Mike M

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Everything posted by Mike M

  1. I also have drawers under my benches. I use 1/2" baltic birch ply for the sides, backs and fronts and 1/4" for the bottoms, unless I'm making a deep drawer for heavy power tools. In that case I use 3/8" BB ply for the bottoms. I also add a drawer face to the front using washer head screws and oversize holes. This gives me some leeway in aligning the fronts to the case for a nice fit. Mike
  2. I'd rather have the end cabinets on the floor than hanging on the walls. I would build them individually and use shims to level them and make them even, then bolt them to the wall to keep them in place. If I wanted to cover up the gap on the bottoms I'd nail on some molding in contact with the floor. If I ever had to move them, they could be unscrewed and transported. I would also rethink the 36" depth. This depth makes the back wall hard to reach if you wanted to hang tools. I have always used a depth of 24-26" for my utility bench and hung tool cabinets and shallow shelves on the back wall. You should be able to rip the doors down to width as long as they are solid core. The cut edge can go against the wall. I also second the use of the WW Hardware economy 100# drawer slides. I have used several 10-packs on various projects in my shop, office, kitchen and wife's sewing room and never had a problem with them.
  3. If you can find your way around the 110v restriction, you'll open up a world of better tools. The 110v limit restricts you to about 1 1/2 hp machines while most of the better equipment uses 2-3 hp motors and require 220v. As far as Grizzly is concerned, I have their 17" band saw, 8" jointer, 15" planer, 6x48/12" belt/disc sander and their 2hp cyclone dust collector (all are 220v). I have been very happy and wouldn't hesitate to buy again. They might not be as nicely finished as Powermatic equipment, but at half the price, as long as the wood doesn't care, neither do I.
  4. I used a simple design for some floating shelves I built. I drilled holes into the studs and screwed 8" x 1/2" lag bolts about 2 1/2" into the studs. I then cut off the heads. I made my shelves out of 8/4" stock and drilled 1/2" holes to line up with the bolts. I leveled the bolts by bending with a hammer and slid the shelf onto them. There was enough bite from the exposed bolt threads that it took a bit of work to get them off so I could finish them. With 3 bolts in each shelf, there was no sag with over 100 lbs on the shelf. Eventually, I had to remove the shelves because we moved. A pair of vise grips replaced the bolt heads and I backed the bolts out with no trouble.
  5. I didn't mention the size of the drawers. They are 8" high and 25" wide and 19" deep. I made the drawers with bottoms that slide in after they were glued so there is already 5/16" underneath the drawer plus another 1/4" to the dust panel on all but the bottom drawer. I also made the back slightly lower than the sides as Pete suggests. Until the last inch, as the drawer front enters the cabinet, the piston effect just blows air out under the drawer. The last inch is when the other drawer pops out. As far as wood movement is concerned, I built these pieces over the summer in my basement shop (air conditioned). Unless I put them in a room with no A/C I shouldn't have a problem with the drawers binding up. Mike
  6. It looks like a beautiful desk and well worth the effort. I have a couple of design considerations to add... Don't know about you, but I find that the distance and angle of the screen are critical for comfortable work. Your design has the screen a fixed distance from the front edge and vertical. I'd allow some tilt to the screen and make sure the distance to the front of the desk is comfortable. Your desk top seems to have 4 sections (including the top of the lift). Did you consider mounting the monitor/computer face down on the underside of the center-front panel (the one in front of the lift) and pivoting that panel along its back edge. Attach a false center drawer front to the part that lifts. Kind of makes the center section of your desk into a super sized notebook computer. The keyboard, mouse and any other accessories would live under the desktop when not in use. Looking at the curved front, I assume you are planning on placing the desk in the center of the room, not against a wall. I would make the center pedestal with a door that opened to the front. This would create an easily accessable compartment for a tower computer. Include adequate venting to keep it cool.
  7. Good Idea ! ! ! Sounds like the hole saw is going to get a workout. One of my buddies also suggested an exhaust fan that turned on when the drawer was open. It would create a suction that would counteract the pressure and also make the drawers self closing. Friend wife didn't appreciate the humor or the idea.
  8. I know that one of the tests of a good drawer is for it to trap a cushion of air behind it when it closes -- but -- I built a chest and dresser for our bedroom. The backs are a tight fit to the back of the drawer guides and the dust shields are 1/4" BB plywood set in 1/2" deep dados that fit snugly. The drawers are fairly well isolated, but not perfectly sealed. I find that when I close the drawer any faster than very gently, there is an obvious piston effect -- a good thing. The problem is that closing one drawer at normal speed causes the adjacent drawers to open a bit (~1/8"). I then have to go back and close them -- a nuisance. One solution would be to cut a hole in the back behind each drawer to let the air out. The downside is that each time the drawer is opened, any dust behind the chest will get sucked into the drawer compartment and eventually into the drawer. Another solution would be to caulk any small gaps in the dust panel dados and between the drawer guide and back. This would still leave a small opening at the expansion joint in the back corners of the guide frame. I could caulk this joint too as long as the joint can still move as the solid cabinet sides expand and contract. This should cure the problem, but it seems like a bit of overkill. Any other suggestions? Mike
  9. I know that one of the objectives is the beauty of the tool, but for simple functionality, silverwood (aluminum) is easy to work, readily available and stable. A perfect choice for functional, albeit ugly, winding sticks.
  10. I made my rack out of 2x4's and metal conduit. I drilled holes 10" apart through the 1 1/2" face of the boards and cut the conduit into 16" pieces. The holes were sized so that it was a snug fit for the conduit so I just drove them in using a piece of threaded rod and a couple of nuts. I then lag bolted the racks to the studs with the bottoms resting on the floor. Regarding the plans you are considering; 1. I prefer the supports to be on closer centers. I used 24" on my rack (5 uprights = 8') so I can stack shorter pieces as well as full length boards up to 10' 2. The horizontal supports take up too much vertical space. It looks like you are wasting about 5-6" of vertical space for each support. That is over 2 feet of the height of the rack. The pipes are just under 1" so I can space them closer and still have more capacity. The advantage is not having too high a stack to unload when you want the bottom board. 3. Cost wise I bought 5 2x4's, 5 lengths of conduit and a handful of lags and washers. Total cost was about $30. 4. It looks like all the weight is supported by the 4 lags holding the horizontal board to the wall. I would be more comfortable if the verticals sat on the floor and were bolted directly to the studs. I don't even want to think of the weight I have loaded on the rack. So far, I haven't heard a creak out of it, so I guess its strong enough. Mike
  11. I have built many pullout trays into base cabinets. This is what I learned; Slides - I always use full extension ball bearing slides. KV makes an 'economy slide' known as kvtt100 line. I have used many 10 packs of these slides including the drawers in my shop and office and trays in my kitchen. Many of them have been in service for 10 or more years and have required NO maintenance, not even removing the shop dust. I usually buy them from Woodworkers Hardware <http://wwhardware.com/catalog.cfm?GroupID=Cabinet%20Drawer%20Slides&CatID=Drawer%20Slides%2C%20Full%20Extension%20Ball%20Bearing&SubCatID=Economy%20Full%20Extension>. At last look the 23 1/2" slides were just under $7.00 a piece when bought in quantity (10 or more). The advantage is that you can pull out the trays so you can reach the back and still support a reasonable load (100 lbs). There are also 'clips' that you can use to support the back of the slide, but I usually just cut a board to fill the gap between the face frame and cabinet side and mount the slides on those boards. As far as the trays are concerned, I usually build them of 1/2" baltic birch plywood. I make the trays by cutting dados in the fronts to accept the sides and in the sides to accept the back. I make the fronts 1/8" narrower than the space between the face frames and set the sides back from that 7/16". That makes the trays 1" narrower than the opening which matches the specs on the slides. The overlap of the front of the tray protects the door from the slide and adds strength to the drawer. The tray bottoms are made of 1/4" BB plywood. As I said, I use a similar construction for the drawers in my office and desk. The only difference is that I add a drawer front to the structure to match the cabinet wood. One other tip; I have had cabinets with narrow doors and a style between them. If I want a full access, I remove the style, split it and fasten each half to each of the doors. Now I have an open space for a full width tray. As long as the width is not too wide, I haven't had a problem with racking. Have fun, the results are worth it considering the advantages of a happy wife Mike
  12. I have built 3 platform beds so far, 2 kings and one queen. I built the platform as a single open 'coffin' that could be disassembled for moving. For the queen bed I started with a sheet of veneered plywood (cherry) and cut 16" off one end. I then ripped the remaining into 3 strips, dressing them down to 15 1/2" wide. I cut 4 corner posts out of 2x2 cherry and dadoed grooves for the sides on two faces. I drilled 2 holes in one of the two dados of each post to accept 1/4" bolts. The king was built the same way but required another piece of plywood for the 4th side. I cut two of the long strips to length (~70") and drilled them for cross dowels to match up with the 1/4" holes. This setup allows me to bolt a post on each end of the sides. I cut the remaining strips to width (~46") and glued the posts to each end. The board with the grain running the wrong way becomes the head end since it is hidden anyway. Now I have a 'coffin' that comes apart. I also cut a pair of 15 1/2" square pieces of plywood or mdf and notched them to form an 'X'. This became the center support. I made the top out of 2 pieces of plywood that run side to side (60"x40" each). I added cleats on the underside to align them with the base and keep them together. I chose to edge them with a 1x2 in cherry, but you could use any edge treatment. I would strongly suggest that you cut about 3" of each corner of the foot end board at a 45 degree angle or round it off. This will save bruised shins and nocturnal screaming. I hang the headboard on the wall, so I don't have a support problem. I am using Tempurpedic matresses that measure 8" high so the top of my beds end up at about 24" off the floor. One advantage of the platform running side to side is that it is easy to lift the bottom end of the bed to access the storage. I hold it up while friend wife retrieves or stores the junk we keep under the bed. Any questions, give me a shout. Mike
  13. First of all, you need to get past the 6" jointer limitation. Assuming you also have a planer, you can extend your working width with the following trick; 1. Joint one face of the board allowing it to overhang the cutter. Depending on the jointer and the width of the board, you might have to remove the guard to allow the overhang to clear. You only get one shot at this, so make sure to take off enough to get a flat face. You will be left with a ridge down one edge of the board. 2. Place the board on a 6" strip if flat material with the ridge hanging over the edge. I usually use MDF. Run this through the planer. This results in a flat face opposite the jointed face. 3. Plane the jointed face to get rid of the ridge. I have used this trick to extend the capacity of my jointer by a couple of inches. As far as the drawer sides are concerned, there is no problem doing a glueup to get past the limits of your stock. Mike
  14. As far as covering the slot for the tilt mechanism, I found sheets of rubber magnetic material at HD. They are sold to cover up the heating registers. You will probably find that there are lots of other places for air to get into the base of the saw. Check under the table top, many saws have a significant gap. Several manufacturers have gone to a hood around the blade that is connected to the DC system with nothing to pick up the dust that scatters around the cabinet.
  15. I have a number of the Narex chisels (Highland Varsion). I find that they sharpen up quite nicely but the steel is not quite as hard as it could be. The result is that they take a bit more maintenance than they should. I bought an extra pair of 8mm chisels and sharpened them to left and right skews. Very handy addition. I also have a few of the Grizzly Japanese chisels. They hold their edge much better than the Narex tools but they are harder to sharpen since most honing guides won't hold them at the correct angle duc to the short thick blades. In either case, the prices are low enough that you can regrind a couple to a triangle shape for dovetail work.
  16. I would first check the splitter. The thickness of the splitter should be slightly thinner than the kerf of the blade, typically about .020". Thin kerf blades require a thinner splitter than standard kerf blades. If you have the wrong splitter, it will bind up. Align the splitter by raising the blade and placing a straight edge on two teeth (front and back). Test both sides of the blade for a gap to the splitter. The gap should be equal on both sides and not taper from front to back. Also check that the top of the splitter is in line with the blade. If all is correct, a rip cut shouldn't touch the splitter unless the kerf is springing together. Finally, the fence could be out of parallel with the blade. The normal alignment process involves getting the blade parallel to the miter gauge slots then align the fence to be parallel to the slot or slightly further in the back than the front. My guess is the first problem and you are using a thin kerf blade with a stock splitter that is too thick. Good luck Mike
  17. Hi Neighbor, I live about 5 miles from you in Cary NC. I built a basement shop about a year and a half ago and would like to invite you over to see it and discuss several of the issues I encountered in the adventure. Give me a call if you'd like to get together. Mike Mendelsohn 919 933 7375
  18. I agree with the idea that torsion boxes are overkill. I have built three platform beds for our home, 2 kings and 1 queen. All three used the same construction detail. Two were built about 7 years ago and the third one is new. This is how I built them -- Platform The platforms were built of 3/4" hardwood plywood (birch or maple) that was edged with a strip of hardwood 1 1/2" high by 3/4" thick. The strip was dadoed to fit the plywood thickness leaving 1/4" above the platform. Each platform was made in 2 pieces. The first 2 beds had the seam running top to bottom, the last one has the seam running across the bed. Various methods can be used to connect the 2 pieces to keep them aligned and together. I found that the center support (below) and a couple of cleats against the inside of the base works well. I prefer the side to side alignment of the boards because it allowed me to lift the foot board to access the dead storage under the platform. I also found that eliminating the sharp corners at the foot (I didn't on the first bed) saved bruised shins. I used a 45 degree corner, but a round corner would work too. Base I made the bases out of 4 strips of 3/4" plywood with 2x2 corner posts. The corner posts are dadoed to accept the plywood and are glued to the two ends of the strips at the head and foot. I used barrel nuts and connecting screws (ie. McFeelys #1430-KDR and 0609-CDA) to connect the sides. I also made an 'X' support to the center of the platform and keep the edges aligned. Dimensions The platforms are sized according to the matresses. I made the bases undersize so there is a 6-8" overhang all around. I chose 15 1/2" as the height of the base so I was able to cut the plywood in 1/3rds. In the case of the queen bed, I cut the strip used at the head across the end of the sheet so I got the whole bed out of one sheet of plywood. Since this side is hidden, it doesn't matter that the grain runs the wrong way. On the King beds, I used less expensive hardwood plywood for the head ends. Headboards I mount the headboards directly on the wall (french cleat) eliminating the need for mounting brackets on the platform. Mattresses Two of the beds have Tempurpedic mattresses and the third has a conventional one. I did some research and found that on all but the highest end beds, the "box spring" was really only a box and had no springs. We have found that the solid platform acts just like the original beds.
  19. T&G and lockmiter bits are fine as long as you are joining up boards that will have their ends hidden. If you use them for a table top, the end grain of the top will have the funky joints showing instead of a nice thin line. Even worse, if you cut away the edges as in a raised panel, the joint is going to be magnified. As far as strength is concerned, I have tested my glueups by taking the short offcut when I trim the panel and try to break it at the joint. I have never had the joint break at the glue line. The only upside for the fancy joints is alignment of the boards. The added strength is overkill.
  20. Have a look at the thread "Gluing up a table top" in this forum. I described a method I use involving cauls and bar or pipe clamps. The cauls keep the boards aligned vertically and the clamps pull the edges together. Cauls are boards with one convex edge. They are used in pairs and clamped on opposite sides of the joints with the convex edges facing. When the ends are brought together, the curved edges flatten out distributing the force along the length of the caul. I outlined a method for making these cauls in the thread (2nd posting) I haven't found any need to add biscuits, dowels, splines or groves to align the edges or strengthen the joints. Mike PS - I gave away my lock miter bit a long time ago.
  21. I'd make a template that clamped over the end of the rail. I would clamp the rail diagonally in my vise at a comfortable angle, then use a router with the template to cut the mortice. I'd finish up with a chisel to square the corners and be done. The template consists of a board with a slot down the middle that will guide a router bit with either a bearing (dado cleanout bit or short pattern bit) or guide bushing. Mount a perpendicular board underneath the template so the slot is centered on the end of the rail. This clamps onto the face of the rail. Add a stop to align the end of the slot so it is centered on the height of the rail. There are lots of ways to make the template. Start with a 3/4" board about 4" wide and longer than the rail height by a few inches. Cut a dado down the middle of the board that was exactly the width of the fitting (plus offset if using a guide bushing) and about 3/8" deep. End stops in the slot that defined the ends of the slot (length of the fitting) and drill a starter hole in the middle of the slot. Use a pattern follower bit to open up the slot through the board. I'd then widen out the dado so it fit over the end of the rail with the slot centered. Add the clamping board and stop and use it to cut the 4 mortices in my rails. Finally, I'd set up the bed and take a nap after all that hard work. Then send us a picture when its all done.
  22. I use a 2 step process for lap joints. First I cut the notches slightly shallow using the table saw. If I have a lot to do, I'll load up the dado blades, otherwise I'll just use the regular blade and make lots of cuts. I then switch over to the router table. I use a 'clean out' bit that cuts up to 3/16" deep and has a guide bearing below the cutting edge. The bearing runs against the sides of the lap and the height of the bit determines the fit of the lap. I can sneak up on a very good fit and have nice smooth glue surfaces without groves from the saw blade. This works down to about 5/8 thick stock. Thinner than that and the bearing misses the edge.
  23. Sounds like a great idea. I've been using brushes, but I never thought of Q-Tips as glue spreaders. My wife will have dirty ears, but my dowel joints will improve. What can be better?? Thanks for the tip.
  24. Actually, making good cauls is relatively easy. I make mine out of knotless sections of 2x stock (yes, it is possible to find 2x4's with 2-3 feet clear). I split the board and dress it square. I then attach the pair of cauls with a screw at the midpoint. Make sure the hole for the shank clears the threads on one piece and that the head and point end up 1/4 from the surfaces. As I tighten the screw, I place spacers between the ends of the cauls so they bow apart at the ends. I use about 1/4" for a 24" caul set. I then run each side thru the jointer until the bowed edges are flat. When the screw is removed, these edges become convex and have the curve that will flatten out again when the caul is clamped. I add a strip of clear packing tape on the convex sides to repel glue. You can either use clamps or bolts to tighten the ends. I prefer 1/4" x 5" carriage bolts at each end of the caul, but clamps are more adaptable if you are gluing up various widths. Finally, a sheet of wax paper between the bottom caul and the workpiece gathers up most of the glue drips and protects the clamps.
  25. I made up a set of convex cauls that I use to align the pieces. I tighten the cauls first then pull the boards together with clamps. Four caul pairs seem to handle up to about 60" long assemblies. I have been using this method to glue up as many as 5 pieces at a time. The results are flat enough so a couple of passes thru the drum sander finishes the job.