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Our Shops and Shop Projects

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

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

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

Feeder line… Pulled!

So last weekend, I pulled the feeder line from my main panel through the finished part of the basement ceiling, through the unfinished part of the basement ceiling, and out into the garage for the subpanel. Hate to even say it, but it went smoother than I expected. It went so well, in fact, that we finished about the time I thought we would, and that NEVER happens! :-)

I pulled 6-gauge 3WG cable for the feeder. Working with that stuff is like wrestling a boa constrictor, it’s so stiff and thick. And expensive, too–a 75′ roll set me back almost $200, by FAR the largest expense of the project. My buddy Dominick, who owns our local hardware store (always a good buddy to have) told me that copper prices have gone up something like 600% in the past few years. Knew I should have started this project long ago!

We did have one little hitch: I had some 30″ fiberglass rods that thread together. I bought them many years ago to scrub muck out of the chimney flue when we had a wood-burning fireplace, but they come in handy for other things like hanging Christmas lights. Anyway, I threaded all my rods together and poked them through the finished space in my basement ceiling to fish the cable through. Came up about 5′ short. Dang.

Went to the hardware store and bought three 3′ lengths of 3/8″ threaded rod, and coupled them together with a nut at the joint and a jam nut on either side. They hooked together fine, but the threads on my fiberglass rods were something odd I couldn’t match with all-thread. Hmmmm…

Time to enlist the handyman’s helper: duct tape. Actually in this case, I used Gorilla Tape–GREAT stuff. Stuck one end of the threaded rod into the female end of the fiberglass rods and wrapped that sucker with tape. The threads caught enough that I could pull that stiff cable without a problem. A little Vulkem to seal where the PVC conduit enters the house, and we were off to the Iowa State Fair to see the Blue Band and butter sculpture of U.S. Gymnast Shawn Johnson. Yee-haw!

dc

Electricity Can Be So… What’s the Word…? Fatal….

From the putting the cart before the horse department:

Last spring, I got a screaming deal on a Powermatic PM2000 cabinet saw. I don’t have the required 220-volt power in my garage shop. No worries, I told myself, with the money I saved, I can have an electrician pull the 220 and properly wire my garage for the way I use it. (Two 110-volt outlets on one wall circuit currently, plus another shared circuit for lights—really bare-bones, and never designed for a shop.) 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

Shop Reorg, Chapter 6, part 2, verse 1…

I had a chance to snap some photos tonight to show some of the progress for those that are following along (Hi Mom).

Here’s the DC in place on top of the cabinet. Disc/belt sander fits where I originally had the drill press. Should have no trouble collecting all the sanding dust!

DC in place on cabinet

DC in place on cabinet

Here’s a “before” shot of the clamp rack that I’ll be rebuilding. Similar construction, just longer with slots that are closer together so I can pack more clamps in the same area. Read more

 
 
 
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