It’s back into the woodshop for the annual ‘Make My Girlfriend Something By Hand for Her Birthday’ extravaganza. It has been a while since I have been able to do this – in the past year I had to move twice. Twice, yes both the home and the workshop. It drained the energy from my lifeblood and contributed to a period of inactivity here on the blog…but then again – I always have an excuse!
Well, this time I am going to be making a small desktop drawer that will also function as a stand to hold up her computer screen at an ergonomic height. I am by no means a well-trained woodworker, so most of my projects inevitably end up being large lessons in redoing everything from scratch. I am still learning proper wood joinery techniques, so this project will focus on a few different applications – the rabbet joint and groove, and possibly a mortise and tenon as icing on the cake.
Here’s a photo of my first mortise and tenon joint project – a small cabinet extension to make grabbing those spices nice and easy:
The first step? Measure what’s already there to get an idea of the size this drawer needs to be. Here’s what is being used as the screen stand right now:
Yes, that’s a clay pig.
Measuring out the minimum size needed tells me that I need a base of 9 inches x 9 inches and height of 3.5 inches. This partially affects the size of wood I will use, since I want a functional drawer, but also need this thing to be sturdy enough to hold 20 + pounds of Apple.
Checking my vast reserves of wood inventory – lots of scraps from the past, I found two sheets of dimensionally cut walnut a .5 x 6.75 x 69 incher for the outer box/frame, and a .25 x 5 x 48 inch for the drawer itself. Since the bigger piece doesn’t reach the full 9 inches needed for the base, I will need to add in another wood joint to connect two pieces and maintain the strength. Here goes!
Proper footwear first! Don’t want that drill bit falling on your toe.
Of course, before I make any cuts I sketched out an overview of the piece and rudimentary measurements of the different parts including an idea of how the joints will work…all on tiny purple sticky notes. Probably not the best idea, but I am trying to get this project movin’!
I marked my cuts, adding in about 1/8 inch between for the kerf (amount of wood removed by the blade). Got my eye protection, hearing protection (some Howard Leight ear muffs) and off to the miter saw for the first round of cross cuts.
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