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Last post Author Topic: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?  (Read 65335 times)

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #150 on: June 13, 2015, 08:49:49 AM »
I figure "in for a penny, in for a pound" -- so i'm going to try to fit flush inset drawers, which are hard to get right (as compared to overlay/overlap drawers where you have lots of margin of error because the fronts hide the gaps.  However, I am going to use this "false front" technique which should meant that the actual drawers themselves have plenty of margin for error, and then i just have to precisely cut and mount the drawer fronts -- which is still a bit tough since i don't have a table saw.  Looking back i can see this would have been the right project to invest in one of those little portable worksite tablesaws -- would have made cutting the long 18" wide plywood pieces a lot easier (instead i build a little jig/track).

ayryq

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #151 on: June 13, 2015, 09:01:30 AM »
You still have to get the projection perfect - although the slotted screw holes in drawer slides will help.

I bought a Bosch jobsite saw when I was making some built-ins in our last house (picture), and I think I've used it on every project small or large since. It's got a nifty folding stand so I can push it out of the way of the cars in the winter, and while I'd dearly love a bigger/better table saw, it's basically big enough for everything I do, and a bigger one wouldn't be as easy to store. Now they've got the same saw with a Sawstop-type brake (for more $$$).

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #152 on: June 13, 2015, 09:03:26 AM »
That's beautiful work -- i LOVE built-ins. Yeah i really should have bought one of those portable table saws, and i missed my perfect excuse :(..

Well I suppose i'll find out soon enough about the drawers :)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 10:49:39 AM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #153 on: June 15, 2015, 05:25:10 PM »
photos of drawers:

drawers1.jpg
drawers2.jpg

What you are seeing in the first photo is the actual drawers, built from 1/2 cheapo plywood.

The second photo shows the false front approach, with the tight-fitting nicer veneered fronts (still plywood, though one could use real wood) just set in front of the drawer area -- not yet precisely positioned and attached.

Unfortunately i ran out of the nicer veneered plywood sheets so the bottom two drawer false fronts have a bit more pattern than i would like -- i havent decided yet whether to go buy some more plywood, or assemble it as is.

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #154 on: June 15, 2015, 06:06:08 PM »
Also, one unfortunate thing you can't see is that i seem to have miss aligned the top face frame rail above the drawers, and it tilts upward to the right about an 1/8th of an inch.
It's not noticable without the drawers but when the drawer fronts are in, it's noticable because the gap between top drawer left and right hand sides are different.  That's why in the photo above i'm actually using tape to raise the right hand side of the top drawer by about that much..
There are a few options for fixing it:
  • 1. carefully adjust the vertical gaps for the drawers so that the fronts angle slightly up and to the right the tiniest amount so that by the time it gets to the top the gap is gone.
  • 2. try to carefully sand the front face top rail so that the left hand side height matches right hand side (sand under left hand bottom and right hand top).  this would be my preferred solution IF i believed i could get it sanded evenly -- unfortunately most of my experience with such sanding attempts has resulted in wavy looking edges -- it's hard to sand evenly!  The result could be much worse with no easy undo.
  • 3. try to remove that top rail piece of the face frame and reattach a new one -- could be a disaster because its glued in place.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 06:11:25 PM by mouser »

Target

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #155 on: June 15, 2015, 06:34:48 PM »
make a new face for the top drawer?

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #156 on: June 15, 2015, 06:37:07 PM »
Yes, sorry that's a good point, another option 4 would be to cut a new face that is rises slightly taller to the right -- that would be completely compatible with the whole idea of the false fronts helping disguise "errors", and given that i am thinking about replacing those two "mottled" front faces and might be cutting replacements anyway, that might be the best solution.  I suppose the only "drawback" to that solution is the possibility that one might notice the non-squareness of the front -- whereas solving the problem by tweaking the right hand gaps over the course of 3 drawers might be less noticeable, and solving the problem by sanding the top rail would make everything fundamentally level...

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #157 on: June 15, 2015, 06:40:51 PM »
ps. for those wondering -- that top center shelf is for a center speaker -- ive already built a nice custom speaker grill cover for that area.

ayryq

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #158 on: June 15, 2015, 08:31:47 PM »
Hard to say without seeing it. However, if I wanted to straighten the top rail I would be thinking of using a straight edge and a bearing guided router.

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #159 on: June 15, 2015, 08:36:28 PM »
that's an interesting idea regarding router.. i do have a small one and could conceivably clamp a piece of wood in place at the proper angle to act as a guide and use a straight bit.. though it wouldn't take much to mess it up..

Target

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #160 on: June 15, 2015, 09:03:30 PM »
I still think making a new face for the drawer is the easiest and least risky option.  Once you start taking material away you can't put it back again if it's still not right (and then you've got 2 problems ;D)

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #161 on: June 15, 2015, 09:13:52 PM »
I'm inclined to agree.
I may try tweaking the gaps first (since the drawer rails have an adjustment for this) to see how much i can fix invisibly, and then cutting new face frame to cover up any remaining gap that i don't feel comfortable fixing with rail adjustments.

Target

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #162 on: June 15, 2015, 09:30:17 PM »
watch out if you're going to tweak the slides, if you introduce a height difference across the drawer they may be inclined to jam (depends on how much clearance you have on each side of course).

claim it as a character piece, and see how many people actually notice (I'm guessing not many).  If someone does it becomes a conversation piece (everyone wins!!!)

ayryq

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #163 on: June 16, 2015, 09:20:33 AM »
OK, had a chance to look at your pictures now - That's a wide opening; 1/8" isn't very much across that distance. If it were mine I'd try remaking the drawer front with the angle at the top--since you wanted to redo the drawer fronts anyhow. You could try it with a scrap first and see if someone else can tell.

Other ideas:
  • Use a router with a flush-trim bit to completely remove the overhang on that shelf (so the bottom of the face frame is flush with the fixed shelf behind). Problems: Width won't match rest of face frame, you'll have to remake the drawer front to make it taller, the corners will have to be hand-trimmed.
  • Mark the level line with a pencil and cut off the excess freehand with a full-size circular saw. It's actually pretty easy (perhaps with practice) to cut to a line with a skilsaw, but you run into problems where the cut is less than the width of the blade (which would be most of the cut, in your case).
  • Glue a second, wedge-shaped face-frame piece to the underside of the current one. This would be really hard to make without a tablesaw. Or glue a larger piece there, then trim it.
  • Find a use for the excess gap: Put a IR receiver or a pinhole camera or a tiny Cody or a Knight-rider LED array in the space. Tell people you planned it.
  • Buy a bullnose plane and trim it that way instead of using sandpaper. Draw a line first.
  • Get that board off - saw the joints at right and left, being careful not to damage adjacent face-frame boards. Use a chisel behind it, and cover any damage with the new face-frame board.
  • Redesign that area - put a protruding bullnose molding on it or something. Or a little shelf for remotes.

The most important, and hardest, part is not pointing out the flaws to people who see what you've made. It's almost impossible to resist, but no one notices if you don't.

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #164 on: June 17, 2015, 12:16:13 PM »
On another matter.. anyone here ever tried wood "dyes" as opposed to normal stains? holy cow i am a convert!
I've been testing tons of gel and standard stains trying to get the right look on this birch+maple, and the blotching was noticable.  Tried a wood dye and wow! the clarity and evenness is remarkable.  :up:

[EDIT] I've since tried a number of different dye stain colors and they don't ALL look as great as the first one i tried in terms of anti-blotching -- though they all do look great and i love the easy ability to mix your own custom colors.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 03:27:55 PM by mouser »

ayryq

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #165 on: June 17, 2015, 12:26:03 PM »
On another matter.. anyone here ever tried wood "dyes" as opposed to normal stains? holy cow i am a convert!
I've been testing tons of gel and standard stains trying to get the right look on this birch+maple, and the blotching was noticable.  Tried a wood dye and wow! the clarity and evenness is remarkable.  :up:

Where did you get them; what brand?

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #166 on: June 17, 2015, 01:07:27 PM »
"dye" stains cannot be found in normal hardware stores -- which have tons of gel and standard stains -- you have to mail order them or find them in a special woodworking store, which i stumbled accross locally.  I heard experts recommend them for blotchy wood like maple and birtch but i was unconvinced until i actually tried one myself, and i'll be damned if the dye didn't completely eliminate the blotching problem and look remarkably better.

There are videos on youtube, for example: https://www.youtube..../watch?v=o3Ysfw0LmMw

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #167 on: June 19, 2015, 12:12:26 PM »
the only thing left for me to decide is if i'm going to try to brush on a finish or buy a sprayer..

ayryq

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #168 on: June 19, 2015, 12:16:09 PM »
I'd go for an old T-shirt myself. But maybe that "dye" you use is pickier.

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #169 on: June 19, 2015, 04:10:53 PM »
More photos, please!


mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #170 on: June 19, 2015, 04:18:52 PM »
after reading everything on the internet about finishing and testing every kind of finish, im now oscilating between spraying lacquer and trying a wipe-on poly.  testing some wipe-on poly now..

ayryq

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #171 on: June 19, 2015, 04:43:33 PM »
The thing that always has scared me off getting into a spraying system is the "cost" in time and energy of keeping the whole setup clean. Shoot, I usually wind up throwing away brushes after they sit in paint thinner for a few months. Thus I usually either use rags or disposable foam brushes.

There's a guy in my church who built his own kitchen cabinets and finished them all with rattle-cans of spray lacquer. They look great.

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #172 on: June 19, 2015, 05:33:19 PM »
Quote
There's a guy in my church who built his own kitchen cabinets and finished them all with rattle-cans of spray lacquer. They look great.
i bought some spray cans of lacquer but read that they are not good on very large pieces because the "seams" can be seen when the piece is that large.

mouser

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #173 on: June 24, 2015, 06:40:44 PM »
Latest cabinet photos:
cab1.jpgSoftware for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
cab2.jpgSoftware for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
cab3.jpgSoftware for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?

Note 1: The cabinet has not yet been "finished" -- i just wanted to see what it would look like -- i have to remove everything and put many coats of polyeurethane on to give it some sheen and protect the wood.

Note 2: It's significantly darker than I planned/wanted -- I tested dozens of stain formulas but in the end i got carried away.  I think lighter would have been more interesting but perhaps this will turn out to be ok.

Note 3: You'll notice on the top view two black lines -- that was a last minute improvisation to fix what were white-unstained lines caused by wood putty between the face frame and carcass, and white glue connecting to strips of veneer on the plywood.

Note 4: If you look at photo 2 you can see gray dots where nail holes are -- I made a big mistake by filling nail holes and gaps with "stainable" (hah!) wood putty before staining.  Bad mistake.  I've since learned the proper way to do it is to sink the nails, then stain, THEN fill with colored crayon, etc.  I did what i have done when painting when the putty can be sanded down and covered -- not appropriate for staining.

Target

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Re: Software for planning wood bookcases/cabinets/tables etc?
« Reply #174 on: June 24, 2015, 07:09:38 PM »
nice job, but now I want to look through your record collection :-[