the drill of mounting the guide bushing in the router, adjusting the template and stops, and cutting some test joints. All that time made me wonder if it was worth it, but having seen our dovetail showdown, I figured the setup time would pay off.

Next, I refigured the height of the drawers to put a half-pin at the top and bottom. Then I started rough-cutting lumber for the drawers. I came across a stash of enough scrap to make a couple of drawers…so there will be a mix of poplar and oak drawer cases. (And probably one that mixes poplar and oak. Hey, it’s just a shop cabinet.)

After gluing up four panels for the widest drawers (10 15/16″), I’d come to a point where I had nothing much to do, and still plenty of time to do it in. (I wish I could get to that point more often.) So I decided I might as well paint the carcases.

Still to come is milling the rest of the drawer case parts, and then making a pile of sawdust by dovetailing them.

Craig

Lack of shop time

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything about my shop reorganization. The reason is, there hasn’t been any progress. My wife had minor foot surgery recently and isn’t supposed to be walking around, so I’m doing the (read: “all”) household chores she can’t: laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, groceries, running daughter to dance, pick up daughter from dance, etc. It’s not quite as bad as “Mr. Mom” from Lonestar, but that song keeps running through my head the last month!

Later this week she’s likely to get the ok from the doc to resume “active duty”, and she’s as anxious to get back to her routine as I am. One thing’s for sure: I’ll no longer take for granted everything she does around the house.

Craig

Heating the shop

I received a message from a reader asking how I heated my shop in the third stall of my garage. Since temperatures here have been much cooler than normal, I thought this might be a good time to share that info with everyone, so here are the particulars. Read more

Joe Harmon & Splinter – Could this be next

If you’re a gearhead and you haven’t seen the current issue of WOOD (#186, Oct. ’08), get it and read about Splinter, a 200+mph supercar that Joe Harmon is building from wood. it’s unbelievable what Joe and his crew are doing. The car was on display at the IWF in Atlanta last week. WOOD mag editor Lucas Peters (who wrote the Splinter article) returned from the show and told me that he met some guys who drove from Arizona to Atlanta just to see the car!

At the end of the article, Lucas asked Joe what was next, after Splinter was completed. Joe’s response: “Maybe a wooden motorcycle.” Sorry to report that someone has beaten Joe to the punch:

Craig

Wood motorcycle

Wood motorcycle

Cabinet #2 – The carcase

Progress has been steady on the cabinets, if not as quick as I’d hoped. Lumber was procured and allowed to season in the shop for several days. Now the carcases for the second cabinet are taking shape. Pocket hole joinery makes these quick and easy to assemble. You can see the pocket holes to secure the face frame to the bottom cabinet. Note that the top is just below the bench to the left. That way, when the door of the upper cabinet is open, those two surfaces will be flush.

Lower carcase

Lower carcase

Here’s the upper cabinet. Notice the quad receptacle in the upper right corner that I’ll have to contend with. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ve got a plan for it. Read more

Young woodworkers

One of my first woodworking projects was for 4-H. It was a shoeshine box and I was probably 11 years old. My dad helped with it – quite a bit as I recall. I remember tracing around one of his shoes to make the footrest that went on top of the box. It was still holding the Kiwi polish and leather brush long after I left the nest. That project always comes to mind (and I’m humbled), as I look over the 4-H woodworking projects at the Iowa State Fair. I hoped to have more photos of them, but my camera battery died.  Here’s what I got… and remember, these are built by junior high and high school kids! Read more

Shop Re-org Chapter 7

Finally, a weekend of real progress. After finding sewer and drain line in white, I got down to plumbing in the duct work. I’m using 6″ ductwork with 4″ wyes on three of the four drops. (The fourth is a 6″ wye.) The toughest part was getting the duct from the DC down to the sill where the main line will run. I puzzled over how to do this with the fewest turns, then realized that simply by turning the DC 90°, I could get the angle I needed:

DC hookup

DC hookup

This is the first wye. I installed another 4x4x4″ wye below it to branch off to the disc/belt sander and to the bandsaw. Read more

 
 
 
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