Project Update 2: Armoire

It’s almost 11:30 am; and I’ve been up since before 6 am and have yet to shower! I have however, gotten a big chunk of my reports for work done though. Instead of going back to bed after I fed E. early this morning I went downstairs and worked on my reports while he (and N.) continued to sleep.

I had to work on things this morning because while the weekend turned out to be relaxing, it was not productive at all (unless you count watching a two-hour marathon of The Women of Ninja Warrior as productive.)

Anyway, I’ve gotten to a good stopping point in my work and E. is taking a nap, and so I thought I would put together an update on the armoire I’m building.

Class on Wednesday was a little frustrating due to my sloppy project planning. I spent 15 minutes agonizing over the length of the legs of the armoire because they “looked too tall.” I ended up trimming 2 inches off of them and now feel better about the legs but worse about my planning skills. Oh well.

The only other thing I accomplished at class this last week was that I cut the dadoes where the fixed shelves will go. There will be fixed boards at the top, bottom, and middle of the armoire; these are essentially what holds the armoire together to form a box. I had to cut dadoes, or grooves, into the two sides where the shelves will be glued in. It’s very important that the dadoes on both sides are exactly parallel (or as close as possible) so the shelves will be level when they’re glued in. I positioned the sides using a stop block and clamps to make sure I was cutting the dadoes in the same place on both sides. I used a panel router to cut the dadoes, which you can see below.

The cut dado is circled in yellow in the picture below.

There’s no class this week because of Spring Break, but next week I’ll glue in the shelves to form the main box of the armoire, which should be pretty exciting.

I just checked–E.’s still sleeping (yay!) and so I’m going to hop in the shower. At least I’ll get it in before noon!

Project Update 1: Armoire

Woodworking went really well this last Wednesday. I made a lot of progress, even though I spent too much time dithering about some of the dimensions. As you can see below, my plans aren’t super-detailed. I’m pretty visually-minded, and so it’s hard for me to decide what the dimensions should be from my lovely not-to-scale drawing.

Last week I sanded smooth and cut to size the 4 long pieces and 6 short pieces that will make up the side panels of the armoire. You can see how they fit together in the lower right corner of the plans. This week I used a router to cut the profiles and the grooves of these pieces so they can fit together.
My instructor found a spare piece of walnut laminate that he said I could use for the panels. It’s not solid wood, but it has a real walnut veneer on the front. The dimensions of the laminate panels determine the overall dimensions of the sides of the armoire, and so I put a side together to help get an idea of what I wanted the overall dimensions to be. It took me entirely too long, but I finally decided that the legs should be 7 1/2 inches tall. (I know, I know–7 1/2 is SO MUCH better than 8 or 7 inches! I’m glad you agree.) So I cut the laminate to size.

And then I glued the whole thing together. There was only enough time left in class to glue one side; I’ll have to do the other side next time. Even though I only got one side together, I was pleased with the progress I made this week. It usually takes me longer to get to this point and so it’s satisfying to have a side put together already. It’s makes it seem more like a piece of furniture in progress instead of a pile of sticks.

Next week: making the top and bottom of the armoire.

Project: Pie Safe/Armoire

I really enjoy woodworking. I’ve taken an evening class at a local college off and on for the last couple of years. It’s a great class; students can work on whatever they want, the shop has professional grade tools and machinery, and the instructor’s great. I like the fact that I can go to class once a week, work on my project with all of the tools there, and then leave all of my stuff at the shop and come home. I don’t have to drag stuff back and forth or find room in my garage for a bunch of tools.

The projects I’ve made at the class so far (in order) are a coffee table, a large CD shelf, a headboard, and a crib. I’ll take some pictures of them and do a seperate post sometime. The crib was a close one: I finished it when I was about 5 months pregnant. E. seems to enjoy it, though.

I kind of wanted to take the class one more time. N. was very supportive of the idea and so I signed up again. The class is on Wednesdays and tonight is the first class to work in the shop. I think the class runs for 10 weeks. Anyway, our house has slowly filled up with furniture and I wasn’t sure what would be the best piece of furniture to make. I decided on an armoire/pie safe to go in what will be my office/sewing room. I’m going to use it to store yarn, fabric, and other supplies. I figure that it could also be used in a guest room to store linens or even a tv, so it should be fairly useful.

I bought plans for this pie safe online. I am not a huge fan of country style in general, and I want to change it around quite a bit. For instance, I’m going to make solid doors instead of using the tin panels and I’m going to put the drawers at the bottom. I think it will end up looking like a smaller sized armoire. But looking at these plans helped me get an idea of how it will go together.

Earlier this week, I went down to the lumberyard and bought 15 board feet of walnut. I am such a sucker for walnut (it’s what I made the crib out of) and the only way I can afford any walnut furniture is to make it myself.

I’m going to try and take my camera to class every week, so check back in to see my progress!