Monday, March 26, 2012

Bed part one

 Here is the bed frame.  I do not have the drawers completed yet but they are next.  It is actually turning out quite nice.  The entire bed will be able to be assembled and disassembled.  I am trying threaded inserts this time.  The two piece biscuits seemed to work last time but they seemed to come apart at assembly which made it difficult to assemble.  Screws and inserts will not come apart so easily.  I also made the drawer glide rails attach with screws.  The neat thing about this bed is I had to be extremely accurate.  If the holes did not line up it would not assemble.  Here are pictures of the dry assembly.  It went together perfectly.

This is the front of the bed
This is the drawer rail attachment.
End of the cabinet.  Sorry did not take a picture of the foot of the cabinet
 This bead will have some extremely deep drawers on full extension ball bearing glides.  I am excited to get this project finished.  Then I get to boot both kids into their own room.
The visible faces of the bead are pine (not going to make a maple bead for a couple of boys).  The inside is what ever I had that could be planed to the same thickness.  there is pine, beech and oak for some of the components.  If you would like the drawings they are located here.  Same rules apply for all my plans.  These are not for sale, use them as you like.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Computer Desk

Another one of my original projects has been replaced. The computer desk is one of three pieces that I first designed and built. The first being the bookshelves and then I built the desk and the entertainment center together. The entertainment center now resides with my in-laws. The desk now resides in a landfill and the bookshelves are still in use. I built these pieces over ten years ago and they have served as building blocks for what I have accomplished now and what I am capable of doing.

The original desk was a very functioning desk and was great, but slowly became out dated and could not be modified to fit current needs. This desk was built to hold a big CRT monitor. Never would I have thought flat screens would be so affordable. I don’t think you can buy a CRT monitor anymore. The drawers and tower could not be child protected. This created a problem when small children arrived in the Anderson household. We did not have much of a problem with the computer freezing as much as we did with it randomly turning off because someone pushed the lighted power switch. It was a little rickety because I had not found a good way to brace the three pieces together. The main reason it was replaced was because it was big.

It is interesting looking back at the construction and how I built the units. The basic construction is out of ¾” plywood. This made the unit very heavy and over designed. It could have easily been made out of ½” plywood. I built it to look good and unique with a lot of storage. I think that I accomplished this purpose. The drawer boxes are what fascinated me the most. They were nailed together with a butt joint and the drawer bottom was stapled with a staple gun on the bottom. I do not remember making drawers like this. I thought I had at least grooved in the bottom. The main fastening system was pocket screws and brad nails. Not a bad way but not my preferred way anymore.

I used a lot of the things from this desk into the desk that I just built. I like the idea of having a file drawer in the desk and space on top to write things on. I did not like that it was so large that we could almost have dinner around it because it accumulated so much stuff. Some of the main differences are that this is only 15” deep and this is framed with overlay drawers. I saw no need to put a place for the tower because it is going to be integrated into the TV and I had a child locked door on the TV stand. All drawers now have a child lock on them.
Paper drawer
File drawer

Here are some of the specs of this desk. It is made out of hard maple and birch plywood. The drawers are full extension and ball bearing glides. The sides are ¾” thick because it was available. They really should be ½”. I tried some new things with the drawers and top. The drawers are all tongue and grooved together. My joints were not fantastic but it made it a lot easier to square things up. The top was a bread board style top. I took the plywood and cut a groove around the parameter. The wood banding has a tongue cut in it. It came out beautifully. I rounded the corners for safety reasons. Each of the drawers are child locked and the cords are out of the way along with the power switch.

Things I learned from this project.
  • Don’t ever buy cheap ¾” plywood. I honestly do not know what I got. I think it was luan or Russian birch. The veneer was thin and chipped out even on rip cuts. When I was finishing parts of it lifted and bubbled. 
  • When buying several glides make sure they are all from the same manufacturer. Out of six sets of glides two of them were from a different manufacturer. You would think they were interchangeable. They were not. 
  • Bottom panels are not always needed. In the dresser I used a way that removed the bottom panel and with these drawer banks I only used a corner brace. 
  • Make sure you know how to install the locking mechanism and adjust the plans accordingly. The top two drawers were suppose to have a key lock to them. I don’t know why, I just thought it would be cool looking. I am glad it did not work out. When I went to test the lock I did not cut the relief big enough so the lock did not fit. On top of that I did not allow enough room for the lock to fully engage before hitting the face frame. It was worth a try but I like the clean look better anyway.
We will see if this works.  I am attaching my plans if any one would like to make this,  The top is completely up to you and is not in the plans.  These are in millimeters and the the conversion is 1" = 25.4mm.  Sorry you will have to do a little bit of math. Here are the plans.  Use them how you would like but you are not allowed to sell them.  Please let me know how this works, it is through  I don't think you can edit but if you can please let me know.  I think I have restricted access to read only but anyone can see the plans if they have the link.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Manger

These have been complete for a short time.  This is a  project with no plans, just an idea.  I was asked to make some mangers for gifts.  It goes along with a story that I have not heard of.  From what I understand the idea is that the manger that Christ was laid in was filled with straw that was earned by doing kind deeds. 
The material is cedar fencing.  It is inexpensive and I can work with it.  Although this is a fairly simple project I did have a lot to learn from it.  First cedar fencing is very wet.  I think after being in the garage for a week it lost half its weight from drying out.  It felt like I was in a rain storm when I was cutting it.  Second is that I can not make a straight cut on a band saw with a warped board.  I use the table saw and was close.  Fencing also does not come with one side clean cut.  Fencing also comes in random thicknesses.  This made it hard to line parts up.  I did not want to plane it down because there is a rustic/rough look to fencing.  They came out well hope that the person who ordered them likes them.