houstonjc

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About houstonjc

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    Furniture construction

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  1. I've made chess board patterns before and have experienced the same thing when glowing them to a substrate. I think that your primary issue is that you glued solid wood (which wants to expand and contract) to plywood, which can't. Last weekend here in Houston was wet and humid, and our lumber therefore had more moisture and was expanded. This weekend is dry, and the wood is contracting. Since the squares are glued to the ply, it is pulling the wood inward from all four angles. It may flatten back out when the humidity strikes us again. I found that I needed to get the hardwood down to under 1/8 inch (nearing veneer thickness) to make sure that the expansion / contraction was contained by 1/2 plywood. If you want to use 1/4" ply, I would shoot for 1/16" thick hardwood.
  2. For me it depends on how you want the piece to fit in the room. Grain orientation can sometimes make a piece feel taller, shorter, wider or less narrower. The top drawer orientation brings the visual focus to the center of then piece, making it feel smaller in width. The lower drawer orientation spreads out the focus to the sides in long sweeping motions, making the piece feel wider than it actually is (in my opinion, of course). If you have a big room and want it to feel like a big piece, I'd go with the lower orientation. If you don't have a ton of space and want it to at least feel smaller, I'd go with the top orientation.
  3. 2. I really like the look of the legs above the top. As others have said, it could create movement issues in a solid top. One option is to mortise in small squares of wood in the top to just make it look like the legs are extending through. You get the look without the structural issues (though I'm sure some would find this approach distasteful). 4. To me the skirt height seems awkward. As few inches higher and you impart a light, elegant feel to the case. A bit lower, and you create a feeling of weight and stoutness. Check out the buffet I just completed recently as a non-sketchup example. In this case, the skirt is 4" from the ground. My buffet and your share a lot of similar design elements, so it may give 6ounsomw more ideas. As others have said, maple and cherry will contrast really significantly down the road. Make sure you want that combination for the long run. I went with Walnut and bubinga, where the contrast will actually lesson over time as the bubinga darkens.
  4. Thanks for the kind words! I definitely wanted to have the grain all moving in the same direction in the front to make the piece feel longer and lower than it is. This would have worked out a bit better if I had not accidentally cut all of my lower rail nortises 2 inches below I intended. Doing that forced me to make the casework larger (taller) than intended, and makes the grain orientation look just a bit off. I tried to address this some by making my stiles a little skinnier and my rails a bit wider to retain some of the originally intended look. In the end I think it worked out well.
  5. Thanks! I looked at hundreds of buffet pictures before landing on a final design, so it's quite possible we had similar inspirations.
  6. Done just in time for Christmas is this walnut and bubinga buffet. I used mostly hardwood for the project (walnut, bubinga, and maple for the drawers) as well as walnut plywood for the side and back panels. Joinery is primarily mortise and tenon, with some rabbet joints for the shelves, and a few pocket holes for the interior vertical panel (the pocket holes will be well hidden). For finish, I used a home-mixed shellac for interior components, and an oil based poly for the exterior. I normally try to avoid stain, but I did apply a mild stain on the walnut to match the chairs in the room. The legs have a pretty significant curve inward, and the lower rails on all sides include a craftsman-style curve. I borrowed these design elements from the dining table legs that I built last year (shown below). The top was made from three solid pieces of walnut, with knot holes included. I filled he knots with tinted epoxy, and sanded them smooth. Below you can see the curved stretcher on the table, which influenced the curves at the bottom of the buffet. I was not please with the plywood I used on this project. Even with only light 320 sanding, it showed witness marks from the glue used in the plywood. I tried sanding through the marks on a piece of scrap, but ended up burning through the veneer. If I were to do this scale of project again, I would either use shop made veneer, or I would buy thick veneer to use. The bubinga panels are continuous from right to left, and ar bookmatched from a single board. As with the drawers, I chose the darker material for the center of the case, with lighter material above and below that. The doors are simple frame and panel doors assembled using mortise and tenon joints and a groove for the panels. I was very please (and a little surprised) by the consistency of the gaps between these drawers. I used playing cards to get the spacing right, and attached them with screws to the drawer boxes. I chose a step-down aproach for the piece. The front of the top, legs, frmae and drawers are all inset from one another. This was to give thepiece some visual interest, but was borne from a mostly practical concern. I was worried about my ability to make my drawers perfectly square and coplaner to the front of the piece by insetting them 1/4" from the frame, i was able to hid very minor imperfections in thedrawers. This will mean that there is some exposed walnut that the rails will ride against when opening the drawers, but only time will tell how much wear damage this will do to the finish. I used Brusso hinges for the doors, and champagne-colored hardware for all of the pulls. I experimented with my version of "speed dovetailing", which means spending about 1 to 1.5 hours per drawer. That left some gaps, but I was overall pleased with my pace and the results. I elected to leave any gaps that remained. I cut all dovetails by hand, but used the Katz Moses jig for them all. I gang cut the tails. I then clamped the heck out of them to try to force them into square (they ended up being very close). This was my first time rubbing out shellac with steel wool and wax, and I was amazed at how smooth everything ended up. Here's the webframe construction I used. I mortised the hinges into the front of the case, and rested them on cleats glued to the back of the case. After building drawer boxes, I then installed the right-hand drawer guides, using playing carts to shim them out to ensure the drawer fronts were flush with the front of the case. Once they were dried, I put the boxes into the opening, and installed the left-and drawer guides. This helped to take the boxes (which weren't perfectly square), and still make them run well. I mirrored my liquor cabinet (below) with a 3" bevel on the underside of the top. This ties the two pieces together really well. I "cut" the bevel away with a #4 plane. I included an adjustable shelf to increase storage flexibility. It was made from 1/2" walnut plywood with a 3/4" solid wood front edge. I found that it sagged too much, so I then glued a 3/4" x 2" strip under the shelf for its entire length. This helped out quite a bit. One of my favorite features is the integrated wine shelf, which can hold 21 bottles. I started with a sheet of plywood for the shelf, which I ran across the saw to create a series of parallel grooves. I then milled and cut small ribs to for the grooves. I tapered each rib, rounded it over, and sanded until they were pillowed. I then rabbeted the solid wood on the front to accept the plywood panel, and assembled. Here's the case early in the construction process. You can see theuse of pocket holes on the vertical divider here. Some of the raw material. Here she is in her final home in the corner of the dining room. Dining room is complete. I made the buffet, table, and liquor cabinet. I outsourced the chairs, but you never know; I may tackle those myself at some point in the future.
  7. You're effectively pore filling with finish (it's a small crack, but it's acting the same as a pore). I've done this successfully with wipe on poly. However, I think you'll need to sand back the entire table some. Not enough to burn through the finish and get to the wood; just enough to help level things out. If you don't sand back the areas around the cracks, you'll be chasing flatness coat after coat. When I did this method, i would lay on three coats, then sand back. Then lay on three more and sand back. Rinse and repeat until pores are filled and everything is flat. Then go for your final coat.
  8. Ive built the case, but I actually haven't built the doors yet (I thought it would be good to know my hardware choice first). So a quick change to dimensions won't be an issue at all. I think this is the direction I'll go. Thanks!
  9. I think I'm in love with the hinge strip idea, Chet. Thanks! That definitely opens up my options for specific hinges.
  10. Sorry I did mean soss hinges. Head wasn't screwed on straight when I posted. I've edited the post.
  11. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas. I'm not opposed to the square knuckle on the brusso hinges; if anything, a squared off barrel end is going to make for a cleaner mortise and installation. I fear that with most rounded butt hinges, the design of the hinge may not allow the barrel itself to be partially mortised into the case (or the door may not be opened). I'm also not confident that it will look good to have a squared mortise with a rounded barrel. I probably don't want to go much lighter. The doors will be about 22 inches wide and 20 inches tall. That's not huge, but I want to make sure I don't get sag.
  12. I'm building a buffet out of walnut and bubinga, and i need some help on what kind of hinges to use on the inset cabinet doors. What makes it challenging is that the left door is inset from the leg by 1/4", whereas the right door is flush with the rest of the front frame of the cabinet. There is not sufficient interior structure to add european style cabinet hinges. I would ideally like to use traditional brass butt hinges (I have other matching furniture in the room that uses these), but the left hinges would need to have the pin mortised into the leg, since the door is inset from the leg. I think these brusso hinges would work (https://www.brusso.com/jb-107/) since they have a squared off barrel area, but I'd rather not spend over $100 in hardware. Alternatievely, I guess offset knife hinges are an option, but they are really intimidating, and I'm not always the greatest with hardware alignment. The inability to adjust knife hinges seems like a recipe for disaster. Finally, these soss hinges seem like a potential option; has anybody sued these and have any thoughts? http://www.leevalley.com/us/hardware/page.aspx?p=62129&cat=3,41241,62129 Any thoughts or alternatives would be greatly appreciated!
  13. Amen, Coop. We can't even attract a Lee valley or lie neilson traveling showcase in this town; there's no place to try out hand tools before buying them (other than woodcraft brand tools at their Southwest store). There was a The Woodworking Shows event a couple of years ago, but we appear to be off the rotation these days. At least we've got a good selection of lumber.
  14. I'm between projects and the shop is finally clean, so I thought I'd show it off. We bought the house in no small part of the garage. It came fully loaded with heat, AC (important in Texas) and a bathroom, though I rarely run the AC due to cost. In addition to there bays (2 of which usually hold cars), the builders added a 23'x11' raised extension on the back. It holds most of the shop. I added in more electrical and lots more LED lights. I don't have a proper bench, but have built a large torsion box assembly table. I've added a pipe wrench moxon vise and machinist vise for now. It's built on top of an old flakeboard desk. I love my Grizzly G0490x. Have a big jointer is extremely helpful. I moved from a Kobalt jobsite saw to a pro sawstop. it makes a HUGE difference. This saw is great. I organized the shop to have a long clear isleway. I don't have a ton of room, but it works. My bandsaw, router table, and dust collector are hooked up as a trio, allowing for easy access to everything (I'm waiting on replacement dust bags). I put the air cleaner near the collector to help collect any fines that come out of the bag. This router table is too tall, and it makes it awkward, but it works for now. Hidden air compressor! The Porter Cable drill press is great for the money. . I made this dust separator cart for sanding. I'm not happy with the form factor; it just takes up too much room. I need to find a better solution, but it will work for now. I built a flip top cart to hold my planer and spindle sander. Sandpaper storage is down below. This large storage rack served its purpose when I had mostly benchtop tools. I'm looking to build some other storage so I can get rid of this and build a proper bench. PPE and misc. tools. Blades and tape A quick and dirty wall hanging tool cabinet. I'll remake thsi out of nice wood and with better internal storage after I've built up my handtool arsenal a bit more. I keep some reference charts on it, as well as whatever current plans that I'm working on. I'd like to add a couple more planes, a few specialty chisels, a router plane, and some more marking tools. Once I've got them, I'll rebuild this to be a bit nicer and more space-efficient. My primary bench is another part of that old desk with some MDF on top. It moves around too much for planing, unfortunately. The garage came with these built in MDF shelves. I converted a few to drawers. I may rip all of these out and built a utility bench for sharpening and such, with a proper bank of drawers below and cabinets above. Portable power tools. Do I need a 5th router? I think so. I'm making use of the pillar in the shop to store clamps. This definitely keeps them out of the way. I've got to update this clamp rack to hold more pipe racks now that I've moved the parallel clamps. I built small and monster sized table saw sleds. They work well. The lumber rack loaded down with walnut for the next project. The most important thing in my shop
  15. Thanks, Jim. For the trays, I first cut off the front and back, then clamped the two trays together and bored through the middle of them with a long forstener bit. I couldn't get a bit long enough, so I actually bored about 2.5" down, ripped the trays on the table saw, then bored the remaining 2 inches and then glued them back together. The front and back were clamped and bored with a smaller bit before glueing then back onto the trays.