Saturday, March 22, 2014

I love my planer....

Nadine and I spent most of the day today running errands and stuff, so I didn't have much time to do woodworking today. I unclamped the base to my nightstand and everything was good. It's all within 1/32" to being perfectly square, and that's plenty good enough for me. I spent my afternoon working on the drawer for the nightstand. I figured that if I built that today, I can finish up the top either tomorrow after my concert, or Monday afternoon after school.

I have some 1/2" plywood lying around from my chest of drawers project, but I decided that I wanted solid wood drawers. After all, the entire thing is made with pine, so having plywood in the drawer seems like a horrible waste. This also gave me a free chance to use my planer that hasn't seen any use short of some test cuts.

I planed down a few pieces of pine down to 1/2" and the planer worked awesome. I did some reading up on how to reduce planer snipe, and I'm happy to say that I've been able to keep the snipe to a minimum. Whatever was there was easily sanded down or cut off. I put together the drawers with very little incident except for me making my bottom panel slightly too big, but that was an easy trim with my table saw.

The planer makes drawer construction super easy. Having flat 1/2" stock is awesome.

I learned that having properly planed wood makes things REALLY easy to lay out and the dry fit was super easy  because everything was flat and square. Now I know what people are talking about when they say to have properly squared and prepped stock. If I had money for some rough lumber, I can see how projects can be made almost perfectly with much less effort. It just takes time to prep the stock.

I'm not sure what I was thinking before assembly since I normally sand the interior drawer surfaces, but I stupidly didn't think to avoid the joint areas. I ended up sanding the joints a little loose, but everything was still snug and the glue grabbed fine. I'll fill the small gaps prior to finishing, so no big deal.

Got a little overzealous with the sander there.

I need to figure out a way to catch the planer chips. The exhaust fan is extremely strong and it blew all the chips right into and straight out of the trash can I was planning on using. It doesn't work with my dust separator because the fan is so strong it blows everything out of there too. I'll have to research that. I also need to modify my dust collector so that it's more efficient. I think I'll have to make use of the leftover MDF that I have and I get to play with my circle cutting sub-base for my router.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how this is turning out. I think that Nadine's came out better, but I know that poplar is much easier to work with than pine. At least the pieces of pine I used for my nightstand aren't full of resin and sap like my chest of drawers was. Doing that project gummed up all my blades and router bits something awful.

After this project is done, I have to do some small retuning to my table saw fence and clean blades and bits. I think a storage unit and bookcase are in order next. That's going to require some plywood and maybe I can get some nice solid wood to use. Now that I know I can prep stock fairly easily to make it perfect, I feel more confident about using better materials.