Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finally on to other things...

Got the garage cabinets and worktop finished. I still have to install some T-track into the countertop to make a clamping hold-down, but I'm not in a rush with that right now. What's important is that I managed to hang doors, build drawer boxes and fronts, and I learned a LOT of valuable skills that will help me build things in the future.

 One thing I figured out really fast while doing this is that having good materials helps. Since I pretty much got all this wood from Home Depot, I'm not entirely sure of its quality, flatness, consistency, etc. I figured if I could make something good with that stuff, then anything I build in the future will only come out better as I take the time and spend the money for better stock.

I also learned a lot of valuable lessons about measuring and procedures. I'm sure that some of the problems would have been fixed if I had been smart about what I was doing in the first place, but considering I have zero prior woodworking experience, this project helped me learn a lot about how to set up my table saw, cut samples, make accurate rips and crosscuts, etc. All of these make for valuable skills when it comes time for me to build something that really counts.

I also learned that taking a 2 month break between making initial cuts on this and finishing it probably was a bad idea. That gave my first set of cabinet panels and stuff time to warp and cup and all that. Everything else was basically purchased and cut within a day or two after that.

These cabinets definitely aren't perfect. All the reveals aren't perfect and there are errors here and there that I know will remind me about the importance of doing stuff right. I learned a lot about how to measure for doors and drawer fronts. I know that any set of cabinets I make in the future will definitely turn out better because I know better about what I'm doing. Many of the things that I read about in my books that seemed utterly confusing are now extremely clear. Nothing like some learning by screwing up.

Overall, I'm happy with them, though. My tools have a home, I have a workbench that's functional and usable for my future projects, and I got to put my table saw through its paces to see how it would do. I'm definitely happy with it, and know I'll get good use out of it in the future.