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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I would share with you my first project. It took a little less than three months to complete. I'm not sure how many hours I actually have into it though as I mostly worked on it on weekends and maybe a couple hours during some evenings. I also went several weeks without being able to work on it due to a busy time with work.

The project started off with my wife expressing her want for a plant shelf in our front entrance way to hold her orchids. The shelf was originally planned to just fit between the column and house, however, we decided to have it come out further past the column and along the entire side of the entrance way.

This project included a lot of firsts for me. I'm working out of a 22x20ish double car garage (thankfully I have dedicated use of it.)

  • First purchase of rough lumber
  • First time using a jointer and planer to dress rough lumber
  • First time making mortise and tenon joints
  • First time resawing on the bandsaw
  • First time using Sketchup to design the piece
  • First time making my own scroll pattern and scrolling a piece
  • First time applying a finish

Without further ado, let's get to the pictures! :)



The plant stand would be made out of eastern red cedar and white oak. I originally planned to use ERC for the entire piece but decided to change it. The cedar would be for the frame with the white oak being used for the slats. The slats would only be 3/8" thick so I wanted a strong wood and my wife liked the contrasting woods. I purchased the cedar first, and luckily my local yard had some 8/4 slabs in stock for the legs that would be 1 3/4" square.


My first task was dressing up the 8/4 slabs to make the legs. I used a circular saw to cut off the bark, jointed a face & edge, planed the other side to rough thickness, and then used my table saw to cut the legs. I had enough 8/4 to do all but a couple legs, so I would do another first -- face joining boards.


This was my first piece that I've ever really glued up and I read to make sure I use enough glue. I think I did. I wasn't overly worried about it because I had made sure I had enough room to be able to clean up the edges and get the two legs I needed out of it. It worked well because I didn't have to make sure they were perfectly aligned either.


The completed legs. The bottom four are faced jointed ones with the joint up. The top one with my daughter's fingers on it is from a solid 8/4 piece for comparison. I think I could've gotten an even better joint if I used more clamps, but I was quite happy with what I got.


Next step is to dress up and cut the rails. Here is the stack that's been rough cut to length and ripped using the circular saw to rough width where the boards were wider than my 6" jointer. You can see my solution to ripping them to acceptable widths at the back of the outfeed table.


After face and edge jointing and planing to rough thickness. Three sides ready to go! I cut the rails to width using the table saw, but I do not have a nice stacked picture of them completed.


Mortise and tenon joints! Lots of them! The stand was completed without a single piece of hardware. I used my table and band saws to batch out the tenons (later I would purchase a dado stack which I sure wished I had at this point.) I got mixed results with my joints, but most were acceptable if not near perfect. This one was my first (ever.) The mortise was drilled out with my drill press and squared with chisels. Going back and counting, 44 mortise and tenon joints were made.


On the inside legs where rails would be coming into the leg on the same corner I had to cut the tenons to half the width to ensure they didn't interfere with each other.


I started to assemble it here. You can get an idea of what it'll shape up to be now. This was after my biggest mistake. I have a tendancy to get ahead of myself and make stupid mistakes that are easily caught if I just slow down and check myself. I made the mortise in the back left leg on the wrong side of the leg at the bottom (it is pictured correctly here). My wife helped me cut a piece of cedar to fit into the bulk of the mortise and I glued it in and sanded it down. Not perfect, but it would help keep the water out and it would be covered by the slats anyway.


Rough, dry, and loose fit, so don't critique my joints based on this one. I hadn't done the top shelf yet mostly because I wasn't sure what I was going to do then. The next step is to prepare the rails to accept and support the slats.


Ah... my new dado stack! This made making the rabbets a breeze, but I sure did double and triple check myself to make sure I was cutting the rabbet into the right side of each rail piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

I finally figured out what I was going to do with the top shelf at this point. I had to cut a rabbet into one of the top rails that didn't run the full length. Thinking dropping a piece of wood down onto a spinning dado stack would not be the best idea, I cut it using my router and the squared the edges with a chisel.


The top shelf would not be supported by legs towards the front, only the two on the back. I found the mortise and tenon joints I made were pretty damn strong as it was, but I felt more support was warranted. I cut out a couple curved corner pieces to fit underneath the top shelf. I wanted to do some scroll work with this project, plus I really needed to because I used it as justification to purchase a scroll saw. So using Kenbo's YouTube videos I made my own pattern.


Here it is glued to a scrap piece. It was the first time I used a scroll saw and was mostly happy with the results. The second and third time would be on the two real pieces.


Done! I actually went back and cleaned it up with tiny spindle sanders with a dremel tool.


Starting the glue up process! I sanded each rail and leg involved in the section I was gluing up and blew out the mortises to ensure the dust was out of it. I learned quickly the power of a ROS with 80 grit. I used such a low grit because I wanted to refresh the color of the cedar as it started to brown by this point. I went back and used 150 and 220 grits. I mentioned the power of the ROS because I caused my M&T joints to not be square because I caused a divot in the leg by the mortise in my efforts to sand off the pencil marks. Before each section I tuned the joints to fit as perfect as I could so this was quite a shock. Luckily I learned on my first piece which would be against a wall, and it really wasn't all that bad.


I had to get creative with some glue ups. This one even my long 48" parallel clamps couldn't reach. With quite a bit of money recently put into my shop on some tools, I didn't want to go out and buy longer or pipe clamps, so I made due with some ratchet straps. It actually worked well.


You can see the long mortise joints I made for the corner supports here. I didn't realize until I was fitting the first one that I really didn't have to make it the full length of the piece.


The last of the frame gluing up!


This is the first picture I have with the white oak. I don't have any pictures of milling and resawing the white oak. I purchased it in 4/4, edge and face jointed, planed the other face just until it was flat, and then resawed each piece in half. This allowed me to simply plane the band saw surface since I had a flat face on both halves to reference. The fifth board in was one of the trickier ones: it involved the band saw and scroll saw.


Dry fit all of the slats. If you have a keen eye you will see that the slat I mentioned above is now in two pieces. When I went to cut the same slat for the bottom shelf, I realized I would not be able to get it into place because I could not drop it in from above. So I ripped it down the middle and created a gap the same size as the rest of the gaps. I'm not overly happy with this change but my wife likes it. She likes symmetry however so I did the same with the top slat.


Starting to glue up the slats. I used what I believe are cauls to help spread the pressure across the slats into the rabbet.


More gluing up. Reaching the end soon.


Finish! I used General Finishes outdoor oil. I cleaned up the excess glue and wiped on the oil. I spent quite a bit of time deliberating between finishes. In the end I choose the oil, even though I know it doesn't have the greatest protection, especially against scratches, like a spar varnish would provide. I went this route because I came to terms with that it is an outdoor plant stand. I like that I can re-apply the oil without having to sand. It offers great UV and water protection which is what I was mostly concerned about. However, it's under a porch so it will mostly be protected from both of those elements.


In its final resting place. My wife will be placing her orchids and other outdoor nick knacks on it tonight.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and comments. I learned a lot during this project, both in woodworking techniques and shop tools/organization. During this process I actually purchased quite a number of tools (some of which you can actually see in the progression of photos above.) My next project is to run electrical and to mount my DC and run duct work.
 

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Very impressive build Brandon! You weren't kidding about "buying a few tools". I see duplicates of a few tools and I'm guessing the DW788 was the scroll saw you got. I've been eying those for a while now, so I have major tool envy...

Be sure to post some pictures with all of the plants in place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Very impressive build Brandon! You weren't kidding about "buying a few tools". I see duplicates of a few tools and I'm guessing the DW788 was the scroll saw you got. I've been eying those for a while now, so I have major tool envy...

Be sure to post some pictures with all of the plants in place!
Thanks, and I'll be sure to post a picture with the plants.

Before I started this project I had the following:

- 6" Jointer (older 1940s I inherited from my great grandfather and restored)
- 10" contractor table saw (same era as the jointer, also my great grandfather's and restored)
- 12" DeWalt SCMS -- purchased new
- Bosch 1617EVSPK -- purchased new
- Grizzly 17" bandsaw -- purchased used from CL
- DeWalt DW734 planer -- purchased used from CL (same guy I got the bandsaw from)

During this project I acquired the following:

- Porter Cable DP -- purchased new
- DeWalt DW788 -- purchased new
- Grizzly 8" Jointer -- purchased used from CL
- Jet 16" Planer -- purchased used from CL (same guy I got the jointer from)
- Tempest 3.5HP Dust Collector -- purchased used from CL


I really wanted an 8" jointer after using mine. I absolutely hate the fence on my 6" jointer, it is incredibly hard to adjust and keep square. However, the real reason is that just about every rough board I had to rip using my circular saw was 6 1/4" wide and boy did that get tiring quick. A waste of wood and a pain to do.

The 16" planer was mostly because it was a great deal. However, I was quickly growing less and less fond of my DW734 as it did not have dust collection so I pretty much had to drag it out and set it up outside the garage to use it.

I really would like to find a good replacement cabinet saw, but I am going to wait. I have a lot of memories with my great grandfather's tools and I just don't have the room to have two table saws setup in my garage. We're exploring the possibility of building a detached shop down the road if I stick with the hobby. If we do that then I can keep both saws and keep a dado in the contractor saw for instance. But man is it a pain to adjust the fence and keep it square and it's missing a lot of safety features in today's saws.
 

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Great write-up of an awesome project. Looks like you had fun learning. Gotta love those projects that justify new tools. Pipe clamps would be a great addition to your arsenal, but that said, I need more strap clamps myself, and I would love to have some 48" parallel clamps.
 

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Thanks, and I'll be sure to post a picture with the plants.

Before I started this project I had the following:

- 6" Jointer (older 1940s I inherited from my great grandfather and restored)
- 10" contractor table saw (same era as the jointer, also my great grandfather's and restored)
- 12" DeWalt SCMS -- purchased new
- Bosch 1617EVSPK -- purchased new
- Grizzly 17" bandsaw -- purchased used from CL
- DeWalt DW734 planer -- purchased used from CL (same guy I got the bandsaw from)

During this project I acquired the following:

- Porter Cable DP -- purchased new
- DeWalt DW788 -- purchased new
- Grizzly 8" Jointer -- purchased used from CL
- Jet 16" Planer -- purchased used from CL (same guy I got the jointer from)
- Tempest 3.5HP Dust Collector -- purchased used from CL


I really wanted an 8" jointer after using mine. I absolutely hate the fence on my 6" jointer, it is incredibly hard to adjust and keep square. However, the real reason is that just about every rough board I had to rip using my circular saw was 6 1/4" wide and boy did that get tiring quick. A waste of wood and a pain to do.

The 16" planer was mostly because it was a great deal. However, I was quickly growing less and less fond of my DW734 as it did not have dust collection so I pretty much had to drag it out and set it up outside the garage to use it.

I really would like to find a good replacement cabinet saw, but I am going to wait. I have a lot of memories with my great grandfather's tools and I just don't have the room to have two table saws setup in my garage. We're exploring the possibility of building a detached shop down the road if I stick with the hobby. If we do that then I can keep both saws and keep a dado in the contractor saw for instance. But man is it a pain to adjust the fence and keep it square and it's missing a lot of safety features in today's saws.
Did you get the Jet planer form a person in Winter Haven? If so, I think you beat me to them!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did you get the Jet planer form a person in Winter Haven? If so, I think you beat me to them!!!!
I sure did! Small world! I went there interested in his planer, jointer, and dust collector. Someone beat me to his DC, but I ended up with a better one from CL about a week later.

The wife is working on placing her orchids on the stand today :thumbsup:
 

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I sure did! Small world! I went there interested in his planer, jointer, and dust collector. Someone beat me to his DC, but I ended up with a better one from CL about a week later.

The wife is working on placing her orchids on the stand today :thumbsup:

Congrats on getting the tools....the owner had a great price on them and from the pictures, they looked in pristine condition. Luckily I found a nearly new Grizzly G0656 a week later, but for a little more. Not nearly the deal you got on the G0490. Now, I just need to find a 15 inch planer. By the way, I live south of Jacksonville....I was going to make the drive down for the tools.

And, your project looks great....especially for all of your "firsts".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. I live a couple towns over from Winter Haven so the drive was only about 25 minutes. The prices were crazy good, especially on that dust collector. The tools were in great condition. I of course brought some wood over and used both the jointer and the planer to make sure they more than appeared to be in good condition. Get this though... I don't have 240V in my shop yet! I ran a subpanel a few months ago but never got around to running the circuits. I'll be starting that this week hopefully. Both the jointer and the planer require 240V, and so does the DC I just purchased.

As promised, here are some pictures with the orchids on it. She says they liked to be spaced closer together so she "has" to go buy more of them... Sorry for the poor lighting, the sun is already going down.





 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great write-up of an awesome project. Looks like you had fun learning. Gotta love those projects that justify new tools. Pipe clamps would be a great addition to your arsenal, but that said, I need more strap clamps myself, and I would love to have some 48" parallel clamps.
Learning was the best part! I told my wife that I could go back and burn the stand and I'd be fine with it -- the knowledge I gained was well worth it.
 

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Thanks. I live a couple towns over from Winter Haven so the drive was only about 25 minutes.


As promised, here are some pictures with the orchids on it. She says they liked to be spaced closer together so she "has" to go buy more of them... Sorry for the poor lighting, the sun is already going down.
Funny you mention Winter Haven. I had never heard of it until a couple of months ago when we found a potential client there. I may be headed down there next week or the following, and judging by all of your CL scores, looks like I should do some hunting and bring some cash with me!

Also, if you "had" to buy all of those machines for the project, I'm pretty sure you are still in the win column if the wife "has" to buy a few more plants!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Haha! Yes, you're right. The only tool I said I "needed" to buy for this project was the scroll saw though. She's just a good wife that lets me buy toys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great project, looks professional. I like the look, and for an entry, it's perfect. So...did you get hubby points? BTW...Winter Haven, the one in Florida?






.
Quite a few points. I'm spending some time improving my shop and will continue on with her ever increasing project list after that. I believe a couple picture frames are first on the list.

Yes, the Winter Haven in FL. I live in Lakeland, which is about 30 minutes west of it. I used to live in Auburndale, between Lakeland and Winter Haven.
 
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