Friday, 16 May 2008

My Desk - checking and grouping the rectangles

Having transported all the wood home, I double-checked all the dimensions, and grouped all the rectangles into little piles that go together - one for a drawer, one for the left unit, etc:

I decided to start with a small drawer. I'd purchased some cam and bolt fixings for connecting edges together, but it quickly became apparent that this was not a good choice. I made two holes for two cams on the back piece of the drawer using a forstner bit of the required size, and holes for the matching bolts with a wood drill. The holes for the bolts probably need more precisely-sized holes than I could drill with my integer-only millimetre drills, as the bolt didn't screw in easily, and that caused the veneer to raise up into a mound around the bolt. It was also a lot of fuss to get the cam hole in the right position and to the right depth. Everything was going to take far too long at this rate.

So I made a Plan B, and went out and bought a dowel jig and some dowels. Holes for dowels were a lot quicker to make accurately using this, and I quickly had all the pieces of the drawer held together. A bit of gluing and clamping in the jaws of my workbench over a couple of nights and the drawer carcass was done.

Next came the glue-on veneer edges. This task is very satisfying - it's really easy to iron the strips on, trim off the excess with a plane, then sand the edges smooth, and get a really good finish.

Here's a photo of the end result:

The dark areas on the back edges you can just make out in the picture are what happens if wood glue touches the veneer - it stains it.

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