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My Mahogany / Invisible Speaker build - Page 5

post #121 of 385
Thread Starter 
Not a lot of actual progress to share, as I was gone for 2 weeks on travel, but I did manage to spend a day this weekend in the shop. I wanted to build myself a low assembly table, as working on these cabinets either on the floor (too low) or up on my work table (too high) was kind of a pain. So I set out to build a low table, maybe 18" tall, for this, but then ran across some plans for some saw horses from the boys at Woodsmith that I liked. These are little mini horses, really "saw ponies", that are 17" tall, but since they're stackable, you can also make them taller, if needed.

A picture of them from their plans:



First step was to create a template of the end piece profile. From there, I rough cut 8 end pieces:

BTW, you can make all four of these from a single sheet of plywood, so it's pretty economical.


The idea is that you use this template to route the final profile on the router table. One way is to use double-sided tape to afix the template to the piece; I like to use vacuum instead. That starts with applying some foam to the underside of the template:



Then I have a little vacuum-generating gizmo that uses air pressure to make the suction. With a little fitting screwed into the template, it sucks down hard onto the piece and allows you to route around the profile:



Next step is to cut a dado and a rabbet in each end piece for the two shelves. As usual, 3/4" plywood is not 0.750", but in this case was closer to 0.710":



By stacking up the two blades + three 1/8" chippers + one 3/32" chipper, that equals 0.719", a little loose for cabinetry but hey, these are just sawhorses, right?

After taking this picture, I realized out gummed-up my dado set was, so I cleaned that up later in the day... smile.gif


The fit of the dado on a test piece. Good enough:



All the pieces done, ready for assembly:



I like to dry fit everything, even for something this basic:



Done - a mini herd of saw ponies:



I really like how these stack -- very solid in this configuration of two, or you can just stack all four in a corner to keep them out of the way:



Next, back to bar cabinets this week...
post #122 of 385
Oh my God.

I have nothing else to say.
post #123 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofthesun View Post

Oh my God.

I have nothing else to say.

Hmmm, I'm guessing that either:

1) You're impressed by a set of saw ponies,

or, more likely:

2) You're staggered by just how far off topic and into the land of irrelevancy I managed to take this one...

biggrin.gif
post #124 of 385
Those looks great! I've always made my own horses for projects, but some how they always seem to get taken back apart afterwards.

I think I will copy you on the saw horses- considering I am going to be starting a total remodel (house and also a theater after ) they seem like a worthy investment now while I still have some free time.

Do you have a link to the plans you used from online ??
post #125 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Those looks great! I've always made my own horses for projects, but some how they always seem to get taken back apart afterwards.

I think I will copy you on the saw horses- considering I am going to be starting a total remodel (house and also a theater after ) they seem like a worthy investment now while I still have some free time.

Do you have a link to the plans you used from online ??

Thanks!

Here's the link -- I'm pretty certain it's open access and free to anyone...

The one thing I'd do differently if I built them again would be to increase the accuracy of the layout of the template. The more symmetrical you can make it, the better. Laying it out on a CAD program and then having Kinkos print it out full size would be nice...
post #126 of 385
So - I attempted to play around with making raised panel cabinet doors this weekend for use in my basement storage area I am building. EPIC FAIL.

First, the first router I try works for about 5 minutes and starts to smell burnt and fails. It's old mad.gif

Second, I grab the other router and discover that it does not accept the 1/2" sized raised panel door bit. It only accepts 1/4" and 3/8"

So-- I need a new router mad.gif

I saw this at harbor freight for what looks like a decent price:

http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-hp-plunge-router-37793.html

It is 2 1/2 HP, and it accepts the larger 1/2" stem router bits. Just wondering if it's crappy or not- too crappy? A real one is hundreds of dollars. Is this something I can skimp on ? Is there really a big difference?

The one that just burnt out on me was $400 when my dad bought it.
post #127 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So-- I need a new router mad.gif

I saw this at harbor freight for what looks like a decent price:

http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-hp-plunge-router-37793.html

It is 2 1/2 HP, and it accepts the larger 1/2" stem router bits. Just wondering if it's crappy or not- too crappy? A real one is hundreds of dollars. Is this something I can skimp on ? Is there really a big difference?

The one that just burnt out on me was $400 when my dad bought it.

Sorry to hear things didn't go so well...

What you ask is always a great question! Should I spend the money on a tool that will last, or go the disposable route to get through the project? Honestly, I've done both personally depending upon the project. I've bought a lot of stuff from HF, particularly automotive tools for a one-time need. The HF tool has a 90 day warranty and if you think you'll be done by then, it's a no-risk option. I imagine this router will last you a year or two, but of course that's only a wild guess on my part. It looks to be a copy of a DeWalt router I had in my old router table; that lasted about 10 years before it came to a horrible death.

You could always just try it out -- if you can use this to successfully build the doors you're working on, then that's a pretty good sign. If it fails right from the start, then maybe they have a return policy that allows you to take it back if it doesn't meet your requirements.

I'll also add that woodworking with quality tools is a joy; working with tools that have the potential to frustrate is, well, frustrating. All just my two cents, of course, and I'd love to hear others' opinions on this...
post #128 of 385
I'm on the same page as you. I think I will try it and if not too good I might go looking at $300 class of options. Thanks for solid advice.
post #129 of 385
Not sure what your budget is, but another option might be to take a look at some of the reconditioned items from a place like CPO Outlets. Here is a decent looking Bosch for $150, or here is a little smaller Porter-Cable for $120. The PC looks like a little newer version of one of my routers, and I'm happy with it.

I started out woodworking with less expensive tools including some HF jobs. There tend to be some frustrating things on tools in the lower price-points. Fine height adjustment and quick bit changes are two that come to mind for routers. I've been able to work my into some more expensive tools and I will tell you that wood working is much more enjoyable when you don't have to fight your tools to get your job done.

Also, and it might have been mentioned earlier, but you will need a speed control for using larger bits, especially raised panel bits. Something like this.
post #130 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by BllDo View Post

Not sure what your budget is, but another option might be to take a look at some of the reconditioned items from a place like CPO Outlets. Here is a decent looking Bosch for $150, or here is a little smaller Porter-Cable for $120. The PC looks like a little newer version of one of my routers, and I'm happy with it.

I started out woodworking with less expensive tools including some HF jobs. There tend to be some frustrating things on tools in the lower price-points. Fine height adjustment and quick bit changes are two that come to mind for routers. I've been able to work my into some more expensive tools and I will tell you that wood working is much more enjoyable when you don't have to fight your tools to get your job done.

Also, and it might have been mentioned earlier, but you will need a speed control for using larger bits, especially raised panel bits. Something like this.

Hi,

Thanks for the awesome post. Those look like good options too. I guess the factor I need to know is how bad is the Harbor Freight ? I mean, it's possible that it's pretty good and I could get it. Also possible it's not good enough. I am thinking I can test it out this weekend and return it and upgrade if it's not good. But that $120 link you posted has me second guessing my strategy.. .that looks nice too biggrin.gif

I have an additional question about wood-

I am planning to paint the cabinet doors with Latex interior white paint. My whole basement storage room is wood paneled and painted white long ago so it will just fit right in. Assuming I don't need too spend big bucks on nice wood for finishing- and I have a tight budget ... What wood should I use for the raised panel center pieces ??

I have some plywood and some MDF laying around, I also have plenty of No.2 Pine in 3" wide (really it's less than that, not sure why they label it such ) I am not opposed to buying wood, but I don't want to spend a ton on fancy wood that just going to get painted over. Suggestions?

I am assuming a softer wood will work better with the router and router bits right ? What wood should I use? Where do I get it ? how much $$$?

Would buying 12" wide pine and glueing two of them together for the width I need work ? Or should I look at something like a ply wood style sheet ?
post #131 of 385
Don't want to hijack Bryan's thread, but sure try the HF model. They have a good return policy. Get the speed control too. Take it low and slow.

For the panels, I'd use MDF. Rails and stiles, use poplar.
post #132 of 385
Cowger,

What are you using ? Mahogany solid or plywood mahogany ?
post #133 of 385
If I could throw one other option out there . . . check Craigslist in your local area. I've had good success picking up a couple of high-quality tools in like-new condition for less than half of the best available sale price. I picked up a really nice DeWalt plunge router that was used twice and included a handful of bits for $80 vs. the $220 in-store price.

Quite frankly I was shocked on how nice some of the available tools were as I thought all were going to be a dumping ground for heavily used contractor's tools.
post #134 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BllDo View Post

Don't want to hijack Bryan's thread, but sure try the HF model. They have a good return policy. Get the speed control too. Take it low and slow.

For the panels, I'd use MDF. Rails and stiles, use poplar.

No hijack at all!! This thread has obviously evolved from the original (poorly documented) theater build, and now I'm trying to morph it into more of a woodworking discussion as I work through the bar build. Everyone jump in!
post #135 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Cowger,

What are you using ? Mahogany solid or plywood mahogany ?

Yup! smile.gif

Back at the HT build, all the paneling is plywood, including some of the wide door jambs. Everything else is milled from solid stock.
post #136 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I have some plywood and some MDF laying around, I also have plenty of No.2 Pine in 3" wide (really it's less than that, not sure why they label it such ) I am not opposed to buying wood, but I don't want to spend a ton on fancy wood that just going to get painted over. Suggestions?

I am assuming a softer wood will work better with the router and router bits right ? What wood should I use? Where do I get it ? how much $$$?

Would buying 12" wide pine and glueing two of them together for the width I need work ? Or should I look at something like a ply wood style sheet ?

For painting, I second the recommendation to go with poplar. Inexpensive, a joy to machine and work, and due to its fairly homogeneous nature, it paints up very nicely. Probably nicer than pine, in that the grain won't telegraph through as easily as it tends to do with pine.

Regarding the raised panels, I'd suggest you try it both ways as you experiment with your new router and table -- solid wood (glued up, as you suggest above) or MDF. As I stated earlier, I think you'll have a bit of a challenge getting the machined portion of an MDF panel to paint nicely. You might decide that you like it, or you may decide that the extra work in finishing isn't worth the cost savings from the material itself.

Gluing up the panels could be done with 12" wide boards or a combination of smaller width boards. Finding 12" wide boards that are flat and will remain flat can sometimes be a challenge. Also, I'd recommend you look into making some gluing cauls as you glue up these panels (to help keep them nice and flat). I'll try to show that in an upcoming post...

Bryan
post #137 of 385
Do you mean plywood or solid pieces ?

Excuse me for being noob biggrin.gif
post #138 of 385
You can't (well shouldn't) make raised panels with plywood. The ply's show through. Your two choices are real wood or MDF.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowger View Post

As I stated earlier, I think you'll have a bit of a challenge getting the machined portion of an MDF panel to paint nicely. You might decide that you like it, or you may decide that the extra work in finishing isn't worth the cost savings from the material itself.

This is a fair point. For me, it's easier to work with MDF than to glue up a bunch of boards and then machine those. Don't have to worry about warping or splitting, and you can glue the panel to frame for a stronger door. Both ways have their merits and weaknesses. Give them both a try and see what works for you.
post #139 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Do you mean plywood or solid pieces ?

Excuse me for being noob biggrin.gif

If you're asking about poplar, I meant solid pieces for everything - stiles, railes, and raised panels. Anytime you machine something, it should be solid wood (my personal opinion). OTOH, when you leave something completely flat (e.g. my theater walls, doors with flat panels instead of raised panels) then plywood or some other type of engineered wood is a good choice, based on cost, stability, ease of obtaining large panels, etc.

Hope that helps!
post #140 of 385
Big help thanks !!!

How about thickness ? 1/2" ok ? 3/4" ?
post #141 of 385
Thread Starter 
Unless it's a mini cabinet, ie like a jewelry chest, 3/4" is the norm.

If you don't have a jointer and planer, then you probably want to buy S4S, meaning it has been trued up flat and square and is ready for machining.
post #142 of 385
What's cost I should expect ?
post #143 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What's cost I should expect ?

No real idea, sorry, as I haven't shopped around for it for a while. $3-4 a bd-ft would be my guestimate...
post #144 of 385
Thread Starter 
Got some time in the shop this weekend to make some progress. Next phase is to work on the right-most tall cabinet, the one that will house the refer and built-in coffee machine:

First task is to work on the frame and panel piece that forms the right side of this cabinet.

Initial step is to select the material and roughly mark out where each piece will come from:

This is the time to mark any knots or defects you want to cut out and to try to ensure that all the pieces will look good when joined together.

Note the ~12" wide board above that I'll cut the two 93" long stiles from, each 3.5" wide. One might think that you could have a pretty good section of that board left over after cutting out those two pieces, but I've learned (the hard way) that Mahogany sometimes has other plans in mind for you. Here's that same board after ripping a ~5" wide piece off one side:


I placed the near end back together to show how much tension is sometimes built into these boards. Maybe this piece came from a limb, but in any case, there's often a lot of "spring" built into what otherwise seems like a nice straight board. So, I've learned to cut pieces extra wide, see how they move, then slowly start removing material until you (hopefully) end up with a piece that's straight and of the correct width. It has to be an iterative process because each time you remove material, the wood moves again. The less wood removed, the less it moves, so if you go slowly and get a little bit lucky, you can end up with straight material:

Lots of waste, unfortunately: I did get those two long stiles from that 12" wide board, but the rest went onto the shop floor...


Using my crosscut sled is the best way I know of to ensure that each piece is perfectly square and keeps all the rails the exact same length:



Next it's over to the router table to machine up the cope and stile joints. I built myself a little jig to hold the rail pieces at a nice, constant distance from the fence. A bit of self-adhesive sandpaper helps keep the piece from shifting during the cut:



And here's the long stile after running it through the matching profile:



The joints turned out nice and tight:



And here's the completed frame, just dry fit for now:
post #145 of 385
Thread Starter 
Next step is to glue up the three panels, in this case made from two boards, each just under 10" wide.


I mentioned previously that gluing cauls are helpful in making this process go well -- this is the best way, IMO, to keep the panels perfectly flat during glue-up.

I decided to make another set of cauls that are long enough for these panels. In this case, I'm making them 24" long for these ~18" wide panels. I used some 1" thick oak and cut them about 2.5" wide:

I jointed one edge (shown facing up in the photo above) nice and straight, and then marked in pencil where a bit of material will be removed.

The idea is that you want a slight convex arc or taper in the caul such that when you clamp them together at each end, they are providing roughly constant pressure along their entire length. (If they were perfectly straight, the clamping pressure in the middle would be quite a bit less than near the ends.)

To make this arc, I use my jointer, set up to take about 1/32" of an inch. I mark the exact center of the caul, place that on the (powered off) jointer, the center mark just at the leading edge of the outfeed table, and then place a stop on the infeed table to serve as a starting point:

When you run this piece through, it will start by removing nothing and then taper to the full 1/32" of an inch removed at each end.


Here's a straight edge set along the curved edge of the caul -- you can just make out the 1/32" that has been removed near the end:



Then I mark the curved edge and cover it with clear packing tape -- that keeps the cauls from getting stuck with any glue squeeze out:



Here's one panel with a dry fit in the clamping setup. I'm using 3 pairs of cauls along the length of the panel; each pair of cauls has their curved edge facing each other:



I only apply glue to one edge, but I put it on nice and thick -- should be enough there to appear opaque:



And the glue-up:



If all goes well, you end up with a nice, flat panel that's ready for the next step:
post #146 of 385
Thread Starter 
The last step yesterday was to get the raised panels made. And the first part of that was to sand them to the right thickness and get them smooth. For that, I finally got to use my new thickness sander:

After spending an hour or so getting this new machine tuned up, it worked like a champ! I brought the panels down in thickness using 60 grit, then ran them up to 150 grit, nice and flat and smooth.


Then I ripped them to width and cut them to length:



And over to the router table to raise the panel. Here's after a single pass:

I took a total of 4 passes to bring the edge thickness down to match that of the groove in the frame. And I made the very last pass as light as possible to get the smoothest cut I could.


Finally, the piece dry fit and ready for glue-up:
post #147 of 385
That is a beast of a router set-up. Nice write up. Thanks.

Is that a digital read-out for your router?

post #148 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BllDo View Post

That is a beast of a router set-up. Nice write up. Thanks.

Is that a digital read-out for your router?

Thanks! Yes, it is indeed a digital readout for the height of the bit. I use it more than I thought I would and it's very useful when you need to adjust the bit, even down to 0.001".

For example, when raising the panel and getting close to the final thickness of the edge, I use digital calipers to measure the current thickness, subtract the width of the groove, and then just crank the bit up by that difference. There are other ways to accomplish this but I have to admit I enjoy having this feature.
post #149 of 385
Nice, is that the Master Lift Excel II? What do you think of it?
post #150 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BllDo View Post

Nice, is that the Master Lift Excel II? What do you think of it?

Yes, that's it. I just got this about 4 months ago, built the cabinet that it's on, and have absolutely no complaints about it. It is a huge upgrade for me over my old router table setup, and being able to crank the router up and down, combined with the digital readout, is a joy and definitely improved my accuracy and capabilities.

I also just added that pair of the Clear Cut roller feed guides from Jessem, and they are a nice upgrade over feather boards. smile.gif
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