Monday, November 21, 2016

Office build-along, pt. 7

Last time we spoke, I spent an inordinate amount of time discussing how I moved a wall outlet and subsequently attached a piece of paneling to the wall. Today, things get real, because we're going vertical! The upright supports for my bookcase consist of 10--count 'em--2"x12"x10' boards. That's right, I'm using 2"x12"s, which are stout pieces of lumber. The first order of business was to cut them for size. My ceiling is just over 9' tall, which makes the boards too long. But the ceiling isn't consistently 9' tall--I've found the distance between ceiling and floor can vary by as much as a quarter inch or more, so I had to measure each board for each spot. Some I cut just a hair too long to fit, so I had to go back out and sand them down to fit. The one thing I didn't want was to cut too short so they'd be loose. I need stability and shoring up a loose vertical would be a real pain.

Once the verticals were cut for length, I lined them all up in position, along with the cabinets that will make up the base. Only there's a problem. Can anyone spot it?

Oh my! It would appear the width of the cabinets, combined with the width of the 2"x12" boards, is about 2" more than the wall allows. Not only will that end cabinet not fit into the narrow slot there, there is no room for the 2"x12" that goes on the right side of it. You know the saying, "Measure twice and cut once?" Well, I did. And sadly, my measurements predicted this exactly several months back. Those extra-narrow vertical cabinets I ordered special? That's because I knew early on the regular, 12" wide cabinets would never come close to fitting. Even so, I've got more lumber than space for. Fortunately, I'd formulated a plan. I just lined everything up hoping that my estimates were wrong, and everything would miraculously fit. No such luck.

The first thing was to mark each vertical board where it met a cabinet. I had to pull 2" from somewhere, and the vertical boards looked like my best bet.

Earlier I said that for every problem, I come up with the most convoluted solution possible. I fear that's what I did this time, but I worried the problem for a couple months and couldn't hit upon another solution. I used a router to reclaim those missing two inches. I've got five verticals, and figured I could shave half an inch off each one if I set the router bit to cut 1/4" deep. I could only router one side of the vertical flush against the opposite wall, but the remaining boards should've given me more than enough flexibility to reclaim the space I needed.

I set up an adjustable rip fence/cut guide above the line I drew marking where the board met the cabinet, and started grinding away wood from that point down. The biggest problem with this is that router is designed to sit on a flat plane of wood and cut a groove. As I trimmed away more and more wood, there was much less surface area to support it, and my routing grew less and less stable. Eventually, I learned to start at the bottom and work my way back and forth in curved sweeps, keeping the router at least half supported at all times. I can assure you, this was not quick work. It took several evenings to get all of it done, but once the sawdust settled, so to speak, the verticals and cabinets all fit nice and snug in the space available.

There is probably a smarter, faster way to accomplish this goal, but for the life of me I can't figure what it might be. In any event, I'm through with the bulk routing and hope to never do that again. More traditional, groove routing, however, is another story. There's a lot of that coming up. Stay tuned. Now Playing: David Bowie Best of Bowie
Chicken Ranch Central

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Can't always be perfect first time around, now can it?