Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the credenza part 8 - shelving

after the doors were made it was time to get to work on the shelves.  when taking pictures in the shop, be sure to take a few self portraits so that the end user of your fine furniture knows what true craftsmen look like.

the design has three shelves, with 13" of clearance for the lower and middle shelf, and about 6" clearance for the top shelf. the 13"gap will allow records to be stored on the bottom and middle shelf.

the first step to making shelves was to measure and calculate what portion of our remaining ply could be used for shelving. the ply sheets are 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, so we have to cut them using saw horses and a circular saw with a guide that my dad built. here is the setup outside where there's room to cut these big pieces.

i measured 37" but somehow transformed the 7 into a 1 in my head, and ended up cutting 31". this happened during the euro cup soccer tournament, and we were paying more attention to the tv than the tape measure. 

this was my first mistake!!!! the night before, while drinking some wine with my mom and watching tv she asked me how the credenza was coming along, and if everything was going as i planned. she asked if we've made any big mistakes or had any hangups. perplexed as to why she would ask me this, i said that everything to date had gone smoothly and we were following the plans exactly. i then knocked on wood.

i took the time to photograph the cutting of this sheet in order to make two shelves, but didn't double check that i was cutting the right length. here it is set up to cut 31" of ply, when i needed to cut 37" of ply.  shortly after i will realize that after this cut, i will no longer have any pieces of ply that are big enough to make the 37" wide shelves that are part of my design. the plan was to cut this one piece, then cut that in 1/2 to make two shelves.

but that's woodworking. dad says that you have to improvise when woodworking. you turn lemons into lemonade, you use your screw ups to your advantage. in this case, we decided to cut two 3" strips, and glue them to the short sides of each shelf using the same biscuit technique used for the door edge bands. this way the shelves look to have more detail, and would be seen as an intentional addition as opposed to a way of fixing a careless error.

while we were adding the two strips of ply to make the shelf whole again, we edge banded the top and middle shelf, as their face would be exposed. the bottom shelf will lie flush with the front face bottom support, which you'll see later when we hang the shelves.

here's the edge band being clamped.

that one incorrect cut cost me about 4 hours of extra shop time. it also required me to glue 4 more pieces than i would have had to glue, and you know how i feel about gluing! but that is life in the shop, my mom knew this better than me, which is why she asked me about making mistakes the night before.

to make myself feel better, the next day when the glue was dry, i put the top shelf where the granite slab will eventually go. this gave me a view of the credenza that i had never seen before! the doors, the top frame, and now a top. i stood at the credenza, walked around it, set things on top of it all the while envisioning how it would be when everything is complete.

things are really coming together now!

link to part 9 - finishing and moving


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