Hey PORC lovers. I'm working on the titles of my posts to see what kind of responses I get. Don't worry, I will likely end up with a half naked hottie at some point in one of my posts to capitalize on our wonderful obsession with pretty things. Maybe then I can get 200 fans on Facebook, and one of my readers will get a free table. Until then, I've decided to withhold one of my favorite things in life. A Good Screw. Keep reading below for all the painstaking details.
I like a challenge. I am working on a fancy little project for some repeat clients. A simple bookshelf. Open design, modern look, and beautiful material. As with many projects, I was approached to "copy" a cabinet they had found at a retail store, but then modify it to fit the space and needs. Many woodworkers hate this kind of assignment. They feel it is below them, they feel used, and don't enjoy copying the works of others. I couldn't disagree more. I love seeing what kind of pieces are being made for the select masses and study the design. I KNOW for certain that the designers that made said piece have oodles more experience than I do. Why not learn from them? And why should I feel like I'm taking a creative backseat to them? The original design is simply a blueprint for final project. A place to start.
This is the original idea that I got to work with. When getting all the modifications they wanted to have, I shot back some drawings for them to look over.
So, when do we get to talk about the screwing thing? NOW! Now is the time.
Earlier I mentioned liking a challenge. So I gave myself one. Can I build this entire unit and not use a single screw, or nail for that matter? Short answer is "Yes, I think I can." I assembled the entire thing using traditional mortise and tenon joinery. Is it overkill? Maybe. Is it time consuming? YES! But this kind of case construction works with cabinets made of plywood, AND on solid stock. And when done properly, the allignment is flawless.
In my post just yesterday, I talked about my 5 favorite tools. 4 of them were used to build this cabinet. As usual, Festool was there for me. After cutting up the large sheet goods,(cut to length with the Festool Saw) I needed to glue up some plywood, so out come the clamps. 26 to be exact.
Then it's time for some careful layout with tool #3 from yesterday. After that's complete, it's time to drill a lot of holes.
Once every piece gets sanded, were off to the races. Assembly! (this is where we cross our fingers and hope that everything fits like a glove. After a dry fit, all of the pieces are labeled and disassembled. Out comes the glue and clamps.
I start at the bottom and work my way up. By the time it's all said and done, I've got about 20 clamps holding everything together. Now I get to watch the glue dry. :) The nice thing about using tenons to hold everything together is they also provide an accuracy that is nearly perfect. AND, AND, AND, so far... no nails or screws.
That wraps up about 13 hours in the shop. The next stage will be to build 4 small drawers, mill up some nice walnut for the 3" face, and finish her all up. As you can see, there is nothing "production" about this. In spite of the origin of this project, when we are all said and done, we'll have a delightful custom piece made to order.
Is the construction process clear? Is there anything you would like to see in the next phase of this project? If so, hit me up in the comment section. Have a great weekend all!