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Rhyan End Table – Part 3 (Finished)

November 16, 2015 2 comments

I mentioned in my last post that I had taken last week off and although I had completed a fair number of chores, I procrastinated on adding my final applications of top coat to the night stand. Down to the wire on the last day off (Sunday) I finally dragged everything outside with the intention of applying two final coats. If you ever saw the movie “A Bridge Too Far” then you’ll understand what happened to me. Although I had squandered all those beautiful sunny days, Sunday morning was very overcast. I spayed my first coat and was hoping to spray the final coat in about 2 hours. While I waited, I worked on other projects in the shop. About an hour and a half later I suddenly realized that it was pouring down rain. No not a little sprinkle, we’re talking puddles of rain. I was “horrified” and dragged everything under the cover. The great news is that General Finishes High Performance Top Coat really does dry quickly. So much so that I was able to wipe everything down with cotton rag with no noticeable ill effect on the finish. So basically I got what I desired but luckily, no harm done. Not to self; “come up with a sensible spray booth solution”

Remaining Tasks

So calling the finishing done, three tasks remained for completion. I needed to 1) fit the lower shelf (probably shouldn’t have made it so close to tolerance) 2) figure out how to attach the top 3) install the drawer slides.

Although this shouldn’t have taken more than one shop day it actually ended up consuming both Saturday and Sunday. I spend most of the day Saturday struggling with fitting the drawer slides. First off, I have never fit any slides period. The slides are purchased were inexpensive Euro Slides from the home center. The directions called for a clearance of 1″ side-to-side which I knew and had factored in when making the drawers. I didn’t read anywhere about the gap required at the top of the drawer necessary to feed the drawer onto the rails. I had added a rail between the two drawers which would have left perhaps a quarter-inch gap for each drawer top to bottom. But struggle as I might, I just couldn’t get it all to work out because there need to be at least 1/2″ in order for the door slide rollers to pass by one another. Yes, I’m a moron but it took me a while to break down and remove the center rail. By then I had struggled so much and been so frustrated that I just had to call it quits and start again on Sunday.

By the time I made it to the shop on Sunday morning, I had already watched a YouTube video on the installation of this style of drawer slide. The video gave a couple of great tips on assembling drawers (which were of no use to me now) a one use tip on using a spacer to support the slide while marking the position on both sides of the carcass. With this knowledge and with some trial and error I was able to get the drawers functioning.

The final challenge was to affix the top. I you happen to notice, under the solid wood top is a plywood panel so I wouldn’t be attaching the top to apron as is done in most situations. A further complication was that I felt I wanted the panel to “float” which I thought would add shadow and therefore dimension to the piece. I questioned whether or not I was going to be able to gain enough access from underneath considering the plywood sub-top. One option was to cut through the center portion of the plywood piece, leaving the outer edges and corners to add strength. In the end, I was hoping for as simple solution as possibly and I came up with cutting the discarded rail (see above) into 4 pieces and screwing them to the plywood top. I then drilled down through the center of these shims piercing the plywood sub-top. I then positioned the top and using a punch marked the top to drill for screws. At that point it was a simple matter to use a screw up through the pre-drilled holes and into the top. Of course this had to be done with a hand powered screwdriver and a shot one at that. Wood movement is possibility but I’m not shipping all over the country and it is probably about as humid as it’s going to get so it might shrink but hopefully not swell.

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I think it turned out pretty nice. Clearly if I built another one I would make a couple of modifications which would save aggravation and Susan wanted me to build a second one for her side of the bed.  I told her if I build another one I want to paint it purple. She looked confused……..

purple-green

Nest up: Time for the Turtlecovebrewer to get busy making toys for big boys and girls. He also needs to brew but where is he going to get the time???

Rhyan End Table – Part 2

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

So November 5 was my birthday so I had decided to celebrate by taking the entire week off work. You would have thought that I would have accomplished an amazing number of tasks in the shop but alas, I only managed a few. The week never-the-less was well spent and turned out to be a pretty good mix of family chores, relaxing, reading, practicing instrument and shop time.

Panels

My intended design is a mix of painted surfaces and natural tops and drawer fronts. Because the top third of the carcass is exposed I wanted to add a second solid panel to this surface. Below was the actual top which will overhang the carcass an inch on all sides.

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For the panel which covers the drawers (the lower top) I used nothing but tape to secure the two pieces while the glue set. This is method often used by luthiers when gluing acoustic tops. It worked quite well and I found there was less movement of the two pieces then overzealous use of F-clamps. More efficient glue clean-up as well.

The "lower" top

Mockup

With most of the components constructed, I mocked up the night stand. The “lower” panel hadn’t been glued up, if you’re wondering about the wood sticking out of the side. Turns out I bought another board rather than use these scrap pieces.

Night stand mockup

 

Paint and Top Coat

I used one can of forest green spray paint for the carcass which I applied in three coats. The drawer pulls were purchased from the home center and I would have preferred them to be slightly larger but these were all they had. Pulls were also painted.

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For the top coat I used my groovy new Fuji Semi-PRO2 hvlp sprayer. I was clueless which model to get the gravity or siphon feed so I did my best to read various opinions on the matter. The gravity feed has the benefit of, well, gravity which is supposed to be of advantage however to me the gun looked top-heavy. The siphon feed appeared to have a larger capacity but in theory wasted more product. Then there was the question of which profile allowed you access to where you needed to spray and on the debate went. I opted for the gravity feed which it turns out can easily be converted to siphon feed should that turn out to be necessary. So far I see no reason for this.

Fuji 2203G Semi-PRO 2 - Gravity HVLP Spray System

Other than the fact that I need practice I found the sprayer was relatively easy to use. Expect there to be a learning curve as you figure out your air to finish ratio, fan pattern and spray technique. This project allowed me to at least discover some of these variables and controls and I believe that I’ll get better. Over all I didn’t find it that difficult to get started. I did want to build a small cart to house all these components. Possibly modify a small hand truck with a storage bin and place to wrap up the hose and electrical cord. I haven’t really decided though.

Stay tuned, I’m almost there

Rhyan End Table – Part 1

October 28, 2015 2 comments

I found the free plans for this build on the Ana White website. This site isn’t for uppity woodworkers (or should I say wood craftsman??) rather it is a wonderful place for average folks like me to find all kinds of DIY inspiration. Kudos to Ana and the scores of folks who are “simply making stuff”!

My wife Susan and I inherited bedroom furniture from my Mom which we needed for our second home in Melrose, Florida. It was so wonderful to once again have a king sized comfortable bed and dresser making the place look lived in once again. The set came with one night stand and we really needed one for each side of the bed so being a Maker, I decided to build one. As often happens the decision to build a night stand sent me chasing my tail looking for plans. I found some very nice arts and crafts tables that I liked but I just didn’t think I had the time and desire to invest so much into this project at this time. I’d still like to do it at some point but for now I wanted something attractive yet inexpensive, fast and easy to build. The good news, I found many free and varied plans but it took a while to find just the right one. Then Viola! I found the Rhyan End Table build on Ana’s site.

Rhyan's End Table

Rhyan’s End Table as posted on Ana White

It was such a versatile plan and many folks had modified it to fit their own needs and décor. This plan turned out to be the perfect base from which I could match my Mom’s furniture which was a painted dark green.

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Mom’s Furniture was… well it is Green!

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I wasn’t going flashy but I did decide to use solid wood tops and drawer fronts. I borrowed the SketchUp model and put my own spin on the design but really other than paint and the use of solid wood accents, I changed almost nothing.

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Rhyan End Table (Night Stand) design was tweaked for the Turtlecove Celestial Love Chamber

I will bevel or round over the top panel edge, I just didn’t take the time to add that to the SketchUp plan. Actually I did on the first attempt but when I increased the top size to 22″x 22″ I didn’t struggle with the second panel. I’m still a bit loose on the “Follow me” tool.

The plan called for 2″ x 2″ stock but not finding suitable at the home center I decided to laminate two pieces of 1″ x 2″ stock instead. This did require more work of course but it did give me an excuse to use the new jointer which worked beautifully for me. I also attempted to use the planer mode for the first time on the pieces for the panel top and I still have a great deal to learn in that respect. I shouldn’t be surprised, it was my first attempt after all.

Carcass Build

I suppose I should hide my head in shame that this build uses butt joints held together by glue and  pocket hole screws. Well so what! Ha, there I’ve said it. I am very confident this piece is structurally sound and I have no doubt it will hold my drink and remote control without collapsing! It might be hard to believe but I actually haven’t built very much using pocket hole joinery. I believe the bench top router table was the only other time I used pocket hole screws. Now I have used plugged, counter bore screws and glue exhaustively in other builds. Anyway, that is all the apologizing that I am I going to do about pocket holes. The carcass is built and I have glued up the top panel. You may or may not have noticed that the lower shelf is recessed. I decided to go ahead and build the carcass with plywood and follow-up with a solid panel on top of the ply. This also allowed me to correct a huge mistake that I made when assembling the laminated 1″x 2s”.

Carcass is built

Carcass is built

I realized that these glued up pieces would not be exactly as wide as they are thick and of course this can throw off registration when assembling the carcass. Realizing and doing are two different things and of course I glued them up in random mixed fashion. Had I been a proper woodworker, I would have not only realized the necessity but I would have also carefully marked my stock before assembly. Rookie mistake which I just had to soldier on through and work-around. Often, even when I make my stock I ignore the marks and glue it up wrong anyway! That is not how I want to roll so I now reprogramming myself to learn and not make these same mistakes again on future builds. After all, there are so many other mistakes that I have yet to discover, I want to leave future builds open so I can enjoy new bungles!

Next up I’ll be building drawers and finishing the tops but that hasn’t happened yet so you’ll just have to be patient…….