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post #1 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Help interpreting plans

Howdy all, first post here so please let me know if there's a better place to put this.

I'm looking at building a bedside table from these plans, but I'm super confused by what they're talking about in step 21.

The pieces being made are side and back panels that fit between the legs and the top and bottom rails. There's two identical side panels, and one slightly longer back panel.

It says to rough cut them to size, resaw the stock in half with a bandsaw (which makes sense for the side panels, as they are 1/4" thick and being made from 1" stock), but then it says "glue the pieces together to make full width panels". I can't figure out for the life of me what they're talking about. It's crossed my mind that they might mean making the back panel from a half-length piece that's then resawn and glued together on the endgrain, but that seems like a weird way to save a small amount of stock.

It could just be an error, and I've found a couple more in there already, but could also be me missing something obvious :)

Anyone have any ideas?
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 04:55 PM
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What's the significance of your screen user name? Add your location to your profile so it shows in the side panel. Add your first name to your signature line so we'll know what to call you, 'cause it's not going to be by your screen name. Just being cautious and a bit curious...

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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No significance, it was created at random by my password generator. Kind of a standard procedure that I use for special interest forums, where my actual identity is not particularly important.

But let's go with CJ, I appreciate that people might not want to cut and paste the whole thing :)

Call me CJ :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 05:43 PM
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I thought that might be the case, that's sort of what it looked like. In that case, welcome to the forum, CJ! And thanks for adding your name and location.

Resawing a board means standing it on edge and cutting it into a thinner piece. So it was first sawn to 4/4 (1"), for instance, then surfaced (planed) to say 3/4", and now you want to resaw it into two pieces about 3/8" thick. Except for the saw kerf, which has to be factored in, you'll get two basically equal thickness pieces.

I resaw wood often for inlays, guitar backs/sides/tops, and these are often 1/8" thick or so and I'll get many pieces out of a board 4/4 in thickness.

Does that help? Do you have a bandsaw capable of resawing the boards you need?

We do like photos so show us your shop, tools, projects, etc. whenever you're ready.

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers David.

I'm familiar with what resawing is, though haven't done it a lot. And in the context of the side panel pieces I get why it would be used: 4/4 stock cleaned up will end up ~3/4" thick, each of those side panels is 1/4" thick, so you can rough cut a single piece to size from the stock, then resaw to get two the same size that can then be taken to final 1/4" thickness.

But I don't get why it's talking about glue... unless they mean cutting a 9" long piece of stock, then resawing it and gluing the bits together on the endgrains to make an 18" long piece like the back panel needs to be. That would obviously use less stock than just cutting a full 18" and planing it down, but seems a weird way to do it. At least to me, I certainly don't claim to be an expert.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 06:30 PM
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Ah, yes, read it a little better and that is strange. Full-on shop day and spraying lacquer on some large Walnut plaques so that has my real attention.

Why not use pieces long enough to start with? You certainly can't glue a butt joint and expect it to be of any substance. It will be encased by rails so an end grain glue joint won't really matter but you will have a joint there and it will definitely show. Unless they intend for you to bookmatch the pieces for a decorative look. But still, it's on the side and back.

I'd say do it like you want. If you're not planning to bookmatch the pieces then a joint in the center will look odd, almost like you didn't have enough stock to begin the job but did it anyway.

My $0.02

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 08:09 PM
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I have gone over the plans about three times, gluing them together makes no sense, the panels are already 1" wider than the drawer front so that gives an extra 1/2" top and bottom yet the grooves in the rails are only 1/4" deep, so if anything 1/2" would have to ripped off the panels.

Another look:
Upon further inspection the rails are 4" apart so 4 1/2" would fit.

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post #8 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 09:00 PM
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I agree with Frank. I reviewed the plan and the last sentence of step #21 "Glue the pieces together to make full-width panels" makes no sense. It must be a typo.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 09:10 PM
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I would ignore the "shopping" list .....

Just go by the dimensions in the cutting list. The pieces that are 4 1/2" wide will require a board that's just under 9" wide and ripped down the center, so an 8" wide board is not enough.... kinda dumb. A 5" wide board will get you there.


Other boards can be selected and purchased based on the required thicknesses, widths and lengths. Use your own judgement as to what boards to purchase.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-14-2020 at 09:12 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-14-2020, 11:10 PM
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Yup, I'm lost too. To me "glue together to make one full width panel" sounds like gluing two 4 1/2" x 15" pieces side by side to make one 9" x 15". But that doesn't fit the plans, that drawer isn't that tall.

~Mark

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post #11 of 11 Old 02-17-2020, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all, good to confirm I wasn't missing something there.

Point also heard about the shopping list. I already noticed they call for a 2" thick piece (two of them, actually) for making parts H, I, J, K, & M, none of which are thicker than 5/8". Guess I shouldn't expect too much from plans which were created as advertising for finishing products :)

While I'm here, could anybody share an opinion about their method for making the mortises in the legs? They recommend using a table router, which works easily for half the cuts (where the cut begins by going through the top face of the leg). But for the other half, this requires starting the cut by plunging the work into the bit, then pushing through and exiting the top face of the leg, as described in step 11 and shown in fig 4.

That plunge technique seems a bit dodgy on a table router- I can see all kind of things going wrong with it. The alternatives are a lot more hassle (drilling and chiseling, or making a jig and using a plunge router), but probably safer.

Call me CJ :)
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