Tuesday, July 10

Tuesday – Case Assembly

I got started on Blake & Marilyn’s curio nice and early this morning because there were absolutely no e-mails or phone calls to handle when I came in. That’s a first.

So I started by doing the rough sanding on the front panel and upper and lower side rails. Then I was ready to begin permanent assembly; screws and GLUE. No turning back now. I started by attaching the lower end rails to the rear panel. That created a tall ‘L’ shape that will stand up on its own. Then I attached the two inside floor supports to the back panel. I’m not messing with the front panel yet because trying to balance both the front panel and back panel while I align and install the side rails is too much for me working alone. And because there is only 10” of inside depth between the front panel and back panel; not enough to use an electric drill to drive the pocket hole screws. By leaving the front off for now, I have plenty of room to work with these screws.

I also attached the leveler blocks in each rear corner with glue and screws. Naturally I made sure the side rails were square to the back panel. This assembly needed to sit for a while to let the glue tack up good so nothing would shift when I took the clamps off.

While I waited for this, Tommy showed up with over 400 board feet of freshly milled red oak. Some VERY pretty lumber; clear and straight grained. It came from a huge tree. We unloaded it onto bed logs in the lumber shed. I’ll deal with it tomorrow; today I’m working for Blake & Marilyn.

When the back assembly was ready I moved the front panel into position, removed the clamps, applied the glue and clamped the front panel to the lower side rails. The screws went in by hand at first but because of the high humidity today (60% chance of rain) my arthritic knuckles are stinging me pretty badly so I tried our new mini cordless screw driver. By waxing the screws to reduce friction, it the job.

The next task was to install the upper side rails, which went in easily. Then the middle ceiling supports; which were a little trickier because it’s difficult to see the lay-out lines, line the part up with the marks both front and back and hold them there while tightening a clamp – while standing on a step ladder. But I got them. While the pipe clamps held the supports in place I installed the screws then removed the clamps.

Then I turned my attention to milling and installing the cleats that run around the perimeter between other supports for the ceiling and floor panels. For the ceiling cleats I was able to use large spring clamps to hold the cleats in place while the glue tacked up, but because the lower rails are much deeper, spring clamps would not reach and I dug out my hand screw clamps. These relics are very handy things to have!

And there we have it: the basic case is assembled. Tomorrow I’ll mount the doors and install the center shelf tray. Then we can begin milling out the frilly bits to go on the outside.

See you tomorrow.

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