March Shop Notes

March is almost over.  Weather-wise and shop-wise it’s been busy.  I was convinced to do a built-in, something I don’t usually do.  My preference is building free standing pieces.  I know the pitfalls of built-ins: crooked walls, sagging floors, cramped space, working on your knees without shop tools, and the endless trips between the shop and the job site.  This project had one additional challenge: no routers, sanders or skill saws.  It was a “clean” job site in a bedroom with carpeting.  No dust allowed.  The narrow stairway precluded any attempt at moving large pre-made sections to the site. First, one wall had to be shimmed.  Then a template had to be made of the roof to knee wall angle.  Next, plywood partitions, floor and shelves were cut, taken to the job site and installed.  The face frame consisted of 11 pieces, all of which had to be carefully marked, disassembled, and joined in the shop.  It too, was too big for the stairs and had to be assembled on site. Finally, the 10 doors and 5 drawers were made, and fitted, again requiring numerous trips.  The fine fitting and tuning was done with a block plane and the doors were hung with no-mortise hinges.  Lastly, the entire piece and all the components were given a couple of coats of Tried & True Varnish Oil.                                                                                       C. H. Becksvoort © 2011

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