Second unit done, project done!

Outdoor photos this time, so better light and color rendition:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/15927297200/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/
Thanks to all for help along the way.
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On 12/26/2014 5:12 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Looks great!
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On Friday, December 26, 2014 9:04:39 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

I did learn a good deal; techniques to use again, and pitfalls to avoid.
I asked back when the project was just a Sketchup drawing if the design was likely to "rack" with weight on the shelves. All the storage I've built in the past was seriously overbuilt: all 3/4" ply, dadoes,full back screwed i nto every shelf, face frame. Several of you said that this somewhat more "o pen" design should be plenty strong, and it seems to be.
Also courtesy of the wRec, I learned that shaving a "flat" onto the dowels would make the assembly easier. That was a very handy bit of info on a proj ect with 224 dowels.
On my own I discovered that gloppy stuff like gel stain can pose a problem on work with lots of inside corners. Despite the fact that the sides of thi s project consisted of 40 pieces 9" long, I really should have prefinished them, or perhaps chosen a different method.
I learned how to make better mitered corners than I have ever made before. I also learned that even my best attempt yet falls short of perfection. On the flip-side, I have also learned that most people (other than the builder ) tend not to notice the imperfections.
Another wRec contribution was that a random orbit sander can be used to san d face-frame-style joints flush, followed perhaps by a finish sander with f iner grits, avoiding going over the line as much as possible.
This was the first project that I paid significant attention to grain. I do n't have a jointer or a planer, and my schedule makes it difficult to get t o hardwood dealer when they are open for business. (That's on my to-do list for the future though - take a day off and buy better-quality wood) I did however go through the entire stock of a local Lowe's, picking the 8 red oa k 1x3s that had the straightest grain from among the 50 or so pieces they h ad. Being the nice fellow I am, I put the rest back in the rack. For the 1x 2s I settled for straight and not twisted.
I made my second attempt at pattern routing, which allows a guy with limite d tools to add a tiny bit of flair to an otherwise straight-line sort of pr oject. And I learned that, even though the template had the full curve, it was better to flip the piece around for the second "half" of the curve to a void routing against the grain.
I think I'm *starting* to learn to apply the proper amount of glue, the fir st time, rather than have to add more in the sparse areas and remove gobs f rom the overdone areas. I also think I'm getting to know when the squeeze-o ut is ready to be pared away.
During this project I greatly improved my Sketchup skills, which means I ca n now quickly and efficiently draw things that will take me nearly forever to actually build. :)
I learned that the use of an impact driver - now nearly ubiquitous on TV a nd Youtube - carries with it the possibility of driving the point of the po cket screw through the face of the second piece, especially when you're doi ng the work in a contorted position and are thus eager to finish quickly. : (
In a related lesson, I learned how to fill the blemish with a matching colo r.
However, I also learned - at least most of the time - to call it a day whe n I felt like I was getting fatigued and thus careless. There are few advan tages to being a hobbyist with limited resources, but that's one of them: n o deadline. Better to continue when I can apply my full attention.
Continuing on that theme, I've learned that there are lots of ways to do so mething; the days that come between my short bouts of work often yield a be tter idea as I turn the next step around in my head. The final glue-up and assembly of the second unit was much more efficient than the first.
I've learned that even less-than-fine tools can be made more accurate with some time and effort, and that the time and effort will be rewarded with le ss frustration later on. But then the damn floor will be out of whack.
The concept of jigs is now much more a part of my mindset. With so many rep etitive tasks, it was practically unavoidable. But besides the efficiency, I feel much more confident in the results.
And maybe the most important thing I've learned when I step back and look a t this result is that a couple of years ago I'd have judged this project as out of my reach. I'm aware that it would be pretty rudimentary for many pe ople here, but everyone starts somewhere. So when I see designs that are "o ut of reach" now, I figure maybe - just maybe - they won't be forever.
Thanks again to all.
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On 12/27/2014 10:15 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:
Well done!

Welcome to the wRec ... ;)
--
eWoodShop: www.eWoodShop.com
Wood Shop: www.e-WoodShop.net
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Swingman wrote:

Yep, I really enjoyed reading the post too. A few good lessons tucked in there!

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On 12/27/2014 10:15 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

One day you won't even thing about the things you have learned, you will naturally just do it the best way to begin with, and that really speeds production.
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Not too shabby at all, Greg.
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On 12/26/2014 6:12 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Good job, looks nice.
--
Jeff

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woodchucker wrote:

Yep, it looks real nice!
Cheers, Bill from IN
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On Friday, December 26, 2014 5:12:42 PM UTC-6, Greg Guarino wrote:

I don't recall having proffered any help tips, but it's been just as good a spectating *sport, as a participating *sport. I think I learned a somethi ng or two, along the way, also.
I don't often stain a project, but I have used dyes occassionally, so I pai d attention to that staining advice you received. Your "coloring" is nice and even, throughout. I sense I'd like to try that kind of staining, as co mpared to some of my past dying results.
Good job, and not with JUST the staining.
Sonny
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On Saturday, December 27, 2014 5:58:51 AM UTC-6, Sonny wrote:

Yeah, and dyeing results, too.
Sonny
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On Saturday, December 27, 2014 7:02:38 AM UTC-5, Sonny wrote:

Yup. Sorry for the spelling joke, but I couldn't resist.
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On Saturday, December 27, 2014 6:58:51 AM UTC-5, Sonny wrote:

hing or two, along the way, also.
Absolutely. After oohing and ahhing, I almost always find myself asking how some particular detail was accomplished on the projects I see posted here. Problem solving is great fun, but sometimes it's OK to accept that the whe el has already been designed.

ce and even, throughout.
Less so than you might imagine - photos hide a multitude of sins - but it's not bad. Still nothing like the sample in the store though. Make lots of t est pieces, and make them as big as you can afford to. Moreover, make sure your test pieces include the different kinds of grain that will show on you r project. There's another lesson I learned. The color looks a heck of a lo t darker where the oak grain lines are close together than it does where th ey are far apart.

I guess you can get better at anything with practice, but "dying" is someth ing most of us only do once. :)
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