Bookcase-Cam - Days Fourteen & Fifteen

After a couple of weekends spent at work trying to get some software out the door (and paying off ill-conceived wagers), I resume. First stop: Adventure! Since most of my bookcase time is spent in the shop downstairs, I decide to try running the bookcase-cam down to the basement. As I lower it out the window, it captures this careening view of the back yard:

(The light-colored strip across the top left of the frame is a road about 100 feet away down the hillside.) The cord just reaches to the corner of the walls & ceiling inside the shop, dominated by the Ryobi BT3000 Precision Woodcutting System. The big brownish-gray slab pointing at my head is a piece of old molding on a shelf near the camera.

Here I am gluing up the top face frame for the north cabinet. It's not so easy fitting these face frames; you'd think you could just measure carefully and whip 'em together. But the frames must align perfectly with the shelves -- no reveal, no lip -- and nothing is quite square. Each piece must be cut to its own length, which means that its fellows must be in place for measurement. This is one of those times when you don't want to trust that little floppy hook at the end of your tape measure (on this project I sadly learned that my green tape is less than reliable in this area).

It's good to be back in the shop doing something other than cleaning up cat barf. This weekend I try once again to think enough but not too much. It succeeds in getting the face frames attached to the north cabinet -- this marks the first time there are visible fasteners on the project; rather than take hours thinking about how to avoid this, I bite the bullet and start nailing. And what do you know -- twenty minutes later, the face frames are permanently attached. As I start on the north face frames, I also put the finishing touches on the south cabinet: reinforcements under the bottom shelves for that ultra-solid feel, and two removable pieces for access to the return grille (together with the means for holding them in place).

Despite my attempts at focused progress, however, by the end of Sunday I haven't got any face frame material attached to the south cabinet. I have constructed most of the lower frame -- I am learning to use the biscuit joiner faster and more reliably -- and as my last act I give it the glue:

Midway through glue-up I realize I don't have enough clamps (or so I thought; the north frame is a few inches narrower, so I put the shortfall down to that -- but the truant clamp can be seen as a dark line depending from the saw table). Time to improvise: the piece with two crossmembers is some scrap plywood with clamping legs screwed to it, and the diagonal line is a length of twine, looped around the clamps at opposite corners and pulled taut by my smallest clamp, so as to square the piece.

Why so slow? Without my dad here, I start later and quit earlier. Nevertheless, I intend to keep plugging during this week; I have no more free weekends in April and I want to spend May doing other things...

(Ultra-alert viewers: I know it's hard to spot, but did you notice I shaved my beard today?)

Initial week of daily activity: | Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7,8 | 9 |
Long-term weekend progress: | 10 | 11 | 12,13 | 14,15 | 16-18 | 19 |
Intermittent bursts of effort: | 20-22 | 23-31 | 32-35 |
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