Wednesday, February 27


During this final day of finishing/assembly I started out by shooting the casework with semi-gloss lacquer. As with each part, it got one full coat, let it dry, shoot a second coat, let it dry, scuff sand to smooth the finish, tack it off to remove the dust and shoot a third coat.

When the finish was dry I installed the drawer slide rails, mounted the apron, and installed the top plate – which had been completely finished separate from the case so I could get to the inside of the case more easily.

One quick note about the top plate: I use special steel fasteners to hold the top in place yet allow it to expand and contract with the atmospheric humidity. These clips are pretty strong and I used a fair number of them. The lip that sticks out on both sides and the front make tempting hand holds when you are moving the cabinet around. While the cabinet is empty this should be fine, but once you've filled it up with a million pounds of CDs, move the cabinet by lifting it from the bottom, don't lift it by the top or you may rip the top fastener clips loose. That would be bad.

Now it’s time to mount the drawer pulls – but alas my collection of screwdrivers does not include one suitable to drive the itty bitty little straight slot screws that came with the pulls. I thought I had one, but I don’t. Solution…

Make one! I took the closest screwdriver I did have and filed it (carefully) down to size for a perfect fit. It worked well and I managed to install all the screws without stripping out any of the screws. Always a good thing, but difficult with these old fashioned straight slot screws. A pull of the screw across a block of beeswax helps to lubricate it as it goes into the wood, and of course I did pay particular attention to drilling proper sized pilot and shank holes, so all went very well.

Then I decided to go the extra step and cut little cards to go into the card holders. They slip out the top of the holder so you can easily write on them. If you rearrange later and want to make new cards, I used file card stock, just use the old ones as patterns for the new ones.

The final parts to intall are the drawer glides that sit in the lower corners of the grid opening to give the drawers a slick surface to slide on and to space them properly in theor openings. These are "tack-in" glides with small nails molded into the glide, so they need to be lightly hammered into position. But with this small of a drawer opening there is no room to swing a hammer. I learned long ago that I could use a piece of scrap hardwood as a caul to hammer on outside of the case and transfer the force to the glide. I round the edges a bit where I hold it or the hammering cuts into my fingers. I wouldn't want to do this all day, but for a few drawers it's a quick and effective workaround.

And that is all there is… it’s done. All that remains is to build a custom crate and hand it off to the truck line and it will be on its way to your house Nance! I will have to go to the lumber yard tomorrow morning to buy crating lumber, but I have crate board on hand. But before I crate it up I want to give it a night to sit so the lacquer hardens up fully.

So, we’re done for the day. I’ll clean up the shop and head home for supper.


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