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Uh oh.

2008-01-18 17:51:30.01933+00 by Dan Lyke 20 comments

I just bought 225 board feet of 13/16" maple (5' foot lengths, random widths) and 64 board feet of similar birch (8' lengths) for $2/bf for delivery Tuesday. Now I have to figure out where to store it 'til I can turn it into baseboards and cabinet frames.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Woodworking ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-18 20:21:08.260435+00 by: meuon

If you get it off the ground, wrap it well in tarps outside.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-19 18:34:46.651699+00 by: polly

andy laid the wood for my new tackroom for the barn on landscape timber then wrapped the wood stack with tarps and laid heavy rocks around the edges to ensure weather protection. the stack has been out there since last march waiting for him to get around to it....now it's time again for the income tax return and he is finally getting around to it, lol. the wood is in perfect shape.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-20 02:22:14.586129+00 by: Dan Lyke

We went out looking at kitchen cabinets to get ideas, and I thought I was going to be using this to edge 3/4" veneered ply, but it looks like I'll be gluing up full-on door panels, and we'll go through that wood right fast.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-20 14:34:08.317643+00 by: m

Wood that you want to use for cabinet making/furniture needs to be treated carefully because of the structural requirements, in particular the panel doors.

Make sure the wood is as flat as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ensure that it is level along its length, and checked with a straight edge -- an "eye straight" piece of angle iron is good for this. It is best to store it in an area where the humidity is as close as possible to the place where the finished work will reside. If the humidity difference is significant, or you have to store outside, it is best to sticker the wood so that expansion stresses are equalized on all four long grain sides. This will minimize warping, twist, etc.

If you have to store at a significant temperature/humidity differential, allow the wood to come to equilibrium for two to four weeks before milling.

I have a similar amount of jatoba (Brazilian cherry) 4' shorts that I got for 2.25 a ft last year. Great buy! But the best place I have to store them occupies some of the same space where my new workbench is supposed to go.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-20 16:14:44.9017+00 by: Dan Lyke

Straight-edge wise... when we were looking at the house we decided we needed a real level, and, taking a cue from Dave Gingery[Wiki], we ended up buying one with a machined edge. So, yeah, we've got a straight-edge.

I do like the idea of stickering it, since we're going to be unloading it off the truck by hand that seems like a quick easy thing to do. I'm a bit concerned about doing panel glue-ups, mitigated a little bit by the thought that at least I'll have a rail to help control some of the desire to bend, but here's no way to do the panel shape Charlene wants with a veneer. And if I can figure out how to mill that shape (worst comes to worst, one tool salesman yesterday was suggesting a custom blade for a planer, but I think I can do it with a set of curved rails and a straight bit in a router), I want it too.

And this also leaves me looking for something else to use for baseboards, I may have to use the birch for that since it's in longer runs.

I'd love to come up against some jatoba or something similarly darker for contrast...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-20 20:16:08.62434+00 by: m

Doing your own kitchen has one of the highest paybacks of all home improvement projects.

The doors are not that difficult unless you want to hand cut mortises and tenons. It pays to practice on a couple made from the worst of the stock. That way you are not afraid to make a mistake as you might be the better stock. A hand held router is a no no for this kind of work, both for reasons of safety and adequate joint quality.

Gluing up the panels is also pretty easy. Unless you have a flatness sander, it is worthwhile to make them as straight and flat as possible from the beginning. I seem to recall that you have a Festool domino. Use two or three between joints for registration rather than strength -- modern glues are plenty strong. Use clamped cauls or caul clamps to provide pressure to hold the panel in a plane while the glue is setting up.

I take it that you want to veneer the panels. That is pretty straight forward if they are flat. Otherwise it is a serious problem. Finishing the curves with paint, heavy stain or pickling might be the answer. Veneering the rails and stiles would be more than difficult unless it was an inlay on a straight section.

Wood prices are ferocious and getting worse. But there are places around who have odd lots and shorts they are willing to sell for reasonable prices. It may take a while to find one, but it can be very worth while for both domestic and exotic woods. Wood that nobody has ever heard of before with beautiful colors and grain. They can be a problem to work because their dusts can be an allergy problem for some, and sometimes the wood is extremely hard and hard to machine. But gorgeous stuff. And, in odd lots, they often cost less than the oak or vanilla maple at a home center. Because much of this wood is sold rough, a jointer and planer can be a good investment. But most places will provide S2S or S3S for a small charge.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-21 01:55:08.957894+00 by: Dan Lyke

Don't have a Domino, but I can borrow one. I was just going to use a biscuit joiner for registration.

The panel shape we want doesn't seem to be veneerable, which is why I'll be gluing this up rather than using plywood (which was my initial hope). I'm going to try to set up some curved rails that the router can run on to see if I can cut the shapes we want.

The rail and stile profile we're looking for doesn't adapt itself to a traditional mortise and tenon, so I'm saved that hassle, I'll just cut for a mitre joint and join 'em with biscuits or dominos.

And, yeah, for cutting the dadoes for the panels in the rails and stiles I'm thinking the router table is the way to go.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-21 17:16:00.528727+00 by: m

A biscuit joiner is fine -- I use one for panel glue ups because I could not cost justify adding a Domino. A thickness sander, a height adjustable workbench base, a more effective dust collector, and a Wood Rat have priority. Actually, you can do glue panels quite well using simple edge to edge long grain. The purpose of the insert is to keep the panel in a plane. The real key to strength in panel joints is the prep of the edge surface. Sometimes I use boards straight from the tablesaw, but for good work I joint two boards at the same time and use complimentary sides so that the resultant panel is 180 degrees even if the fence isn't at 90 degrees. I don't know if the Festool saw will produce am adequate edge for gluing. It should be smooth, but not burnished or burnt. But, you can perfectly joint the edges of the boards with a router table and a straight bit

Cutting the grooves (dadoes go across the grain) in the rails and stiles would be very difficult without a table and fence. Balancing a router on a 3/4" edge would be a serious problem. This summer I routed blind grooves in the back of some 2" thick floating shelves with a jig that was made to ride along the shelf edge with sides holding the router tightly in place over the width. There were still some wobbles that would have been unsightly if they had been visible. I would have cut these on my table, but the shelves were too long to be able to control that way.

Router tables can have a much steeper cost/benefit curve than most other router jigs, in that you have to spend a lot of money for any significant improvement. You don't need to spend much on a table for what you want to do. You can make one yourself if you are so inclined. If you ever get really interested in table based routing you will want two tables (and two or more routers) anyway. so a smaller table is not a waste of money. All you really need is a flat table with a hole in it and a reasonably straight fence. Dust collection is a real positive if you can't do your routing outside the home.

*New Topic

I am starting the info collecting phase on a home automation and weather project. I did something like this with in the early eighties for an extensive air pollution data gathering project. We had a number of trailers fitted with continuous monitoring instruments for a variety of pollutants and weather parameters. The technology was minimal then -- I used an Apple II, and with Apple Pascal, I was able to log three hourly parameters for a month for 32 channels per site on a 143K 5 1/4.. I needed an electronics tech to build multi gain amplifiers and filters for each instrument so I could do the data conversion, calculations and control. The system ran for over 20 years. Really hot stuff back then, but off the shelf now.

Anyway, I am looking for a low power controller/computer that might centralize my home automation, be a file server, etc. Don't need much horsepower for this., but I need some I/O, Ethernet, and possibly some audio streaming. I noticed that you had some microcontroller experience with a small VIA box. How did you like their stuff? Did you use Linux on the box? Did you see their stuff as 24/7 reliable? Also looking at the 1 wire bus for sensors. Any comments?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-21 21:41:31.935922+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've built a router table, so I can just use that for the grooves (thanks for the distinction between that and dadoes). I'll report more as I get further along.

On microcontrollers, Atmel makes the ATNGW100 Network Gateway Kit, runs Linux with cross-compilation packages for Ubuntu or Windows with Cygnus tools, has a bunch of I/O and a couple of network ports and an SD card socket. I've only played with the STK1000 dev kit, but my impression is that this is basically that without all of the add on peripheral stuff. I think it's about $70 qty 1.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-21 23:45:56.594408+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, wait, read that again and you wanted file server as well, which means you need a power supply to run the hard drive as well. Yeah, I love my little Via Eden box, it runs Ubuntu, headless, and sips power, the only sound is the drive.

Only caveat is that if you install the network distro of Ubuntu you have to manually set it up with the i386 kernel because there's stuff in the stripped down kernel they use that the Via chips choke on.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-21 23:46:13.677482+00 by: Larry Burton

  1. Look around http://www.opto22.com. You might find something there that would suite your needs. AB Pico controllers are also economical controllers. You are looking at high reliability with either of these products.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-22 12:55:04.713501+00 by: m

Great! Thnx for the links. The Opto looks terrific, I could have used that in the lab, except that it is a bit pricey and somewhat overkill for what I had in mind. Bits of precision and conversion speeds are way beyond what I would need. The Via box sounds more like what I need to look at. Thnx again.

#Comment Re: All wood bicycle made: 2008-01-22 15:09:26.513333+00 by: m


#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-23 00:14:28.121266+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Awesome bicycle!

Back to the original topic, it just arrived:

Yeah, that's not the right way to be storing the birch on top, but I'm going to use that pretty fast. The maple was cheap because there's a lot that's on the interface between sap and heart wood, but it'll be very visually interesting and I think will look awesome as cabinet faces.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-23 19:01:45.429184+00 by: m

The most visually interesting wood is caused by "defects" that impair strength and workability with wild figure and grain patterns, fungal and bacterial rot, knots, bark envagination, compression and flexion areas, forking, inclusions of all types, and other mishaps. The best wood for the purpose of building something is quartersawn with tight even parallel grain, but it is boring to look at.

A lot of times the more interesting wood is cheaper because it causes problems with manufacturing, and has a tendency to have issues after its made into the target item. Wood expands and contracts perpendicular to the grain. Differences in the wood will cause it to expand and contract at different rates. This is what causes warping, cupping, twist and other unhappy deformations of form. Sometimes these problems show up slowly over the years as a piece of furniture literally rips itself apart as the result of differential expansion and contraction with humidity and temperature. Other times the stresses play out quickly, and you can see the wood distort inches while you are ripping through a board. But these pieces tend to be the most interesting of all, so it is the woodworkers misfortune to have to work around them.

I only knowingly work with such wood when I am turning. Spalting lines, rot, knots, fractures, wood cancer (burl), inclusions, worm holes, silicon deposits, and all the other ills that ail wood cause what I perceive to be great beauty. But I may have to use epoxy, cyanoacrylate or saturation in dilute white glue to help the wood stay together. You will not find such extremes in your cabinet wood. But it is a general rule of life. The more interesting something is, the more effort it takes to obtain or maintain that object. Spouse, code, vase, or cabinet.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-23 19:46:38.718246+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I'm laying out a bathroom vanity right now, I think I'm going to use that birch and a piece of cherry I've had around, but we've got two constraints in how we want to build it:

I'm okay with using veneered plywood for the side panels because of the dimensional stability, I'll just use 1/4" with grooves top and sides, and finish nails or something along the bottom, and I was going to try to do biscuit joined edge faces on 3/4" ply for the doors and hope that that dimension was stable enough that they didn't tear themselves off, but figuring out the interface between the vertical elements of the cabinet and the horizontal portions of the sink support, and making sure that the cross-grain portions of those joints are floating, is keeping me occupied.

I'm guessing that I'm either going to get really proficient with cutting shallow mortices with the router, or I'm going to break down and get a Domino...

On spalted wood, we've got a piece of maple that's itching to be coated in polyester resin and made into an end-table top. And, yeah, when I made my router table, to back up the MDF top I used 2x8s that I ripped narrow strips off of either side down to 2x4s, as I ripped it the ways it changed shape and settled into its final dead flat edges was fascinating.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-23 20:20:05.728225+00 by: m

I don't understand your concern about moisture collecting at the top of a bottom rail. Without a bottom rail, there will be a concern for warping at the bottom. The whole rail/stile/panel construction was developed as the solution to wood movement, and has worked for a couple of hundred years. As far as cleaning goes, a quarter round or similar molding, added or integral, on the inside of the frame provides for simplified cleaning with a wipe.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-23 20:25:32.767667+00 by: Dan Lyke

I was concerned about condensation flowing down the face of the panel and collecting inside the groove of the bottom rail. I was hoping that in using plywood for that panel I'd mitigate any warping issues from having that edge less well supported.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-24 13:01:12.962298+00 by: m

I haven't ever heard of condensation flowing down as a problem. The panel should be finished, less a final coat, before being glued into the rails and stiles. The rails and stiles should be finished after the glue up, and then the final coat put on the door. This will allow the panel to move, but retain a seal around it. Have you had an experience with condensation flowing down into the lower rail and causing problems? Plywood is not as strong as a hardwood rail, and would be more likely to bend, especially over time. Try it yourself with two pieces of equal length, width and depth. The plywood has much less shape integrity.

As I implied but did not explicitly state above, the rail/stile/panel structure was developed for the purpose of controlling warping, not for their pleasing appearance. Appearance was secondary to the structural rationale.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-24 14:22:39.169526+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

I'll give it a try. Edges of rail and stile doors and cleaning have always been an issue for me, but if I can get that profile to have a decent obtuse angle at the meeting of the rail and the door panel and get a good coat of finish in there, maybe it'll be reasonably dealt with.

For the kitchen I'm trying to figure out a way to make the doors disassembleable so that they can be thoroughly cleaned or even re-finished (I'm thinking holding the tenons in with a short screw put in from the back), but for the bathroom vanity the panels will be integral to the sides.