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The Will of the People

February 25, 2010

The plebes are getting restless and demanding a post.  Unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot to update on, but here goes.

My completed projects list isn’t too impressive.  I installed smoke detectors, mowed the lawn, … that’s about it.  Our friends Brandon and Lisa are in town visiting from Florida this week.  Brandon is a bit of a DIY guy so he has been helping me finish up the kitchen built-in.  We finished building the drawer boxes and built fronts for the drawers as well.  The big question was drawer slides.  I wanted to keep things as true to the original as possible, Alexandra wanted easily sliding drawers and she wanted them to be done.  I picked up some euro style slides from OSH but they were a bit too long.  We could order slides but they are expensive and take a few days to show up.  I decided to try to out how the drawers were originally installed.   They originally had a center channel in the drawer bottom and a rail to keep them aligned.

I put a channel down a four foot section of scrap with the router and ripped some other scrap to size so it would run through the channel.  This was all done in pine so the action wasn’t quite smooth enough for my tastes.  I am going to pick up some Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) tape.  This is super slippery stuff that I can line the channel and the rail with so that the drawer will slide nearly friction free.  Rails along the sides will keep the drawer from tipping down when pulled out and stop blocks will prevent the drawers from falling onto the ground accidentally.

Using all wooden construction is fun and I hope things slide smoothly.  If they don’t, I can always retrofit with nice new center slides.  Hopefully have pics this weekend with the drawers in place!

A problem has cropped up however with the cabinet doors I built previously.  Many of them are warped, especially the glass fronted ones which are quite large.  I think there are several reasons for this.  First, it is very humid right now due to the rain.  Second, I didn’t prime the  wood yet so it is unsealed and can absorb moisture out of the air.   Third, when I built the doors I would resaw the lumber to the proper dimension and then immediately assemble, not allowing time for the internal stresses to relieve themselves.  Fourth, the wood I have been using is cheapo stuff with plenty of knots.

I will have to rebuild several doors and I think this time I will build them out clear, heartwood which is about twice as expensive but definitely won’t have the case hardening issues I’ve seen thus far.  On the plus side, even if I trashed everything I built so far I would only be out about $75 so this is a great way to learn my lessons on the cheap.

After that I will be done building stuff for a bit and will just have to sand and paint the rest of the built-in.  The last step will be replacing the counter and this is something which I keep going back and forth on.  The problem is we have three ten foot sections of counter and they are all slightly cupped upward.  The reason (I believe) for the cupping is that the tops are finished with an acrylic while the bottoms are not finished.  The moisture is creating the curve (I think).  Initially I was going to have them remilled to remove the curve, but now that I have a reasonable idea why it is there, it’d be a very bad idea to remill them as in the summer it would just cup the other way.  So, I think the plan is to just sand the finish off the top and see if the straighten out.

Alexandra has been making plans for the yards as spring planting season is coming up quick.  We really need to get bamboo in the ground soon so that it can grow to create the screen in the backyard we want.

One Comment leave one →
  1. spencer permalink
    March 1, 2010 3:14 PM


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