Monday, May 22, 2017

Storage for the mudroom

It's been a long time comming but now that we have 2 kids worth of shoes, boots, coat, and god knows what else, its time for a serious storage and organization solution in the back mudroom. Taking some inspiration from cabinets I made while at a cabinet shop, I decided on a bench with big drawers underneath and some lockers and small cubbies above. When its all said and done there will be more room and more ways to conceal the mess. I had some 5/4 Ash that had been sitting around for a few years now that was perfect for the bench seat but I needed to pick up some more for the face frame and drawer fronts.

boards for the bench seat

Its been a few years since I built any cabinets this big so I was a little rusty at first. After a couple missteps I got on track and finished the bench.

Next was the upper locker section. The joinery was a little tricky on the table saw with a dado blade since some of the pieces were so long. I managed and got everthing dry fit. Next is the face frame and back.


As I said, its been awhile since I did a project this size and I forgot how much work goes into making drawers. It'd be a breeze if all my lumber was nice 3/4 S4S but I always start with rough lumber. In this case I had some 6/4 maple that I resawed in half on the bandsaw and planed down to 5/8 for the drawer boxes. For the drawer fronts I had enough leftovers from the face frame to make rails and stiles. I have some 8/4 ash that I resawed and planed down to 1/4. The planer and bandsaw got a good workout for this part of the project.
The results of a resawing session

All the parts for the drawer boxes and fronts

A crude mockup of a drawer front

Drawer Fronts
 I went with a simple stub tennon for joinery on the drawer fronts and a 3/8in thick flat panel. It worked well to resaw some 1/2 pieces off the 8/4 ash and bookmatch them for the panel. To fit the panels into the groves I decided against the 'easy' method of using a dado blade and instead went with a 'new to me' rabbet plane. I thought since these were drawer fronts and the back of the panel will be mostly hidden, why not try out a new tool. I did enjoy using it and it worked as it should have. Two points I realized thought is that the nicker needs to be sharpened and while it's not exclusively a single direction plane, redoing the fence and depth gague isn't really easy. It just means that sometimes you end up planing against the grain. The other problem I was was workholding such a thin pieces in a way that didn't impede the plane. 

Joinery for Drawers

Up next is the drawers. A couple of things about these drawers is that I resawed and milled all the stock from 6/4 material and they are 12 in deep. These two facts made it take a long time to put together 3 measly drawers. The first half of the material was 6in wide so I just had to resaw and glue up the panel. The second half was made from 4.5in wide stock and meant I needed to glue up 3 pieces per panel. I could have made life easier if I would have used some of the wider birch I have but the big stff is all 'Red Birch' and I thought drawers boxes just won't be a wise use of such nice stock. So needless to say my band saw and planer got a good workout on this part of the project. Its been quite a while since I used my dovetail jig so it took me at least 45 minutes to get it dialed in before I could get to work. Here's a great tip for everyone to remember - Make test cuts to dial in your setup. I guarantee you'll never regret it. There's no need to comment on the obvious problem in this picture. I didn't trim my test boards to a width that made for clean dovetails on the ends but I did make the necessary steps to do so on the finished drawer parts.

As you can see I still have plenty of material left on my test boards so while it took me a while to get things dialed in, I didn't have to do too many tests before I could get on with it. 

These big drawers almost max out the capicity of the jig!

It's all too often the case that a user manual or instructions  are very ineffective. The manual that comes with the PC jig is an exception. It has nice clear instructions and pictures along with some good tips to make things go smoother. I'm a fan.

Next up is spraying finish. I both dread it and look forward to it. I'm excited because it'll be the first real chance to use my HVLP setup that I got a over a year ago. It was an incredible Craigslist find. I'll give some details in the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment