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goldhiller
Re: Build your own cabinets

Walt,

Wisdom? Ain't got any. I do have some experience though. Some good, some bad. Lots of scars acquiring it too. Both physical and financial. 90% of learning is a negative experience. ;)

If I'm following correctly, the board has a curve down its long edge, primarily at both ends.

(Technically, that thar curve in a long edge would be termed "crook". The same situation down the face of the board would technically be called "bow". Across the face of the board would be "cup", but then you already know that. Probably already know that what you have is actually crook, but just used the wrong term this time. )

Yeah, if you have a ten foot piece and your jointer bed is too short to handle this alone & there's no experienced helper at hand.........you'll be forced to use some other means to accomplish the deed. One simple quick method that should work fine for this........think Roy Underhill. :) Got a chalkline? You should be able to snap a line real close to that edge and use that as a visual guide while you hand plane to an acceptably straight result.

If the string on your chalkline is new or relatively new.....it will be fuzzy and able to hold alot of chalk. You don't want that. You need the cleanest, narrowest line that it can put down. To get that......unreel all the line you'll need, tighten it up and snap it out in free air to shed most of the chalk. Then snap your board. Hopefully you get a decently clean and narrow line. (Or try it out on a piece of scrap first. You may find that you have to "free air snap" the line twice to shed enough chalk to get that cleaner line.) Use blue chalk........NOT orange or red. Blue should wipe off with a damp cloth. Red or orange.......good luck. You'll be sanding it off.

Then use the most appropriate handplane that you have to pare off the curved portions of that board...using the chalkline as your guide. Impossible call from here as to what planes you have and which one(s) will work best in your instance. Longer/bigger isn't *always* better. Depends on the situation. (Make sure that whichever plane you use ....it's sharp)

To keep the newly created edge square to the face of the board.........clamp the face side of another board along side of the one you're working one......leaving that board stick up past the target edge about 1/2' - 1" or so. What will work will depend somewhat upon what type of plane you're using. The objective here is to create a bearing wall/fence for the side of the plane body to run against so as to keep the plane's bottom square to the edge of the target board.........without interfering with your ability to push the plane across the wood. Hence the need to keep the upward projection of this board shorter than the total height of the plane. Of course, you'll also to need to make sure that the plane's blade is properly setup in the plane body; edge of plane blade is dead parallel to sole of the plane. Basically the same as the knives in a jointer. You wouldn't want one end of a knife sticking up higher than the other end.

Just how perfectly straight your end result needs to be.......is your call. If you don't need or intend to do one or more long shoot(s) down the entire length of this 10 footer in the end, then your temporary plane fence needn't be much longer than each area you need to straighten.

If the other edge of this board needs to be parallel to the one you're about to straighten...you might consider this to reduce the time and effort of the handplaning procedure: Straighten the first edge within reason, then using it against the fence of your tablesaw ....rip the other edge. Now flip and use the second edge to restraighten the first one. Be careful if you only have a total of 3/8" to play with.

waltdeckhouse
Re: Build your own cabinets

GH,

That is freakin' brilliant!!! This whole time I have been thinking "What the heck do I have that is straight and 10 feet long?" For the longest time I have been drawing a blank. I figured sighting it was the best I could hope for.

I have a low angle block plane and a much nicer low angle jack plane from Lie-Nielson like this
http://www.garrettwade.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=101963&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=12395&iSubCat=12393&iProductID=101963

I am thinking the jack plane for this. The idea of putting the board along side the work piece is another piece of brilliance. Never would have come up with that on my own. I will give this all a shot and let you know how it goes.

Next project is a mantle for over the fireplace. of course, DW does not want a flat straight piece of wood. I will send you some pictures of what she wants to to.

-W

goldhiller
Re: Build your own cabinets

Walt,

If you run into this kinda situation again and you have to remove a "bunch" of material to straighten the edge, I'd suggest that you try using the chalkline to get your reference (or the actual target line itself).....and then use your circular saw to remove the vast majority of (or all ) of the wood that needs to go. Clamp a straight-edged board down on the face of the subject board and then run the edge of the circular saw's sole against this temp fence to ensure a straight cut. If you then need a bit nicer edge than the blade left behind, take a couple passes with the handplane.

This type of approach actually works bestest and fastest if you have an 8' dedicated shoot-board made up from a couple strips of ply (1/4" luan makes a good choice for this)......because then there are no additional calculations as to how far you need to clamp said fence from the target line. That because the edge of the dedicated shoot-board will show you exactly where the saw blade is gonna cut.

Or have you made one of these shoot-boards already?

If not, I think the FWW and/or FHB disc has an article on this. Or you can probably find instructions by Googling it...or post back here and one of us will tell/show ya (pics) how to make the critter. It will make life much easier and more productive in both the shop and when doing jobsite construction stuff. I don't leave home without mine. They're always in the truck. (One for finish work and one for rougher construction stuff........where I might, for instance, be screwing it to the side of a house to cut siding or similar)

Since they are a *dedicated* device..........they will be made to fit one particular saw running a particular thickness of sawblade. I have mine marked as to which saw they are for and what thickness of blade. Actually.... I'll suggest you use the exact same blade that you used to make the SB in the first place.....as that will ensure the most accurate end result. That means switching blades sometimes so that you aren't using/dulling a "precious" blade unnecessarily, but it's worth the effort IMO. This is more so the case when it comes to the "finish" SB that's reserved for instances when high accuracy is an absolute must (Finish, trim and cabinet work). The rough one for basic construction stuff.........not so important really.

goldhiller
Re: Build your own cabinets

Walt,

Me again. :D

Spent the whole dang day movin' snow.......and whilst I was out there on the skidder, I realized that I done forgot to mention something....kinda important. Sorta.

When you're straightening this current board and think you're getting close to straight....you could take the edge of a known straight board (one that yu do on the jointer perhaps if you have nothing just lying around right now).....maybe 4' or 5' long and offer it up to the edge you're trying to straighten instead of just eye-balling it. That *should* tell you if what you've done is now straight... and/or where any remaining high or low spots are.

Maybe it doesn't matter so much this time because if I understand correctly, this new edge is going to mate up with the brick of the chimney. Consequently, you may actually end up tweaking that edge a bit out of straight to make it mate up better. Don't know, can't see from here. ;)

waltdeckhouse
Re: Build your own cabinets

GH,

Sorry to hear about your snow troubles. We have not gotten much on the east coast this year. You get spoiled...not having to shovel every other day :0)

Thanks for your tips. No...I have not made a shooting board for my circular saw. Interesting story though. Years ago I bought one of these aluminum extrusions that are for guiding a tool (they have a clamp on the ends) I bought a tray that rides on the guide and you are supposed to mount a circular saw to that. So I went out and bought a new Milwaukee saw and fitted everything up, made a spacer for setting the edge of the guide, etc. Well...this setup never really worked that great. It always seemed like the guide would bind somewhere in the travel. I was never sure if I bent the guide...or the blade was not straight to the travel...or if it was just a stupid idea to start with. I got so frustrated with it I went back to drawing a line with a square and cutting it with the same saw (the saw itself is good...plus I put a nice blade on it) and pushing it through by hand. Chalked it up to another bad investment on my part. Well recently a friend on mine is getting into building some of his own cabinets and he asked me about cutting sheets of plywood. I told him my idea was terrible and he should just go buy a Fest tool with a guide. I didn't really think he would do it as they cost $400 and he is a cheapskate. But he did....and turns out he loves the set up. I am guessing a shooting board like you described is a more pratical version of the same thing. I should probably go ahead and build one to put this thing to bed.

Regarding the board in question....I was planning on scribing one side to the wall (without straightening the crook) And then once that is settled scribing the post line to the other edge. I will need to offset so the mahogony wraps around the post...instead of to it. But then I thought I need to make that edge straight...not match the contour of the post. The top of the cap would sit nicer on a straight edge...not one that matches the post. Am I making any sense here:confused:

Any who...thanks for thinking about my problem. I sometimes wonder if I think about these things WAAAAYYY too much. Knowing that you go off and plow some snow..still thinking about the problem...that brings me comfort :o

waltdeckhouse
Re: Build your own cabinets

GH,

So I was sitting here thinking about this more ;)

What thicknesses of plywood do you use for the shooting board? Seems like it would need to be beefy to keep from getting crooked from general shop abuse (or hanging around in the back of a truck)

I guess you get the guide edge straight by relying on a tablesaw cut being straight? Or do you build on the chalk line approach to getting a straight edge?

and waht kind of materials do you use? I could see the base being .25" plywood...but the guide portion would need a smooth edge wouldn't it? MDF maybe?

-W

goldhiller
Re: Build your own cabinets

walt,

Tell ya what...........if I get the chance (and remember to) in the next couple days, I'll take some pics of one of my SB rigs.......and post 'em.

Mine are made of 1/4" luan....period. Keeps them light and yet they are plenty strong/durable for the task at hand. Been using them for years and years. The fence/guide that the saw sole rides against is also 1/4" luan....two pieces stacked on top of one another. You could, of course, use a piece of 1/2" ply instead for that. I would avoid MDF for this. Too dang heavy and susceptable to damage (rendering it useless) if it so much as sprinkles on it while you're using it outside.

I think mine ate up about 1/2 sheet of luan each. IOW, two rigs from one sheet. VERY EXPENSIVE!!! :D Maybe 15-20 minutes each to make.....start to finish.

Lest I should forget to mention later when I hopefuly post those pics.............one of the two sides on one of my SBs is specifically used for angled cuts, i.e......trimming the bottom of doors, etc. On my "general duty" rig for basic construction stuff, I have the two edges dedicated for two different blades. That way, no matter which blade is in the saw at the moment .... I can proceed without a blade change if that blade is suitable to the task at hand. If you wanted to, you could set it up for two different circular saws. Do whatever suits and will you give some advantage or versatility. More bang for the buck that way.

And yes.....there all manner of fancy,schmancy tools out there. Some of them are worth the money IF you're actually gonna use 'em on a regular basis. But many of those same tasks can be accomplished with a quickly made jig for far less money. They may not be made of titanium or have a nice shiny chrome finish, but they are real tools that will produce real results nonetheless. And there's no waiting for UPS to bring them to your door...... for only $37 shippng charges. :D

When to buy and when to make is a judgement call....frequently based on experience. It all depends....as per usual.

PS- If you make that guide-fence too thick (more than 1/2" as a rule), it's likely that the motor housing of the saw will ride up on it when you have your blade depth set for max. Not a good thing.

PS 2- I have never been impressed with Milwaukee sidewinder circular saws. I've seen many and used a few. (Never owned one myself and likely won't) Rugged....yes. Accurate.. no...not in my experience anyway. Particularly so when you adjust the blade depth. Seems prone to altering the set angle and such...with no easy remedy or adjustment to prevent that from happening. Argh.

My partner's MS came with the blade seriously out of alignment with the sole. This was discovered when he made a SB and used it. Much binding resulted. Too late then. Shoulda checked things over first, but he didn''t. Had to toss that new SB, align the sawblade/sole and make another new SB. Live and learn.

waltdeckhouse
Re: Build your own cabinets

GH,

What kind of CS do you use with your jig? When I looked into it a while back I got the impression that Milwaukee was good because it has roller bearings on the spindle. Of course that does not help if the sole is not aligned to the blade. I wonder if that is my problem with the aluminum extrusion set up I came up with. Is there a brand and model that you have found to be good for this? I guess asking for an accurate CS is like asking for a precision paint roller ;) I could always take my nice blade off that saw and put it onto something more worthy. And relegate the MS to rough construction duty.

-W

goldhiller
Re: Build your own cabinets

walt,

I'm using a Porter-Cable sidewinder for most things. Can't recall which model right now and am too lazy to run out to the truck thru the snow to find out.

It's been a good saw to me. Light, powerful and accurate. And very reasonably priced.

Don't do anything rash yet. Yours may be fine as far as sole edge to blade and all that...or can be easily adjusted if it isn't right now.

waltdeckhouse
Re: Build your own cabinets

GH,

Does our saw have the blade on the left or the right of the motor? IIRC part of the reason I went with the Milwaiukee was the blade on the left...making it easier to see the cutting when pushing through with the right hand.

-W

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