21 June 2012


 When last we talked, I had gone to the lumber yard and acquired -- of all things -- lumber for to make the cabinets.  I spent a while measuring and cutting the pieces....

 Then spent more time joining (using the pocket jig), planing, and sanding....
 And then we didn't take any pictures for a while.... but when I remembered to get the camera, there it was!  A big ole cabinet!
I didn't do the doors -- I'm not set up for all that faincy curvy stuff -- but it's done and the client likes it. 

18 June 2012

...And A Half Step Back

So, going to the lumber yard at 8:00 turned out to be going at 9:30, and then there was some last minute changing of plans, so this is what I'm now going to build:

I realized I didn't ask if they wanted the double cabinet on the left or the right and, of course, I had Sketched it backwards (no big deal, a single click reversed the thing).  But he didn't like the idea of the cabinets being one depth with the microwave shelf extending, so instead of a single 12" board for the depth of the cabs, there's now 2 joined 8" boards.  And no face frames, which is mainly an aesthetic thing anyway when building with solid wood.  And since the micro shelf is the same depth as the cabs now, I figured for overall strength it was best to have the top go all the way across the piece.

The doors, btw, are "store boughten", and established the sizes for all the rest.

I've got about half of the cuts done and will soon be able to start making wide boards out of narrow boards.  Pocket screws, glue and clamp time ahead!

One Step Closer

The new houses all have a large kitchen island with a sink, but in true Tico fashion, there are no other counters or cabinets.  So, the landlord asked me if I would build a wall cabinet unit for storage and also to provide a place for a microwave oven.  We're going to get the materials in a little bit, but before doing that I had to figure out just what I needed.

Enter "Google Sketchup" and "Cutlist Plus".  The former for the design, and the latter to tell me how many boards, and how they can most efficiently be cut.  Those with carpentry/cabinetry experience know how wonderful it is to have a program to figure this out for you. :)

So.  Wall cabinet design (with and without doors, and in metric for the ease of understanding for the client):

The cut list program doesn't easily avail itself of screenshots, but here's some clips showing the generated lists:

This tells me I need (2) 1"x12"s for the main shelves and sides, and where they need to be cut:

This shows the (5) 1"x2"s for the face frames, all marked for cutting:
And this one depicts the (1) 1"x8" for making the microwave section:

I won't be using it, the but program will even print out labels for the individual pieces of lumber, so they can be loaded in order (handy for larger projects, I'm sure).

Now it's just time for coffee before going to the lumber yard....

15 June 2012

Getting Jiggy With It

Hello, strangers!!!  Yes, I know it's been months since I've posted anything, but... that's life these days.

On to the reason I've revived this beast....

I shall be building some cabinets (both for ourselves, in the new house our landlord is building, and for him to put in the other two new houses he's building) and hope to continue building things for money and all that, and ... anyway, I got a new toy.  It's called a Pocket Screw Jig, and it's used for building frames (cabinet fronts and doors, pictures, &etc.) fast and with a clean front (no nails/screws/dowel pins visible).

So easy to use, just position the jig, clamp it down and drill (using the specialty "step bit" that comes with the jig).  You then insert screws in the resulting pockets (hence the whole "Pocket Screw" thang), tighten them down, et viola!!!  A clean, tight corner.
There's only one small problem.  The whole thing is designed to use pan head screws, which are readily available in The States, but seem to be ... not so much available here in Costa Rica.   I haven't checked with the big box hardware store EPA, but I did go to the three medium-sized places here in San Rafael, and they'd never seen such a thing.  You can see here what happens when one uses regular wood screws....

I know I can order the screws through the same place where I got the jig (Grainger Hardware Supply, which recently opened a Costa Rican location), but those would have the a) added cost of shipping from The States, b) the whole "2-3 weeks to get them in" thing, and c) they're square drive [the 'slot' in the screw head is square shaped, rather than the common Phillips or Flat], which would require a specialty screw bit/driver.

More types of screw head than you ever knew existed:

But I'll get it figgered out.