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Thread: Little Shop Projects - keeping busy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    440

    Smile Little Shop Projects - keeping busy

    I may be moving this fall. Between the upcoming move and being busy at work I donít really want to buy a bunch of lumber or start a big project. So Iíve been doing a few little projects that have been on my list for a while that can get done with left-over wood from other projects.

    First, put racks on the door of my tool cabinet to hold squares and layout tools. I donít have much clearance when the door is closed, so this is about the limit of how much Iíll mount on the door. I may put a little shelf and a magnet to hold the 18Ē blade for my combination square, but I donít plan to put anything else there.

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    Next is a little tray to hold plow plane blades and attachments and the edge guide for my router plane. These are all loose in a drawer and I recently bought another 3/16Ē blade because I didnít realize I already had one. I didnít want to make something too fitted/specific so this tray can get re-purposed for something else if I re-organize in the future. This was made out of some ďrusticĒ walnut with funky grain, so there are some rough spots that would have taken a lot of scraping/sanding to completely remove.
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    Finally Iím getting started on some little shelves for screws and sandpaper. These will be sized so I can put my two boxes of fasteners on them, then Iíll two shelves that can take loose sandpaper, or more fastener containers. Iím probably going to split one of the shelves with a vertical divider so I can organize half-sheets if sand paper. Right now the fasteners sit on a shelf and I have to un-stack the boxes whenever Iím looking for something in the bottom box. These will sit in the same place, but Iíll make them so I can hang them on the wall if I want to in the future.

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    This will be oak frames with ply panels. I broke down the 4/4 stock (actual width will be about 3/4Ē by the time I square it up) for the frames, and perfectly used up a board. I will have to get a piece of 1/2Ē plywood or mdf for the shelves. I wasnít looking forward to hand ripping a bunch of oak, but it actually went fairly quickly. I ripped a board, then used a jack and a jointer to get a new clean edge for marking the width of the next rip. That also gave me a good edge to square off of when cutting the pieces to length.

    The plan is to do a rabbeted frame with the plywood flush to shelves on the inside. So, if Iím using actual 3/16Ē plywood for the panels and the shelves sit in 1/4Ē dadoes in the frames, Iíd need to set the panels into 7/16Ē rabbets. Iíll have to sketch out the joinery, because I think that would force me to move my tenons too far off-center, unless I notch out the panels or do something else unusual to work around tenons centered in the stock. The ripping and jointing was a decent workout, so Iím going to get some lunch and take care of some other errands before mulling over the joinery some more.

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  2. #2
    Looking good. Putting the fastener box on top of the sandpaper is not bad as the weight keeps the sheets flat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    440
    I got all of the frame pieces thicknessed and jointed. After sketching out joints and panels I decided to put the side panels into grooves rather than rebates. I’ll let the shelves into the stiles far enough that they butt up against the panels. I’ll set the rails that make up the top and bottom frames into dadoes on the end panel stiles and reinforce the joints with pegs. The panels that will make up the top and bottom will sit in rabbets in the top and bottom rails and will sit in grooves in the rails for the side panels. This is a little unconventional, but it will save me from having to make full panels for the top and bottom of the piece.

    I cut all the grooves with a plow plane. Every time I stop to oil the skate and fence I’m happy I did. It moves so much better. The grooves for the side panel were easy - I could hold the pieces in the vise. For the grooves that will take the top and bottom panels I got to use my highly custom sticking board. It is a scrap of plywood with a stop screwed on the end and another scrap screwed to the bottom that I clamp in the vise. I adjust the fence by finding the widest piece of wood I have lying around. Since my holdfast doesn’t usually reach, I then find some other scraps and clamp them behind the fence to keep it from moving. As a bonus, the fence almost gets the plywood sticking board to lie flat. One of these days I’ll make something nicer, but this actually works quite well and is quick to set up.

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    I clamped all the side rails together to lay out the tenon shoulders, then I clamped the stiles together to lay out the frame joinery and the bottoms of each of the dados for the shelves. There is a lot going on, so I wanted to get everything laid out before I start cutting joinery.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,811
    On the continuum from carpenter thru woodworker to machinist you're solidly into woodworker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    440
    Thanks! I’d say the standard I aim for is “workmanlike”. The closest thing to a machinist tool I have is a Mitutoyo vernier caliper, and it doesn’t get used very often at all.

    I had a good holiday weekend camping, then was pretty busy at work this week, but I got the side frames and panels made. They came out nice and square. I then clamped the stiles together and laid out the shoulders for the rabbets that will take the rails for the top and bottom. I try to saw the the waste such that it just takes one pass with a router plane to get the face to final dimension. I got about half of them, the other half I had to pare away a little with a chisel before using the router plane. I also sawed half of all the dadoes that will take the shelves. I’ll cut the rails for the top and bottom to length and clamp the sides up dry. Then I’ll measure for the exact width of the shelves and cut them out. Then I’ll use the shelves to lay out the exact width of the dadoes and finish cutting the dadoes. I won’t glue up the side panels until all that is done.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    440
    I used a pull saw made for plywood to cut the MDF shelves. It’s a little dusty, but gave a nice cut right off the saw that I didn’t need to clean up at all. I chopped all the dadoes, then test fit them. I dry-fit both the front and the back to make sure everything will go together properly.

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    After I was satisfied that the shelves would fit, I glued up the side panels. I glued the plywood into the grooves for extra stiffness. Then I decided to get fancy, so I ripped some 1/4” strips and glued them to the front of the shelves so I won’t have to look at MDF edges.

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    I’ll give the panels a little while to dry, then lay out and cut the rabbets on the back to take the back panel. I’ll use a solid wood strip at the top that I’ll pre-drill with mounting holes in case I ever decide to hang this on the wall, then fill the rest of the back with some more of my plywood. The edge banding and the back mounting strip will use up a couple more small pieces of oak that have been laying around for a while.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    440
    Got it all glued up yesterday, then trimmed the haunches on the stiles and cleaned it up today. I super-glued some blocks in the shelves for my fastener containers so they sit flush with the top. In hindsight I would join the top and bottom rails with dovetails and set the top and bottom panels in grooves. I tried just using rabbets for joinery to make it quicker and simpler, but it turned the glue-up into a bit of a challenge. Everything went together OK and I’ll put dowels through the side frames into the top and bottom rails for reinforcement, but cutting eight dovetails really doesn’t take long and it would have made the glue-up a lot simpler.

    I still need to put the back on it and paint it, but I couldn’t help loading up the shelves and trying it out.

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