Got a few things built.
So after the last post about a constructive life I got on the hop and actually built a few things. Using wood and tools I already had I was able to construct my first projects of the year. I build the IKEA dressers we bought (always a struggle). Once they were build I moved my old dresser into the garage and I was able to use it to organize all my tools and random junk (30-40 baby jars full of random fasteners and a whole drawer of random things). The first actual wood project I built was a jewelry hanger for Sara for Valentine’s Day. She also got the America’s Test Kitchen Complete Cookbook (just in case the wood working project didn’t’ work out).
I took a 1×2 strip of wood and using my router I cut a groove along the skinny side. I was super excited because while I got the router as a Christmas present last year (2014), it has remained boxed up until now. I’m still no kind of expert, but I can use the straight cutter bits with a guide fence, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. After I routed the groove I used the miter saw (fully Jason powered miter saw) to cut 45deg angles so I could make a frame. The frame had some depth so that I could put hooks inside for Sara to hand her necklaces. I glued the frame together and used another cool tool, a strap clamp (it puts equal pressure on each corner and holds it together while the glue dries). Once the glue was set I put in small piece of wood to act as a basket at the bottom of the frame. That way if things fall off the hooks they don’t fall to the floor as easy. I also drilled small holes into that piece so Sara could use it to hold her earrings. It got sanded and painted, then I attached two sets of hooks, one set inside the frame, the other on the bottom to hand things down below. I fitted some glass from an old frame I had lying around and used some scrap pieces to hold it in place and it was done. I also wrote some sappy, love poetry since it was a Valentines gift. I haven’t got it mounted on the wall yet, as I’ve got to purchase the right kind of hangers (since I didn’t have any in my random junk collection).
The second project to tackle was building a table saw sled. This is wooden box/platform that sits on top of my table saw, guided by a couple of wood rails that slide along the built in tracks on the saw. These are really good for cutting long and wide pieces of wood as they allow more stable cuts and don’t require the guide fence. They are very important according to every internet woodworking video I watched about building bookcases with a table saw. I ripped a long piece of wood to make the guides. Getting them to fit and slide in the built-in grooves was a bit of a challenge, but a few cuts and some sanding did the trick. Next using the guide fence, I attached guides to the platform board. This was more difficult than it looked on the instructional videos. The first time I did it the whole thing slide about 4 inches and then got stuck. Luckily my guides were plenty long and I just moved them a bit re-squared everything are reattached the guides. Now they slide nice and smooth. I then attached two 2x4s as fence rails (it also hold the whole thing together). There was lots of opinions on how to do this among the various videos I watched, but I went simple, because this isn’t something I’m going to use every day, and if I advance my woodworking skills I’ll be happy to build a better one. With everything attached came the fun part, of turning on the saw and raising it up through the wood platform. Then I cut all the way through the platform to complete the sled. A little bit of extra sanding and some wood wax on the runners and everything seems to be working great.
Of course the next project isn’t a power tool project, it is cutting the trim pieces to add some fanciness to our basic IKEA dressers. Sara has already worked out the tea-vinegar-steel wool staining technique, so we are excited to get the trim attached so we can start the staining process. I used the miter saw a bit with the last project and found it needed to be more solidly attached to a base. So with some scrap wood and the bench dogs on my workbench I screwed it into place so that it should help me make straight and stable cuts for all this trim work we are attempting. I’ll let you know how that turns out.