Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tool Cabinet Design Tweaks

Improved Tool Cabinet Design

I slightly updated my tool cabinet design.  I needed the measurements for the dados for the rest of the internal dividers so I can cut the rest of the parts to size and plow the dados.  Once this is done (and after I buy another sheet of 1/2″ ply to re-make the back panel) I should be able to assemble the main case.

I added cubby dividers, which will be a loose fit so they can be repositioned as necessary.  I settled on 2.5″ spacing on those after measuring my tools.  All of my joinery planes will fit in either a 2.5″ space or a 5″ space.  I may end up making s small horizontal sub-divider to fit two block planes in one slot.  

I’m only using these between the joinery planes, not the moulding planes, to keep them from knocking into each other and to keep them from getting tangled together.  The cubby dividers will be 1/8″ MDF or Masonite.

Next time I sit down with Sketchup I’ll start figuring out the doors in more detail, and probably add in the drawer details too.  If you want to get the current Sketchup model you can download it here.

Improved Tool Cabinet Design

Improved Tool Cabinet Design

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments

Tiny Progress on the Giant Tool Cabinet

Two steps forward, one step back.

I re-cut the dados for the tongues — the joint that holds the sides together.  I measured everything and the dados were about .035″ too shallow overall.  I test fit the sides together and it all closed up nicely.

Then I cut a piece of 1/2″ ply for the back.  Somehow I cut it out of square.  I’m not completely used to the sliding table, and the miter gauge was slightly off — and slightly loose.  I made a series of test cuts until I was sure it was dialed in properly, although I’m not 100% confident I have the table itself adjusted exactly right.  It seems like it’s off about .030″ over the entire travel (about 6′), which seems pretty close — but it’s not 100%.  I’m scratching my head about the best way to get that dialed in properly.

Anyway, I’ll have pick up another sheet of 1/2″ ply tomorrow and re-make the back.  Then I can start fitting in the dividers and cutting more dados for the other shelves and cubbies.  I think this will start coming together more quickly now.  At least, that’s my theory.

Test Assembly

Test Assembly

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Groovy, Man

I know, it’s a sad pun.  But I made the dados for the internal dividers in the case sides tonight.  I’m glad to be able to make progress on this during the week, but it’s like 30 minutes at a shot, then I have to make dinner and review homework with my son.

Success with the new router jig!

Success with the new router jig!

The jig worked flawlessly, and the dados are exactly the right size.  I re-checked the space I need for my planes and saws to ensure this would hold everything.  It will, with room for maybe one or two more saws and one or two more large planes.  Plenty of room for joinery and molding planes.

Dados Cut In Case Sides

Dados Cut In Case Sides

I need to re-cut the corner joints, the 1/4″ dado for the tongue ended up too shallow on a couple of the corners.  I’m not sure how that happened as the other corners are OK.  I suspect that I didn’t hold the board tightly enough against the router table.  It will be easy enough to correct in my fractional bit of shop time after work.

Problem Joint

Problem Joint

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Hand Tool Cabinet Design Additions

Drawing stuff is easier than making stuff.

I needed to print out the layouts for the dados I need to cut into the plywood pieces for my hand tool cabinet, which is a real no-brainer compared to to getting the layout and cuts done accurately in real life.  With the new dado jig I made last night this should be pretty simple to do, and with a little luck and a decent tail wind I’ll get home from work with enough time to start cutting these.

Dado Layout

Dado Layout

While I had Sketchup fired up, I mocked up some dividers for drawers.  I think something like this would work OK.  Which means more dados of course.  I’m not sure what I’ll put in the drawers, but I’ll cross that bridge later.

Drawer Mockup

Drawer Mockup

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments

Quickie Dado Jig for My Router

I had an hour before I had to make dinner tonight, so I ducked into the shop to make a simple jig to help me cut the dados in the plywood case sides for my tool cabinet.  Nothing fancy.  I’m using a Freud undersized router bit made for this sort of thing.  But guess what?  It’s a tiny bit too undersized apparently as my 3/4″ plywood is a very tight fit into the groove.  Should I get a regular 3/4″ bit?  Maybe sand the face of the plywood along the edges?

I need a pair of side rabbit planes, but I’d be afraid to use them on plywood I suspect.

Simple Router Jig

Simple Router Jig

Just need a couple of clamps...

Just need a couple of clamps…

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tool Cabinet, Baby Steps

I cut out the sides, top and bottom for my tool cabinet today, and started cutting the plethora of grooves that are required.

First off, I’m not impressed with the material.  I passed on the Home Depot plywood and bought some slightly more expensive birch ply at the lumber  yard.  It’s got voids.  Just not what I’d expected for $55 a sheet.  On the other hand, the stuff that was a notch up from this was $130 a sheet.

I used the scoring blade on my table saw for the first time.  It’s on a separate crank to raise it, and it has its own motor (and switch) so when I don’t need it I just lower it out of the way and leave it off.  It did a great job of cutting the plywood without any feathering or tear out.

First Use of the Scoring Blade

First Use of the Scoring Blade

I cut a 48″ long section off of each sheet and then cut two sides, a top and a bottom from those.  They all came out square and even.

Loaded and Ready to Cut

Loaded and Ready to Cut

I used the router table to cut the tongues on the top and bottom, and the receiving grooves in the sides.  I had to use a shoulder plane to tune up the fit, but they came out nice.  I also cut a dado for the back in all four parts.  I need to lay out the dados for the shelves and dividers, and needed to step back and think that through.  I’m still waiting for the dado insert for the saw to arrive from General Canada.  If it doesn’t come soonish I have an idea for a simple jig to make it easier to cut these with a router.

I’ll pick up some 1/8″ hardboard for the jig tomorrow just to be safe, and some more Mahogany for the sconce too.  I think I’ll have plenty of kindling next winter.

Tongue and Dados Cut

Tongue and Dados Cut

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tool Cabinet – Main Cabinet Designed

Last night I re-modeled the hand tool cabinet idea I was playing with a few weeks ago.  It ended up looking pretty much the same, but I’ve adjusted the dimensions so that everything should fit properly.  The original Sketchup model was done as a single monolithic model — no components.  So I couldn’t easily figure out materials needs and the layout for parts.  This version is done properly, as a set of components with grooves for dados.  I did it all with nominal dimensions, not actual material thicknesses.  Don’t get me started, how hard would it be to make 3/4″ plywood actually be 3/4″ thick?  I tried to explain why wood is never the actual size that you buy to my 12 year old, and finally gave up.

The Sketchup model for this version is on the 3D Warehouse site here: Download Model Here

Everything here is made from 3/4″ ply except for the case back, which is 1/2″ ply.  The back will set in a groove offset 1/2″ from the rear of the case so there is room for a french cleat to hand this.  I need to add two doors, which will be 2″ deep plywood boxes to hang chisels and other small tools.  The drawer box will be a separate piece that will fit into the bottom space.  I thought about trying to layout grooves for the drawer dividers now, but I’m concerned about getting everything accurately lined up as it is.

Sketchup Model V2

Sketchup Model V2

The case corners are a tongue and dado joint.  THe tongue is 1/4″ x 1/4″.  Nothing fancy in the case, but I’d bet the glue up will be interesting given all of the parts that need to be lined up and clamped.

Tongue and Dado Corner Joint

Tongue and Dado Corner Joint

This looks like just the main box will use the better part of three sheets of plywood, two sheets of 3/4″ and one sheet of 1/2″.  I did a quick mockup of the doors, I’ll need to leave at least 1/8″ gap between them, maybe more, to allow them to swing open.   It’s not particularly fancy, but it will get my tools organized and put away.  Time to go cut some plywood.

Mockup With Doors

Mockup With Doors

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Blacker Sconce…almost

I cut the mortises, but ran into a problem.  The mortises for the rails and rebates for the glass channel are really close together.  On several of the stiles they broke right there.  Dang.

The dry fit is OK, and the rails are all in good shape. I could probably make this work with some epoxy and filler pieces, but I’m going to re-make the stiles a little more carefully — leaving more clearance between the rebate and mortise.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back...

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back…

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Quick Router Table Stand

So, I have to cut 16 mortises, 3/16″ wide by 3/4″ long by 1/2″ deep in the 3/4″ square stiles for the Blacker House style sconce I’m making.  I did a few experiments with chopping these by hand and it’s too slow and fussy for my current skills.  I need to practice more, but I also want to get this light made.  So I decided to set up a simple router table to crank these mortises out.

Step one, I started scrounging on craigslist for a ready-to-go router table.  I don’t want (or need) another project.  I found a few for sale including a nice Jessem setup, but they were all way more money than I wanted to spend on something like this.  Several folks were selling the typical particle board and Formica tops with the plastic insert on 2×4 legs – for hundreds of dollars.  Not my cup of tea.  I was on the verge of making one from scratch when I found a guy selling a Bosch 1617 router and a steel Bench Dog table top.  This is a steel top that it meant to attach to the left side of a standard table saw.  It won’t work with my saw, but a router right there would be in the way after all (which is why this one was for sale).

I started with a simple sketch.

Long, Drawn Out Design Phase

Long, Drawn Out Design Phase

I thought about making a cabinet base out of plywood, with drawers for bit storage and so forth.  But I also wanted to just get this done and operational so I could get on with my sconce project   So I decided on a fabricated steel stand.  I had some 2″ square tube on hand, so I cut app the pieces and de-burred it.

Steel All Cut To Length

Steel All Cut To Length

Then went at it with the welder.  I tack welded all the parts and triple checked to make sure they were square.  The heat from welding will easily pull parts out of alignment, and in a few cases I chose where the next weld went to pull parts back into alignment.

Tack Welding

Tack Welding

I took about an hour and a half to cut the tubing and weld up the stand.  I don’t think I could have made this in wood any faster.

Stand Completed

Stand Completed

I added two tabs to the back to bolt the steel top in place using two of the existing holes for mounting it to a table saw.  The top is completely support by the steel tubing, the tabs just provide the attachmant to keep it in place.

Mounting Tabs

Mounting Tabs

In place in the wood shop.  I made some practice cuts and the mortises are prefect.  Time to do the real parts now.  It’s simple and even with the steel base and top I can easily pick this up and move it around the shop.  I made it the same height as the table saw, so I can press it into service as an out feed support if necessary, although I plan to make a dedicated support soonish.  I need some way to store the extra router bits and wrenches, but I’ll deal with that another day.  I’ll need to add dust collection for this eventually.

Finished

Finished

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.