January 5th, 2003


Holes and Gifts

I drilled 192 holes this afternoon. Still working on the prototype bookcase. Trimmed the rough-cut sides to final height (84") and width (9¼"). Trimming to width was a pain. Did it on the table saw, which is great in theory, because all you have to do is adjust the rip fence to the desired width, lock the fence in place, start feeding the lumber through, and all the wood comes out the same exact width. What actually happens is that you're feeding a eight foot long board along a rip fence that is only three foot long using only two hands (which you're trying very hard to keep as far from the blade as possible), so there is still a chance that board will not be flush with the fence along it's entire length at all times. This gives you a piece of wood that is not quite the same width along it's entire length.

Another way to do it would be to use a circular saw butted up against a long straightedge to make the cut. The weakness here is that you need to measure the distance from the edge of the board to the straightedge separately for every single board, which is just not as precise as a table saw, where you only set the width once. Cutting eight sides in this manner will mostly likely yield eight pieces of wood, each a couple of 64ths different in width. Maybe I can build a little jig that would make the set up of this more reproducible. Will experiment.

Speaking of jigs, I had to drill one hundred ninety-two 1/4" holes to use with the shelf pins for the adjustable shelves. The jig that makes it possible to do this reproducibly can be found here. The thing works like the proverbial charm. Took about fifteen minutes a side to do two rows of forty-eight holes in each side, once I got the hang of it, so we're talking about a half hour per bookcase. The only negative to using this system is that the holes are spaced every 1¼", instead of 1/2" or even 1" that I'm used to, so there won't be as much flexibility with the height from shelf to shelf. I suppose I could use a 5/8" shim to start a second set of holes for each row spaced halfway between the original set of holes, but it'll take twice as long. Hmmm...

In other news, Trudy finally got the Secret Santa gift I sent her (she'd been on vacation), and she seemed to really like it. It's a Super Porny Pants action figure I customized from a Faith action figure, by adding a red silk cape and a SPP logo across the figure's chest. I also made it a little whip, and converted Faith's stake into, er, something pornier. It was easy to do, it was fun, and Trudy liked it. All in all, I feel pretty successful.
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    "Allentown" - Billy Joel