Back in the shop and back on track after yesterday’s detour to make the shooting board. I put together the remaining 3 drawers and repainted the play area (the big blue thing). Here’s how it went down…
First up, I cut the side and front/back pieces from a length of poplar stock (1/4” x 3 1/2” x 36”), slapped ‘em on the shooting board and trued up every cut edge (and one factory edge that was off).
It worked like a charm and within a few minutes, I had all the pieces for the first drawer of the day ready for the next step.
Once everything was milled, I turned my attention to the front and back pieces. I cut out the rabbets just like the drawer from last time. I scribed a line the thickness of the side board from the edge (1/4”) of the back/front board , then used the pull saw to cut 1/8” through the back/front board (half the original thickness). Then I propped it up in the mini-Moxon bench vise and used my chisels to chip away at the waste. Instant rabbet. The first drawer took me about 10 minutes to make the rabbets. The subsequent drawers went faster. The last drawer only took about half the time as the first one today, which took way less than half the time of the one from last time.
Once I had my rabbets cut, it was time to assemble! Taking a lesson from yesterday (ie, don’t use a a hammer and cheap easily bendable nails), I hooked up the compressor (thanks again, Dad!) and broke out the brad nailer. bam bam bam that thing is sweet. Lickety-split I had the first drawer assembled and thanks to the shooting board and careful chisel work, the box was already square!
I flipped it over on to a piece of 1/4” maple plywood (MDF interior) and traced out the drawer. The pull saw made short work of the plywood (I know it’s terrible for the blade, but it’s a few years old and already has some kinks in it—made before I knew how to use it properly).
With nice—fairly straight cuts—I fitted the plywood to the box and nailed away!
I used my Groz block plane to trim off the excess plywood (really not much more than a few swipes per side) and then chamfered and rounded the edging so the kids won’t find sharp corners. There were 2 nails that popped through the sides, but my file made short work of the points and the problem was solved. One drawer done, in about 30 minutes!
I then noticed a cold front coming in—the wind outside was picking up and the sun disappeared. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch for tonight so I figured it was time to paint or I’d have to wait till tomorrow. I stepped aside to repaint the play area with a fresh can of blue paint (after I sanded it with a brown paper bag). It should be nice and smooth and evenly covered now.
While the play area dried, I turned my attention back to the drawers. I repeated the process above with less mistakes and by the time the shortened shop session ended today (my son gets out of school early on Wednesdays, so I lose about 30 minutes of nap time/free time/shop time/writing time) I had all four drawers complete and ready for the next step.
Next up is to build the little collection boxes that will hang under the “wings” (or “end-zones”, as my beautiful wife calls them). I came up with a plan for these while bouncing along in the back of the car on the way home from our trip last weekend. The sides will be 1/2” plywood and the face will be 1/4” plywood with a false bottom so the kids and drop out the collected Legos. The sliding bottom may prove to be the most difficult thing on this project, but after finishing these drawers (well, except for the false fronts) I’m flush with confidence.