Friday, August 16, 2013

All done..what's next?

I put on the last coat of poly yesterday, and I'm going to put the nightstand in the room today. Overall, I'm happy how it came out. I did learn that I should try to find better quality wood -- obviously wood from the Borg (orange or blue) isn't going to be what I'd like to work with on a regular basis, but since I don't have a planer, rough cut lumber isn't in my sights yet, so I just have to deal with that for now.

I am glad that I was able to make this nightstand quickly and without a lot of drama. I am finding that for every project I make, I almost always seem to acquire a new tool or parts for my existing tools. For this project, I got a couple new router bits.

I also am glad that with each project, I learn new skills. On this project, I learned how to layout and make mortise and tenon joinery and I also learned how to make tapered legs. I used locking rabbet joinery like I normally do when I make drawers, but this time I used a 3/4" front panel so I had to learn how to mill the locking grooves a little differently.

This project also got me to work on my finishing technique a little more, and I know that I have a way more to go on that. I have to be more diligent about my surface preparation by sanding enough and making sure I sand everything evenly. I also do need to work on my wipe-on finish technique. I do believe that these are all learning experiences, and that my future projects will come out better.

I think my next project will have to be a shop-related project. I have to make a dedicated table for assembly and finishing. Since I built Chibi's vanity, I realized that having a lower work surface would be a good idea. Even though this nightstand is just over 24" tall, I found that even that can be a little tall since my table saw sits about 37" high, so reaching around the top can be a chore.

I also need more storage for tools. I foolishly thought that my original set of cabinets would be enough. To be honest, they do hold everything pretty well, but over time, you can always make improvements. I'm finding that I want to keep my assembly and finishing tools in one place. That way I don't have to make trips around the garage to get things. I want it all in one place. Add on top of that the fact that pin nailer and stapler that I just got from Harbor Freight did not come with cases, and I now have a storage dilemma.

My goal for the assembly cabinet is pretty simple, I think. It has to be mobile, and it should have a good work surface I can use to assemble, sand, and finish my projects. I think that I'll build it in a similar fashion to my stationary bench, but I'll make it a few inches lower to give me some room to work so I don't put any pieces of wood through the lights in the ceiling of the garage. I want it to have a power strip so I can run my extension cord to it and run my compressor and sanders. It should also have some drawer and door storage for my nailers, compressor, and finishing supplies.

My next project for the room is going to be a dresser. I want to make sure that Nadine has enough storage for her kimono and all that. I think I've settled on a design, so I just need to start looking at the parts for it. I haven't decided yet what it's going to be made of, but since I researched and found that $130 for cherry plywood isn't a total rip-off, especially considering how much it must cost to ship it here, I might bite the bullet and use cherry plywood and solid cherry wood.

Always have to clean after the projects are done.