My First Real Project...


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So I've finally decided what my first true woodworking project will be.  As it turns out my oldest daughter has re-discovered horseback riding.  The good news is that she will be footing all the bills associated with riding E.G. lessons, tack...even potentially leasing a horse.  So Dad doesn't have to foot the bill... so nice when they grow up :)

 

For my part I will be building her a tack trunk.  It's essentially a basic trunk with some features specifically designed to hold various pieces of horse related paraphernalia.   Here's an example of what I will be building... Pretty simple construction as far as I can tell.

 

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I will be following plans from http://www.KyserikeKraftsman.com but will likely deviate a fair amount in wood choice and trim.  Another modification will be to add a removable saddle holder.

 

The debate I am having right now is whether to use plywood and  then trim in hardwood, as the original plans call for, or go full hardwood.  Hopefully I can build to account for movement.  Of note is that due to the nature of how this trunk will be used it will experience a wide range of environments; moving from inside to outside frequently. 

 

Suggestions are welcome... I intend to begin the build this week in order to have it ready when she comes home from college later this spring.

 

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My only suggestion is to find the material that gives you the best balance between strength and weight. That trunk will be a load to handle, especially when it is full.

I believe Marc has a video series on the Woodwhisperer site, where he demonstrates how to build a steamer trunk. Might give you some ideas on materials that work well.

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Thanks Ross and Cindy... I am in the process of watching Marc's steamer trunk build which is very very helpful.  Definitely a more complex build than I had planned.  My inclination is to try to tackle it and learn from the experience... my fear is that I may be over my head and should go with a much simpler approach...

 

The trunk will have casters and will, for the most part, be indoors.  It may end up going to horse shows on occasion and will ride in a truck.  My daughter drives an Altima and there's no way I can figure out how she might haul it around in that :)  Guess she'll need to buy a truck...that's on her :)

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Weight should definitely be a consideration. I honestly wouldn't be afraid of using pine for that very reason.

 

If you were to build that out of 1/2" baltic birch ply, you're probably looking at the thing weighing 30 pounds before you put anything in it. I'd consider a pine frame  and 1/4" ply for the panels.

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Several coats of wipe on poly should serve the purpose as far as finishing goes. I would also frame it in hardwood and then use ply for the panels. If you wanted to get really crazy with it and make it look all sorts of high end you could get some exotic veneers, but given the use, I'd avoid that from a cost and durability perspective. Glad to see you building Dave.

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So just to be clear what you're suggest is to take the approach the original plans call for and utilize ply for the carcass and then clad with hardwood.

 

 

 

This would certainly be the easier way for me since I've not done a floating panel.  However if that would be stronger I would make the attempt.

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A floating panel wouldn't make it stronger, actually if you just build the case, and then trim it with hardwood it would be stronger.  This would be a great place to use your Domino, though you could build the case with rabbets, pocket hole screws, tongue and groove, or a million other ways. 

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Yeah I meant build it frame and panel with floating ply panels, but Tom's way is a breeze with the domino.  Frame and panel isn't hard, but it does complicate the interior joinery a bit.  

 

You could do frame and panel with the domino as well.  Cut panel grooves in all your rails and stiles using either router table or dado stack (or router and edge guide), then use the domino to join the rails to the stiles.  

 

Edit:  honestly I'm a bit biased here.  I find plywood to be incredibly frustrating to work with (other than captured panels).  The veneer edges are so fragile, even on good quality plywood, or at least the "good quality" plywood that I've used.  And trimming it out annoys me.  Part of it is probably that my last project was a 20 foot wall of built ins that utilized 10 sheets of ply, so I'm probably just sick of the damn stuff.

 

Edit 2:  if you like the plans and they are easy to follow then dive right in and use them.  Why over complicate things?  Use the domino to reinforce those miters in the trim and you'll have an incredibly strong box that will last a very very long time.  

 

Sorry for the million different directions in this post.  Feel free to ignore and breeze right past.  :)

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 The veneer edges are so fragile, even on good quality plywood, or at least the "good quality" plywood that I've used.

 

I haven't had any problem with any hardwood ply I've used. Standard birch ply, oak ply, and sanded ply from HD hasn't chipped on me. I break it down with the track saw and then cut up repetitive sized pieces on my table saw, and get no chipping or tearing.  What kind of blade are you using?

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I haven't had any problem with any hardwood ply I've used. Standard birch ply, oak ply, and sanded ply from HD hasn't chipped on me. I break it down with the track saw and then cut up repetitive sized pieces on my table saw, and get no chipping or tearing.  What kind of blade are you using?

 

I break it down with the track saw, which gives no chipping obviously.  I use a WW2 for all other cuts.  The tearout isn't terrible, but even just moving the parts around the shop it seems like a stiff breeze chips the edges.  Again this was a huge amount of plywood so I was clumsier than usual carrying it around, so maybe that was part of it too.  

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Tom where do you get your plywood? 

 

Depends what kind of ply you want. For most stuff I've been getting hardwood ply at HD. A lot of the HDs around here sell 3/4" walnut ply. For cherry ply I have to order it. There's a plywood manufacturer in alexandria, and I can't remember the name of it. 

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Thanks Tom... I think my local HD has Walnut ply as well.  I know Colonial Hardwoods has a good supply so I may start there...  I couldn't locate a manufacturer in Alexandria...maybe Smoot's?

 

I had it written down at home. It's Allied Plywood, it's the manufacturer's rep. When I called Dunlap Woodcrafts to see if they sold ply they referred me to them. I haven't gone the route of ordering anything through through them though since It'd probably be more costly. Perhaps when I order all the ply for my kitchen cabinets I'll go through them.

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They usually don't have it in Atlanta (Depot's Headquarters) . I think they just carry it where there is a demand and possibly not much competition . Plenty of suppliers the the Atlanta metro area to get quality hardwood ply so why would there be a demand for Depot to carry it?

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OK I went to my local hardwood dealer and picked up 2 4x8 sheets of 3/4" Mahogany ply and 1 4x8 of 1/2" ply along with about 30bf of Walnut for the cladding.  Should get started in earnest tomorrow and will get pics up.  I used cutlist plus and it worked great.

 

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