Panel No. 5

Once the glue had cured on the panels for our shelf unit, it didn’t take too long to dress them true.  While the #4 was fine for the actual shelves, the sides definitely require the #7 jointer plane.


And now we’re going to take a brief tangent from the overall build.  To size everything to the correct dimension, I prefer to use a gauge rather than a pencil.  The only problem was that in this case I had a panel that needed to be over a foot wide, and my gauges maxed out at rather less than 6″.  What I needed for this particular application was something called a panel gauge.


While it’s a lovely tool, it clashes with my cheapness.  So I decided to make a quick and dirty (and cheap!) version.  I rummaged in my scrap bin and dug out a couple of pieces of pine.  One of them I cut a housing dado in to be the stock.IMG_20170713_173516_353

Then, I fit a piece of stiff yellow pine in it to be the beam.  I don’t really know how long that piece is, just that it’s long enough.


Once the glue cured, I bored and countersunk holes for the cutting pin (a screw) at the appropriate distance.


You can see that the pin protrudes just a bit from the stock, deep enough to score the fibers, but no more.  You can see that I’ve marked what measurement that particular hole is because I can then bore multiple holes if I need different size panels.  Indeed, on this project the sides and top are ½” wider than the shelves, to accommodate the back panel.


Finally, I  cut off the excess and cleaned up the edges with the jointer, and now the shelf is ready to be joined, a process we’ll start next time.


Ammo can’t?

Today we’re going to start in on a new project!  And there was much some non-zero rejoicing!

The specs for this new build revolve around the venerable (and ubiquitous) .50 caliber ammo can.  Almost every veteran out there has a couple kicking around somewhere.  They’re watertight, sturdy, and easy to find since the military uses the same size can for 9x19mm, 5.56mm, .50 caliber, and a few assorted kinds of pyrotechnic devices.  Filled with your preferred flavour of ammunition, they can weigh up to 40 pounds (roughly 18 kilos for those living in countries that didn’t put a man on the moon).  While they stack nicely, it’s a real bear to try to get to that can at the bottom of the stack.  Thus, a shelf unit was commissioned that would allow access to the whole stack simultaneously.  Furthermore, my task was to gin up a design that would be both not only sturdy, but also economical.

The criterion was that it would hold as many cans as possible in a space roughly five feet tall and 22″ wide.  And so, with a little math, I arrived at the idea that this shelf was to hold eighteen cans.  Since I was restricted on budget, I decided to use regular construction lumber from the big box hardware store, knots and all.  Yellow pine is plenty strong at that thickness, and will make a good shelf unit that will hold up to the potentially 700 odd pounds that can be contained inside it.


Since a .50 caliber ammo can plus the back will be somewhat over the 11¼” of a 2×12, I had to laminate a few panels together to make the required depth of shelf.  While this does take a little bit, it conforms to the “as economically as possible” portion of the design.  I could have used 1″ oak (my preference), but this was cheaper overall.  And though it might look a tad chunky, it is a utilitarian design for heavy work.  In this case, beefiness is a virtue…