Saturday, December 12, 2009

Job Guide Shelf - A History

I wasn't expecting to spend time in the wood shop today, but then again, until I finish this final 20-page essay for my degree I didn't expect to send any time in the shop.

The essay is not going well. I'm supposed to write and cover the knowledge I've gained in my classes over the course of the past two years, but I'm not really sure how much of that I have retained. I submitted a proposal to write a paper about the economics of forestry and its relation to manufacturing which was accepted, but I'm really having a difficult time trying to decide where to go with it. I find great resources every where, but I always seem to uncover more than I expect. My knowledge of the subject was so much less than I anticipated and thinking too hard about it has been giving me headaches and completely stressing me out. So, even though I told myself I wouldn't hit the shop until the project was over, I went out anyway.

I figured that I could work on the job guide shelf for work, which has been sitting there lonely for the past two weeks. This project is basically a 9" x 60" shelf where a collection of 5" tall books can sit and look pretty. The books that will reside in this shelf are currently sitting in a pullout drawer that is too short and causing damage to the covers. It has been annoying me so much that I want to build some sort of shelf for them.

Using scraps of wood from the shed, I started making some plans for this shelf. I found some suitable left overs and headed to a friend's house to use their power planer (this was before I decided to stop using noisy tools). I had two longer pieces for the top and bottom, and one square piece I was going to rip into two end pieces.

Having them all planed, I ripped and cut them down to size: one 3" x 60" for the top, one 6" x 60 for the base, and 2 sides that were 6" at the base, 3" at the top, and 9" tall. In short time, I had a rabbit cut into all of them to hold a plywood backing and was ready to cut dadoes for the separators.

This is where it gets all sorts of ugly. Trying to think of a way to space the dadoes evenly was a challenge. At first I tried the table good, the piece was too long and the dado came out crooked. (Looking back, I guess I could have used the circular saw with a guide...duh). I then came up with a setup on the router table that would let me space the dadeos exactly at 3". That worked decently until I had too much of the board over the end of the table, causing another set of crooked dadoes. You figure that I would learn to take the tool to the wood after the first failed attempt.

Giving up, I took the top and bottom sections back to the planer, located 2 miles away and planed the dadoes back out, deciding to glue the separators in place. I then cut rabbits for the joints (I'm still not brave enough to try cutting dove tails) and glued the pieces, holding them together with brad nails. This brings us to now.

Here it is, sitting alone on the work bench for the past 2 weeks.

(continued in part 2)

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