I am about a week and a half into my next job. Same customer that I
built the mahogany TV/FP Mantle for in November.
This job is 2 bedroom night tables with drawers. She requested that I
use her left over marble counter tops sections soooooo that is what I
This time red oak, this is a nice change as red oak is lighter weight
and noticeably easier to cut than white oak. But staining is required.
Anyway here are the pieces to the side panels. I prefer to prestain and
varnish the inner edges that will show along with the panels.
I taped off the sections that will receive glue. This is all stub
tennon and grove jointery.
In the back ground you can see the front and back face frames. The back
FF's are assembled with lap joints reinforced with Domino's. I use lap
joints to create a rabbeted recess on the back to receive the back
panel. The front FF's are held together with glue and Domino floating
The sides will fit into the groves on the front and back FF's stiles.
The dry fit of the 4 panels. There will eventually be 3 drawers in each
A closer view of the inside. The bottom grooves on the sides bottom
rails need to be completed on each end and will meet up with the bottom
grooves on the bottom rails of the front and back FF's. A 3/4" thick
piece of plywood will form the bottom and fit into all of those groves.
I know you don't mean that. LOL
I bet you could make that paper work on your sander.. Dust collection
is a must however to remove the debris and glue.
Seriously, I sanded the face frames with a piece of paper that I used on
my last project to remove a finish that came out bad. Yeah it removes
"dried" varnish without loading up too. ;~) I had to repeat that
statement to Swingman several weeks ago when I showed him the paper.
I'll try to do/remember to do a video showing the sanding process and
how quickly that goes.
I have yet to make a joint as tight as that. With my new dado saw, and
some new proper router bits I hope to do as well, or close to it. To
me that was a thing of beauty.
Here is what you did not see. Not the same job but the same procedure.
I have made about 80 front and back face frames for half as many
components of furniture this way in the last 4 years. This is a lap
joint reinforced with 2 Domino floating tenons. This is a joint on a
back face frame that forms the recess for the back panel.
And the result..
One of my favorite shots.
And another similar job, back face frame and side panel.
Practice, practice, practice..... And a good set of plans developed on
None of the above joints were done with a router bit, all with a stacked
dado set and the mortises were made with my Domino mortiser.
It's all a WOW to me, compound fittings and rails and stiles, almost a
shame that they are mostly hidden from view. It was funny to hear my
wife today, we pulled out several drawers from my dresser cabinet so
we could move it, while I installed some return air grills in the
master bedroom. She took a look at the cabinetry work on the inside
and said WOW, all nice wood and fancy work, you could have knocked by
socks off. Guess she is learning too. No metal anything on our bedroom
furniture and as solid now as when we bought it 45+ some years ago.
Well, I'm limited on the domino thing to a special version for the
home hobbyist. But the practicing part I am doing now. Like a kid in a
toy shop. :)
I'm going to get a brand new FussTools handheld mortiser, it can be
Seriously, while that is out of my picture, especially for a one
kitchen job, I will be following you all's advise regarding Dado's and
grooves "?", half laps, etc. on the case work, and something solid for
I am also going to take a picture of my dado with the old blades, new,
but old and compare them with the new so you guys can see why I was so
concerned about the sloppy bottoms.
I have been playing around with the version 16, with free "make" after
30 days, what ever that is. I Just wish I had my old drafting program
from Auto Cad, with its library and stuff. But they don't support it
anymore, and it won't run properly on the new hardware and operating
systems. It wasn't AC LT, but it was an autodesk product.
I dry to limit my screws and or fasteners to leveling feet, drawer
slides, hinges, and pulls. Carcasses are typically all joinery and glue.
I typically will stack the dado set on the saw and apply the nut. With
the teeth on the two outer blades opposite each other I measure the
width using an inexpensive digital caliper. Then I use the caliper to
measure the wood or panel that will go into the resulting groove or
dado. I subtract the difference and add the appropriate shim. A caliper
measuring in decimal is most helpful since most shims are measured that
Dado, a groove across grain. Groove, a groove along the grain.
With kitchen cabinets you are pretty much dealing with a cabinet that
will remain in place until demolition and replacement way in the future.
You will be fine with constructing the face frames with pocket hole
screws and dado/groves to apply to the carcass. In fact I remodeled our
kitchen in our other home 25 years ago. Face frames were pocket holed
and the face frames were simply glued and finish nailed to the carcass.
The cabinets are probably just as sound today as they were then.
Having said that the cabinets were moved about 20 feet from the
construction location to the kitchen.
Swingman and I have worked together on about 6 kitchens. I typically
cut the panels, him the face frames, in two different locations. I
gring the panels to his shop and we build the cabinets. After assembly
we typically haul them to a storage unit until we are ready to install.
Then we load them up again and transport to the final location. The
cabinets always held up perfectly during all the moving.
Because furniture gets moved much more often I build the face frames
with stronger joinery and I add "back" face frames to double the
rigidity. My thoughts were that some day some one that knows what he is
looking at will look at the back of one of my pieces of furniture. I
did not want him to think a hack built it. :~)
It is good to have flat bottoms for better glue adhesion and fewer gaps.
Sketch comes in two varieties, Make and Pro. For the last few years
when a new version comes out you typically download and install Make,
the free version, and you also get the Pro version for a 30 day
evaluation. After 30 days you can upgrade to Pro for about $600 or not.
Sketchup then disables some features exclusive to the Pro version if
you choose to not upgrade. A few of the Pro features are that ability
to make more styles of drawings, Layout, dynamic components, and a more
complete set of Solid Tools.
For woodworking for your self Make if just fine. If you were a
professional and handing out specific drawings to different contractors
the Layout feature that is in the Pro version would be very helpful.
The number "1" ONE thing to do with Sketchup is to draw each part as a
separate and editable small drawing and then turn it into a component.
Until you learn to make all separate parts of the project in the drawing
into a component you will continue to be frustrated, and do a lot of
head scratching. And then assemble the parts together in the drawing
like you would in the shop. The lines in components do not stick to
other lines in other components. Until your lines become a part of a
component they will all stick together and create all kinds of
I Just wish I had my old drafting program
I have used drawing programs since 1986 and used AutoCAD LT for about 10
years up until I finally switched permanently to Sketchup. I think
Swingman and I tried Sketchup two times and uninstalled it until finally
Google came out with a version that worked pretty good. I was also
tired of upgrading AutoCAD.
In all seriousness Sketchup will do what you need for it to do
concerning woodworking. There are countless tutorial videos and good
ones are accessed through the Sketchup web site.
If you want your woodworking projects to soar with regard to design,
cost effectiveness, as well precision fabrication - everything from
kitchens, to one off furniture projects - take Leon's advice on learning
SketchUp to heart.
A good part of both our successes in making a living woodworking has
come from being able to do meticulous, 3D planning, presentation of that
plan to clients, and our subsequent execution of the approved plan.
AAMOF, Leon will say the same ... I doubt either of us ever walks out to
our respective shops to start any project, large or small, without first
detailing every component and step with SketchUp.
We both previously used AutoCAD, and both switched over to SketchUp
about the same time ... amazing what a boost to the bottom line that has
Both Karl and Leon have spoken about the value they see in Sketchup, and
Karl has even provided me Setchup drawings for a project - so given the
accomplishments of these two guys, I certainly cannot contradict Karl's
advise. That said - as many times as I've tried, I just could not seem
to get it. I must be stupid, because I just could not get my head
wrapped around the whole Sketchup thing.
I found a "book" on SketchUp to make all the difference. Watching
video's, I missed key points. For those in the business, I cannot think
of a better way to make a contract with a customer than with a SU diagram.
Well that can present a general understanding problem but if you want to
learn the program I would be happy to answer any questions about how to do
something and or why something reacts or works differently than you
I appreciate that. Perhaps at some point not too far from now, I'll
download a new/fresh version of it and give it a try again. I have
always managed quite well without such a tool in the past, but I
recently undertook to build a new rolling stand for my SCMS and the
number of "redesigns" that I ran into on that project really pointed out
the value of mastering SU. Amazing the number of "Oh Shit" moments that
little project brought on. I guess I don't juggle stuff in my
imagination as well as I used to...
Any time Mike. The beauty to most any drawing program is the ease in
editing and making changes. I typically present drawings to customers
to consider, they ask for changes and typically with in a few minutes
the changes are made.
One other thing, the drawing validates whether the project can be built
the way you want and or illustrates problems.
You're not stupid because you can't get a software program to work.
Sketchup does take a bit of getting used to, but you may find another
program does the same thing in a different way that works how you work.
Sketchup works on faces defined by lines. I often draw a 2D object then
use the Push-Pull Tool to make it 3D. Press the CTRL key to create a new
face as you're pushing/pulling the face. (You don't always want to create
a new face, for example you may be extending an object.)
If you think about the model as a series of lines, you're not working the
same way Sketchup does. It's kinda like Japanese vs Western style saws.
Both work well, but they work completely different ways.
Yep, a very important basic concept that needs to be grasped.
And taking that concept a step further, and one that should be even more
intuitive to the woodworker:
I like to think of SU as dealing with "faces and edges"... just as you
think of the faces and edges of a tubafour, or any board.
... or a table leg, or a brick, or a tile, or a dowel.
I picked up on their advice several years ago. The first time I tried
to learn it, I failed miserably. I just didn't "get" it. A while
later, I think it was Leon said that it's a modeling tool. I tried it
again with the "modeling tool" (drawing pictures of 3D objects)
construct in mind, rather than "CAD" construct (making pieces with
measurements), and I picked it up easily. I'm certainly not in the
league with either Karl or Leon but I couldn't do much of anything
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