OK... so it was for SWMBO, but it was still a 'pay for play' (no, not that kind of play) type of job. As part of a deal we made, I could buy some new tools to start a decent amateur woodworking shop in the basement. Her payout was my first few projects have to be stuff she wants for the house. Suits me... I just wanted to build stuff.
Her hobbies are scrapbooking and stamping. So the first thing she wanted was a cabinet for all of her scrapbooking and stamping stuff. I took a look at all the 'stuff' she had and together we came up with a rough design. I used Visio and drew up some plans that were as complete as I thought anyone could get them. She liked the design so I went to making saw dust.
It came out pretty nice. There are pics on alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking if you care to see them. During the project, basically my 2nd _real_ project, I learned a ton! So in the interest of giving a little back to those who have helped me learn so much posted below are some of the lessons this newbie learned:
1. Trust the tape measure/ruler more than any plan... especially any plan I created.
2. It does take white wood glue a pretty good amount of time to dry... enough time to frantically put a Forrest WWII blade on your saw to cut a piece of 3/4" Red Oak plywood, change over to a Frued stacked dado blade, cut 3 dados and 2 rabbets, and then reset the new piece in place of the old (damn it looked ok during the dry test fit phase <scratch scratch>) top and still have time to clamp and square everything.
3. A clean shop is a lot easier to work in than a messy shop... not sure I learned this one or just observed it and let it pass.
4. There has to be a better way to tell if you're done sanding. I haven't learned the way yet, as you'll see by the, um, 'figure' on the left door which wasnt recognizable until I stained it. Good thing SWMBO thinks it 'Tiger Oak Plywood' since one of my new tools was a ROS specifically for this purpose.
5. I now know why Norm has such a big assembly table.
6. One stupid, and never to be forgotten, mistake later... A 12" x 1/2" x 1/2" piece of wood being shot out of a blade guard at ??? MPH and drilling you in the gut hurts like a sonofagun. I credit this lesson to ripping 20+ pieces of pine for the shelf cleats and getting a little lazy towards the end and letting one of the trimmed edge pieces remain on the table, seemingly behind the blade. Somehow that little sucker made its way back and shot outta there like a bullet. It left a temporary nasty welt on my belly and a permanent mark in my brain. Thank the Lord I had the blade guard on... can't imagine that thing hittin me in the face like that.
7. Glue covered Oak doesn't stain the same color as non-glue covered Oak.
8. When using plywood, you may have to think Edge Banding if you're not careful in planning - see #1.
9. A 3 year old with 9 Care Bear Stuffed animals has a hard time understanding that this cabinet is for mommy's stuff and not her Care Bears.
10. WOW! This is fun! (But you guys make it look easier than it is)
There were quite a few more lessons learned along the way, but those were the ones that came to mind as wrote this.
Any constructive critiques gladly accepted.
Thanks. Mike W.