Friday, February 10, 2017

Dresser, Part 9 - Almost There

We had some good weather last week - for upstate New York in January - and I was able to get polyurethane on the dresser top. I put five coats of my wipe on oil and urethane/mineral spirits mixture. It isn't as many coats as I put on my nightstand but I think it will be plenty.

Today I wasn't quite ready to start working on the drawers for my new workbench so I decided to do the final assembly and fitting on the dresser. The dresser only has five things left to do: fasten the top, attach the back, attach the door, install the shelves, and fix the sticky drawer.

The first step was to fasten the top to the dresser. It gets three #8 screws in the front and and three waster head screws in slots in the back to handle wood expansion. I made the slots by drilling overlapping holes and cleaning them up some with a file. I think next time I have to make these I'm going to use a router to get cleaner slots.

In any case the screws went in easy on the left side where there is a big opening and I could get my drill/drivers into the opening. On the right hand side where I had limited space and my drills and drivers couldn't get into it was a little more complicated. Even my little toy power screw driver wouldn't fit. To predrill the holes I used a bit-counter sink combo and drilled the holes in the top by hand. I'd already drilled holes in the case so I used those holes to steady the bit as I rotated it and put pressure on it with my hands. It was slow but it actually worked!

I couldn't drive the screws with my fingers like I did the drill bit so I got my little socket wrench with an appropriately sized socket to turn a screw driver bit. That was pretty short and allowed me to get torque on the screw to get it driven in.  It was all awkward but it worked.

I painted the back months ago. I was just waiting for the top to be attached before I attached back. Now that the top was on, it was time for the back. Since I'd already pre-drilled the holes in the back in all the right places all I had to do was to use the holes in the back to pre-drill the carcass then put a screw in each hole. I'd decided to use bead board for the back which is a little thicker than the 1/4 plywood the plans called for so it sticks out a little but since it is going to be against the wall no one will ever notice.

That's two of the five things.

I don't have the shelves made yet so my choices were fixing the sticky drawer or installing the door. Since I hate installing doors I decided to fix the drawer. I first tried using my stationary belt sander but it didn't seem to be making very good progress so I tried one of my hand planes. That didn't work very well either. Another tool I need to learn to use better. So, I went back to the belt sander. After five or ten minutes I decided to try it in the dresser again and lo and behold it fit well. I put the false front back on and called it done.

That's three... All that's left is either building shelves or attaching the door. Did I mention I hate hanging doors?

Well, even though I hate hanging doors it needs to be done eventually.

Let's just say that hanging the door went poorly.

Attaching the hinges to the door went fine. It's attaching the door to the case that always gives me issues and this time was no different. In theory I should be able to put some double sided tape on the hinge, press the door into place, open it, then put a couple screws in to hold it in place.

I must need better double sided tape because this never works for me. The hinges never stick.

I decided that an easier way would be to make a template. Attach a piece of poster board to the hinges, drill through that then use the poster board as a template to drill the screw holes.

It worked great! Well, I did fail to drill one of the holes deep enough so I snapped the head of the screw trying to drive it in. No matter, keep on attaching the door! I got the door attached! Then it bound up when I closed it. I put it in too close to the inner frame!

My second attempt went a little better. I used my template again; however, this time I put a spacer in between the frame behind the door and the bottom. My wife was passing through so I drafted her and had her hold the door. I was more careful to keep the spacing between the door and the frame and it worked! The door was attached and it works. Not perfectly but it works.

Either my door isn't perfectly square or the opening isn't. It catches a little bit on the bottom right.

It's good enough.

I drilled the holes for the handle and attached it. Sort of anyway. The screws are bit too long so I need to go buy some new shorter ones.

I put a magnetic door stop at the top to keep the door from closing too far and I'm going to call this part of the job done.

All that's left is building a couple of shelves.