Measure twice, glue once?

I’ve finally managed to glue all the pieces together of the main case.  It took all of my long clamps to keep it together.

Andrew’s _IMG_0899 Andrew’s _IMG_0898

 

That meant there were no more clamps to glue up the panel for the base of the cabinet. So I took a leaf out of Izzy Swann‘s book:

I put some packing tape down on the work top to stop the panel from gluing itself to the surface.

Andrew’s _IMG_0902 Andrew’s _IMG_0901

 

Unfortunately, after the glue had dried I discovered I’d measured it wrong and I didn’t need the middle pieces at all, that the two long pieces glued together would be more than wide enough. *sigh*

After the glue had dried on the case, I discovered that the glue on the top and bottom rabbet hadn’t quite set or it was just a dry joint – not enough glue. So I had to put some more glue in between the top and bottom corners and the case:

Andrew’s _IMG_0903 Andrew’s _IMG_0904

 

This time I used a cinder block as a weight to clamp it up, with some lateral clamping to make sure the case stayed square the sides didn’t splay outwards. That did the trick! The main case is now complete.

I’ve marked up the top. I want a 3/4″ overhang round the outside of the case. I also need to take into account the doors on the front of the case, which will also be 3/4″ thick, so I needed to double up the overhang. I took some 3/4″ scrap plywood (doubled up at the front) and drew round the top. NB: 3/4″ plywood isn’t 3/4″ thick. The cheap crap I have from China is 18mm which is 0.708″ – a long way from 0.75″. Never the less, it’s close enough and if I cut a little bit wide it’ll look just fine. Once the top and bottom are cut out, then I’ll route the edge and fix the top to the case. I’m planning to use some figure 8 connectors, or similar arrangement. The bottom is a different matter and since I have to rework the panel for there, I’m consider a different strategy.

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French cleats and Firetrucks

I’m getting to the final stages of my son’s Christmas present, a hook and ladder firetruck. Not the most complicated thing in all the wide world but a fun little project. It’s now got two coats of paint and two coats of polyurethane varnish, but it takes time for the coats to dry. So I’ve tackled a few extra things I wanted to do to make my winter workshop more efficient.

Firstly, I’ve cleared the top of the wood stove and put down a piece of plywood to give me some more work bench space:

New workspace

It gives me some space to put projects whilst I’m waiting for the glue or finish to dry. I’ve glued some blocks underneath to stop the plywood moving around when I don’t want it do.

Shop Projects

I need more shelf space. The footprint is very small so I need to make the most of the space I do have. Whilst I’m at it, I need to make the most of the time I have in the workshop, currently only one day a week. So I need to be able to get tools easily and be able to put them away quickly so I don’t clutter the place up. This is going to take a lot of discipline which isn’t really my forte. With that in mind I’m building some shelves that are deliberately only deep enough to take one tool at a time. The main problem with any shelving system is it can be very limiting. So I’ve decided to use french cleats. These consist of taking some strips of wood, in my case 3″ wide, and ripping it down the middle at 45°. I did mine on the band saw as I didn’t want to brave the -10°C just to make the cuts. The strips are a little wavey, but good enough for the purpose. Then you screw one or more of the strips of wood to the wall, with bevel up and the taller side facing outwards. You then screw the other strip of wood onto the back of what ever you want to hang on the wall mirroring the wall support.

The NewWoodworker has a very good diagram:

My Grandfather left me a large shelving systems with a series of “useful boxes for putting things in”. The boxes are old Virginia tobacco tins, which now contain an assortment of screws, random nails, nuts and bolts and other miscellaneous hardware. This was the first thing to get hung on the wall as I’d tripped over the shelving system twice last week.

Andrew’s _IMG_0830 Andrew’s _IMG_0829 Andrew’s _IMG_0828

 

I’ve also added some smaller shelves to the same french cleat:

Andrew’s _IMG_0834

And here’s where today’s safety lesson comes from. So I didn’t need to use clamps on the blocks, I’d used my nail gun to pin the blocks in place. I’d loaded the gun with nails long enough to go through both the plywood top, and more than half way through the blocks. Then I started on the shelves, which are made from (approximately) 1/2″ pine. I didn’t swap the nails over for shorter nails, the nails went through the pine and plywood and the end of the nail stuck into my finger. Painful but not a complete disaster.