Bookcase-Cam - Day Six

The picture says it all; at the end of this day, the south case is structurally complete.

We pre-primed the plywood backs of the upper carcase, so in the event of normal house movement, you won't see slivers of bare wood peeking out at the edges. Other than that, it was pretty much like construction of the lower carcase, except that thanks to extensive pre-planning and pre-cutting, it happened in one day instead of four.

Most pieces for the north case have been cut as well, so we are trying to figure out how to apply lessons from the south cabinets to the north so as to get all structural members installed within our remaining two days. That would leave the face frames, moldings, doors & drawers, and of course the shelves for me to finish on my own.

Other highlights from day 6:

I find this sharpener invaluable; I give my pencil a few turns in it about every third time I make a mark. I keep it in my pants pocket since it's too small to fish out of a tool belt bag. I also carry a little spiral-bound notebook in my belt that has plans, dimensions, issues that need resolution, a shopping list for the next visit to the hardware store (amazingly, there have only been two on this project so far), etc.

This has given me a great idea: A notebook that in the spiral binding has an AA-battery-powered pencil sharpener. You insert the pencil through soft rubber grips so that each time you push it in, the sharpener automatically whisks a nice sharp point onto the pencil, then when you let go the grips relax and the sharpener blade stops spinning, leaving the pencil safely in storage with point protected.

On the other hand, you could just carry a mechanical pencil in the spiral binding. That way you wouldn't have to worry about the battery getting low, the blades getting dull, the grips getting stiff, the sharpener getting full, or the pencil getting too short.

Over breakfast, Anne -- who has kept us nutritiously fed throughout the period -- wishes she could stay home like us instead of going to work.

For a 68-year-old house, this one is amazingly plumb and level.

Pop and I bear down as we screw in the last exposed piece of the south case, a vertical piece that you'll see when you come through the main living room doorway. This long joint between this piece and the door casing is one of the most critical, as it is at eye level. It ends up not as tight as the same joint in the lower cabinet, but to shave more off the wall edge would create a gap between the opposite edge and the face frame. You see, there are two vertical pieces within an inch of each other to stiffen the side of the case, provide visual bulk, and to match the north case into which some electrical switches must be let. Thus we get exactly one chance to scribe the edge of the outermost piece, and though we came close, next time I'd like to come closer.

One can easily imagine both cabinets in place now. It is immensely satisfying to see the structure in full size, square, level & plumb, forthright and upstanding. The proportions are just as visualized; the workmanship is all I had hoped for. The room will seem grander because of this amenity, and yet simultaneously have more intimacy, not only from the reduction in floor area but also because of the varying planes established by the lower cabinet, upper shelving, and wall. I am now fully confident in my ability to finish this project to a high standard of craftsmanship, even though it has been a much bigger effort than I first imagined.

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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