There’s a midi tallboy part to this job. Originally it was going to be made from bb ply with a poplar face frame, but as the client didn’t want to shell out for high end materials (for a painted job), I revisited the quote and priced it to be made from mdf.
All this week I have been thinking about ways to bring the materials in, on – or under budget. Ideally, I would have liked to have made the carcase for the tallboy with a poplar face frame, mdf sides. But then I was thinking, if I do that, isn’t there a danger that the poplar will move more than the mdf? A pet hate of mine is when joints not exactly open up, but no longer are perfectly where they should be, due to the climate, central heating and humidity. That can happen when you mix materials damhik (don’t ask me how I know for those not familiar with interweb acronyms).
So again, I was faced with a decision. Make the face frame in poplar the same depth as the dividers, so that wood movement in the front part is equal all the way around, or just make the whole thing out of mdf?
A quick look at the offcuts of 7/8" mdf reveals that there is enough material left over to make all the dividers and rails necessary. Done right, this could work… Besides, the face frame route would mean another trip to the timber merchants, another plank of poplar and probably half a day machining and doing stopped housings (dados) to get it right.
Now obviously, if this wasn’t a paint grade job, I wouldn’t even consider doing it this way. I don’t know why I’m even beating myself up over this. It’s the purist in me I guess.
In the previous installment of this blog I tempted fate by proclaiming there hadn’t been any stupid mistakes yet…
So tell me before you scroll down, what’s the dumbass thing wrong with the above picture?
While you are still thinking about that, here’s something that I never did before, just to speed things up…
…that is, use a stick the correct distance of the openings to position the dividers. Worked like a charm.
So the dumbass thing I did, was carry the ‘ladder’ on to the top, where it should have been stopped below the height of the first row of drawers, and separate drawer runner carriers added for the three drawers on top.
Reasons why I love my plunge saw #37
Trimmed off the offending piece and put it right. That stick for determining the correct distance between dividers came in handy for supporting the saw.
It’s all glued and screwed together very tightly, hardly anything to correct with a block plane. No issues with the mdf splitting, just used a big pilot hole for the screws – i.e a 3.5mm bit for a 4mm screw, and the head still countersank itself.
All the load will be carried down the sides and through the centre. It’s perfectly square before I’ve even put a back on it.
Gave it a quick sand, painted the edges with emulsion (latex) before priming, and for what it is, it’s all good.
Incidentally, weird paint.
This is causing me concern. I got the primer tinted, so it’s the same colour as the topcoat, under direct light, it looks like a light golden sand type colour, but further away from the light, it’s distinctly pistachio. Go back and look at the piece resting against the wall by the stereo in the first pic if you don’t believe me.
-- Doing the best I can with what I've got