Wednesday, June 28

CD-End Table - Day 15

I should call this "Best Laid Plans" because of the way things worked out. I had planned to go get the crating board I need, crate the cabinet over the weekend and ship it Monday morning. Unfortunately it rained all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday; no opportunity at all to get the supplies I needed -- which would have been ruined by an hour long ride in an open bed pickup, at interstate speeds, in a deluge. So, Lori, I'm terribly sorry for the delay. Once the materials were on hand, here's how we crate up a piece of furniture. We begin by shrink wrapping it to help keep the drawers pulled in and not jiggle up and down so much. Then we take 4' x 8' sheets of Styrofoam and cut it into 3" wide strips. These strips are cut to length and applied to the cabinet. Two or three layers may be needed to build out where we have protrusions like knobs and overhangs. We use duct tape to fasten the strips to one another, but are careful not to let the adhesive touch the cabinet. A top plate of foam is cut to size and fastened in over the entire top of the cabinet. We repeat the process around the base and affix some extra strips on the front, again to help prevent the drawers from moving around during shipment. We do not wrap the entire cabinet in two or three layers of foam because the heavy duty, triple wall corrugated board we use for panels offers enough puncture resistance that the foam would be redundant. And this foam is getting expensive, so to hold your crating fees down we use just what we need. Next we cut and apply the corrugated side panels. At a half inch thick, this stuff is very stable and stiff. We use masking tape to hold the panels together for the moment. Once the panels are all in place we rip 1/6 pine lumber into strips to use in bordering the corrugated panels. These probably aren't necessary in a crate this small as the corrugated panels have so much rigidity and crush resistance (when corrugations are run vertically) that they alone *may* prevent the crate from being crushed if another box is stacked on top of it in the truck trailer. But to get the best rate from our truck line, a crate is defined as being wood reinforced. So we apply the wood: nailed together and glued to the corrugated panels. To finish off, we build a pallet style base that allows the crate to be easily moved and lifted with a fork-lift or pallet jack. Then we run the shipment through Old Dominion's web site, generate the bill of lading and shipping label, and it goes out on the dock to await a ride to White Pine TN where the O.D.F.L. truck dock is. This process took 5 1/2 man hours to complete, not including the run to Morristown to get the crating board. But, we can rest easy now, knowing that it is well protected for its' trip across country. This one is on its’ way. Now it's time to clean up the shop, put all the tools away, sweep out the debris and get ready to make the next piece of furniture.

Thursday, June 22

CD End Table - Day 14

  This is the day where a lot of gratification is generated: Finishing Day.  Even though the past few days have seen much progress as all the various parts came together into a completed project, until the finish is on, it just doesn't "pop".

The morning session was spent sanding.  All of it.  Some done with a random orbit power sander, but a considerable amount of the finish sanding is done by hand.

After lunch I began spraying lacquer, letting it dry, then scuff sanding it to smooth the surface before applying another coat.  The drawers were removed and finished separately.  The entire piece got two good coats, then the top got a third to add an extra measure of protection.

I finished up the spraying right at 5:00, went in for some dinner then came back to install the brass knobs and clean up the spray equipment and take some pictures.

The heat and humidity are high today and I want to let the piece sit overnight to be sure the lacquer is properly hardened before we start wrapping it in Styrofoam and building a custom crate around it.

Here are some photo links: and are shots of the piece from two different angles to see both sides. is a picture of my favorite feature of this piece; one of the boards we split for use in the back panels shows some gorgeous quilted pattern.  Photography doesn't to it justice. 

This completes this project.  Tomorrow I'll go buy the materials I'll need to build the crate -- we don't have space to store those here.  The crate will be built over the weekend and we'll take it to the truck line early Monday morning and send it on it's way to Lori.  We hope she will be as impressed with it as the visitors to our shop have been today.

Have a great weekend, and we'll start a new project next time.

Wednesday, June 21

CD End Table - Day 13

Very strange day today. It started early: about 1:30 am when the dogs decided to have a bark fest. When we got them settled down I was to much awake to get back to sleep, so I went into the office and got some work done. Wrote a magazine article, wrote a newspaper press release and worked on the Treasures web site for a bit. That was a long early morning session!

The morning session was spent flattening the top plate I'd glued up and sanding with 60 grit paper. Then routed the bevels on the edges of the top plate and sanded the whole thing (including the bevels - done by hand) to 100 grit.

After lunch I made and installed the mounting blocks that will hold he top plate in place and installed them. Then carefully lined to the top plate and fastened that in place with screws from inside the cabinet.

Progress photo:

This completes the construction of Lori's CD End Table. Tomorrow we'll begin the finishing stage.

Till then...



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Monday, June 19

CD End Table - Day 12

The early morning and morning sessions today were spent working on the new web site. I've gotten portions of it ready to be opened to the public, but was having some problems getting the old site to communicate properly with the new one.

After lunch, I got started on the top plate for Lori's CD End Table. This involved taking the billets that I'd roughed out at the beginning of this project and flattening them out with a hand plane where corners wanted to lift, then surface planing them to the proper thickness, cutting glue-joints on the mating surfaces and drilling these surfaces for dowel pins. Finally applying the glue and drawing it all together with long clamps.

This panel will have to sit over night to allow the glue to set up solidly before I can work with it further. So, I'm heading back to the office to work on the web site some more.

See you tomorrow,



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CD End Table - Day 11

I see that the notes I sent to be posted last Friday did not post once again. So, I'll try again before posting today's notes. Here goes...

Hello dear readers!

My early morning was spent on bookkeeping chores. Then I surface planed and milled out the parts for the drawer fronts. This is a little trickier than it sounds because they have to be kept in order so the grain flows across the drawers.

Then I had to take a little time to do an emergency job; Terry's lamb feeders. I had planned on doing those after Lori's table was done, but due to a sudden change with his employer, Terry will be leaving after tomorrow and may not get back this way. So I knocked his feeders out quickly and will have Marie deliver them in the morning.

Lunch time. Had a couple of problems to deal with, nothing major.

The afternoon session was spent shaping, sanding, aligning, drilling and installing the drawer fronts onto the drawer boxes. It was a long afternoon -- didn't get done with this until around 7:00. But I wanted to finish this step today because I will be in Treasures tomorrow, so will not get a chance to work on this project again until Monday.

All that's left to do now is to make and install the top plate and do the finishing. Then, Lori, it's on it's way to you!

Progress photo for today is at:

See you Monday!


Thursday, June 15

CD-End Table - Day 10

I wasn't able to post this last night, so I'll try again this morning. These notes are for Wednesday June 14.

Long day, short notes.

The early morning session was spent working on the web site and answering e-mails. It seems that Storage Beds are suddenly quite popular; we've had three inquiries about them in three days. One requested a bid and seems serious, the others are just shopping.

The rest of the day was spent shaping, sanding and installing the drawers into Lori's end table. This took all day.

The evening session was spent processing a new order and 'conversing' via e-mail with my PHP programmer. Great things are afoot.

The progress photo is available at:

Till next time...



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Tuesday, June 13

CD End Table - Day 9

Today's early morning session was spent... sleeping!

This is because there was a Dog Party at 2:30 am, and that is too early even for me. There was, apparently, some critter wandering around that had all the dogs on the mountain in an uproar. Including ours. They REALLY wanted to get out and chase whatever it was (probably a bear). But, one of our closer neighbors is not well and tends to get upset when the dogs wake him, so ours stayed in -- and barked anyway. We scolded them for that and they trotted back and forth through the house whining and growling, and mumble-barking. They *really* wanted to bark!

I did, finally manage to get back to sleep -- about the time I normally get up, so I slept in. I got no web work done today.

The morning was used to mill the rabbets and grooves on the drawer box parts and to cut the drawer bottoms of 1/8" BBP.

The late afternoon was consumed by assembling, gluing and squaring the drawer boxes.

The early afternoon was used to mow the lawn. I suspect what got the dogs all stirred up last night was a gazelle, attracted by the Serengeti-like grass field our "yard" has become. It didn't rain at all today, so I took advantage of the chance to mow.

Today's progress photo is:

The more observant among you will be wondering why there are 10 drawer boxes when only 9 are needed. I like to make an extra in case something goes amiss during assembling and fussy-fitting. Having an extra means I don't have to go back and set up all the tools again just to run parts for one drawer.

And if nothing goes amiss, these drawer boxes make good storage or tote boxes in the workshop.

Time for me to go take a shower, so you need to go on now...

See you again tomorrow!



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Monday, June 12

CD End Table - Day 8

Happy Monday to you!


The early morning session today was spent working on the new web site; configuring all those attributes takes a long, long time over a slow connection like mine.  I’ll keep working at it as I have time and eventually it will get done.


The morning session was spent removing the clamps from Lori’s casework and checking for any problems.  There were none.  Then I installed the front skirt (that arched piece at the bottom) and sanded the entire case to 150 grit.


Lunch time.  I took care of some phone calls and an issue that was waiting for me on the answering machine.  And I managed to eat a little lunch.


During the afternoon session I re-sawed and planed the poplar billets that were prepped last week, then trimmed the pieces to exact size for the drawer box parts.  That took all afternoon – lots of “stick a piece of wood in this side of the machine, run around to the other site to catch it as it comes out, run back around front and stick another piece in the front.


9 drawers; 4 parts per drawer.  Three passes each through the table saw, as many as 8 passes each through the surface planer.  You do the math; lots of running back and forth.


If you’d like to see a progress picture of what we’ve got so far, copy and paste this address into your browser:


This evening I’ll be working on bids.


See you tomorrow.


Thursday, June 8

CD End Table - Day 7

I spent the early morning session working with our web site's LinkMachine. Most of the links that have been submitted recently are inappropriate; real estate sites, a home improvement directory, a circuit board manufacturer, and so on. The obvious ones can just be deleted, but because the names and descriptions used in some submissions are misleading (they sound like they would be a good fit but aren't what they say they are), they have to be checked out. I suppose the people submitting these links think we're using a completely automated system to handle links and they can slip all sorts of garbage into our links directory -- which is exactly why we can't let the LinkMachine run on full automatic. It's a shame some people are so dishonest.

The morning session was spent gluing up the side assemblies of Lori's cabinet, milling the 9 drawer slide rails to completed size and shape and laying out the cuts needed to produce rough billets of poplar for drawer box parts. Once the sides came out of the clamps I assembled and squared the case. After lunch I will begin work on drawer boxes.

In the afternoon I got the poplar boards cut down into billets for drawer boxes but can go no farther until the case assembly is dry enough to remove clamps and move out of the way. Oh, I long for the day when I'll have more work space!

A progress photo is at:

So I went into the office and finished one of the bids I've been working on and ordered all the hardware for Paula's sewing cabinet.

Tomorrow I'm doing some volunteer work in Newport to help raise funds for a young woman with ovarian cancer. I will be away most of the day.

So I'll check in with you again on Monday. Have a great weekend!


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CD End Table - Day 6

Note: I tried 3 times last night to post this entry and it was refused each time. I'll try again this morning. This was yesterdays post: Wednesday, June 7th.

I started off this day by putting my early morning session (5:30 to 8:00) into working on some bids that have piled up. Didn't get any completed because I need more details from the clients, so I e-mailed them and set the bids aside for completion later.

In the workshop I began by discovering an error in the grid work that forms the front of the cabinet. The center drawer holes are 1/8" wider than the outer drawer holes. So I stopped the time clock and re-made the horizontal grid parts and made note of the error on our working plan. I'll have to adjust that so it won't happen again. I'm not sure how it didn't get caught before.

Once the client's time clock was started again, I resumed the work I had planned to do today. First I cut the small pockets into which the ends of the drawer slide rails will fit: 9 in the front grid, 9 in the pack panel rails, all perfectly aligned so the drawers will be square to the case.

With that done I was able to apply glue to the mortises and tenons of the back panel, assemble that panel and clamp it up. Of course I checked it for 'square': 1/32" off of perfect -- close enough that it's not worth trying to "rack" the panel to correct it. Then I glued and clamped the grid work. Both of these assemblies will need to set up over night before I remove the clamps.

So I took the time to do some cleaning up and putting away tools that will not be needed again. I believe Marie has a project she wants to be working on this evening, so we'll need some work space for that anyway.

Since things are taken apart again, I didn't take a progress picture today, but if you are interested in more pictures and construction details, copy and paste this address into your browser:

This is an article that was written during the construction of a previous 9 drawer CD End Table. It's not as in-depth as some of my more recent articles, but it gives you an idea of what's involved.

Time to grab some dinner, so we can get on with the evening projects.

Till tomorrow...


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Tuesday, June 6

CD End Table - Day 5

Today was a good, productive day; we've finally reached the point where visible progress is being made.

The morning was spent cutting mortises in the casework stiles, cutting grooves for the panels to fit into on all stiles and rails, and fitting the tenons on the back rails into the mortises on the back stiles.

Lunch time.

I spent the afternoon sanding the five panels to 150 grit (much easier to do it now than after they're encased in the framework), fitting those panels into the side and back assemblies, cutting the rabbets in the rear of the side panels to house the back panel, and cutting and fitting the half-laps in the grid work parts that will form the front of the table.

A progress photo is available at

See you again tomorrow...


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CD End Table - Tenons

Once again things got busy yesterday evening and I neglected to post the daily notes, so this is for yesterday, Monday the 5th.

The morning session was spent surface planning the 4 half-panels we glued up last week to 3/8" thick, jointing the inner edges and gluing them into full panels for use in the case sides. Then we set up the tools to cut tenons.

The afternoon session was used to cut tenon shoulders on the band saw, then cut the tenon cheeks on the table saw using a tenoning jig.

I had a little time left over so I went ahead and laid out the mortise locations on the back panel stiles and set up the drill press with the mortising attachment so it will be ready to use in the morning.

'Nuff for today, see you tomorrow.


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Thursday, June 1

CD-End Table - Trimming Parts

I'm still trying to get the hang of this new Blogger e-mail interface. It allows me to post these messages by sending an e-mail instead of logging into their web site and using the control panel -- which has been VERY slow and often unreliable in that the message I'm trying to post occasionally veers off into never-never land because something somewhere times-out. This method of posting seems more reliable, but it wraps the text lines arbitrarily so I have to find the right line length to set in my e-mail client so it works out properly here.

Yesterday we roughed out all the parts we'll need for the casework of this CD End Table. This morning we re-sawed the billets for the side and back panels and glued up the first half-panel. While the glue was setting up, we surface planed and trimmed all the 7/8" thick pieces (case rails and stiles mostly) to exact size. That killed the morning session.

After lunch we got two more half-panels glued up and trimmed the �� thick parts to finished size. We�ll wait to finish-trim and assemble the pieces for the top plate until just before we�re ready to install it. That way if any of the pieces decide to twist or warp, they�ll do so *before* we use them in the top plate

Tomorrow id my day to spend at Treasures Of Appalachia, being shopkeeper, doing bookwork, including the payroll for the month.

Till Monday�


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