Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sharpening Station Sliding Shelf and Drawer Slides

Yup, another post about the sliding shelf. I ducked into the workshop for a little bit last night and took a closer look at what was going on with the sliding shelf. It looked like my clever plan for gluing up the shelf didn't provide the accuracy I wanted and the top didn't glue to the rails perfectly straight. The rails didn't appear to be off as much as it looked like in the pictures but I decided to redo it anyway.

This time I decided to make a box using tongue and dado joints.

The joints are super sloppy because I didn't care enough to set things up super accurately. Not all the tongues are the same size. Not all the dados are the same size. It'll be fine. I left one end of the box "open" because there is a hand hold in the front and I needed to leave room for fingers.

I tried dropping it into my cabinet and shockingly it didn't fit. Actually it wasn't that shocking. I'd kind of expected this to be the case. My "drawer" box is square but unfortunately the cabinet opening isn't perfect. The front of the case is about 1/32 inch wider than the back and the front is what I used for sizing my cross pieces. Since the back is narrower than the pieces it doesn't all fit.

I think I'll just run it through my table saw and trim that 1/32 inch off one of the sides. The slides probably have enough "slop" to account for the small amount of oblique angle on the two slides. If not, I can shim the front of one of the slides to bring it back into parallel. It'll be unobvious. 

The other thing I did last night was to lay out my drawers for the left side of the case. This is a 1:2 ratio.

I wanted more thin drawers since deep drawers can waste space and when stuff gets piled in them things get buried. This is mostly just so I can get an idea of how I'll break the space up into drawers. As I build them and install them I may very well change my mind on exact heights.

After laying out my drawers I realized I had not milled sufficient slide material out of white oak. Since I didn't like the job I'd done on those anyway I dug into my scrap bin and found a bunch of poplar. Instead of cutting it to rough size and then running thin strips through my planer I just cut them to to size on my table saw (3/8 inch x 1/2 inch). I'll probably sand them a little bit before installing them.

Yeah, I know poplar isn't the best choice for long wearing wooden drawer slides but I don't see these getting so much use they'll wear out. It isn't like this is a dresser that'll have drawers opened and closed multiple times a day for decades. It'll be fine. If you're looking

Or if not, since I am planning on screwing them in place and not using any glue I'll be able to replace them with maple or some other hard wood when the time comes.

That was a lot of work for only an hour in the shop. Of course it was redoing most of the work I'd gotten done on Sunday but that's life.

Oh, I almost forgot. I had a minor shop injury on my table saw. It is the best kind of injury, small enough to not be significant but serious enough to remind me to pay attention to what I am doing. I was ripping the thin strips for the drawer rails and during a lapse of attention I let the wood lift on the blade which caused some minor kickback. My hands were still on the wood so it didn't go flying but it did jam my right thumb. I've probably done the same operation a thousand times with larger pieces of wood where gravity played a larger roll in keeping it rooted to the table saw but with these light strips there was a much higher tendency to lift and push backwards.

Having a Saw Stop table saw is not an excuse and I certainly don't treat it as an excuse for sloppy technique. I treat the saw as I would any other table saw without the safety feature.

I finished my rips on the drawer runners paying much more attention to holding them down with my left hand while pushing with my right. No serious injury and a sharp reminder to pay attention to what I am doing.

So next is "fixing" my sliding shelf box, attaching it to the shelf and then installing it. I'll also be milling out the parts for my drawers and assembling them. I'm almost definitely going to use tongue and dado joints on the sides. I'm strongly considering cheating and just gluing the bottoms on and not using grooves. It will give me a little bit more space in the drawer and will be plenty strong for the weight of things I am going to put into the drawers.