You’ve probably noticed the slowdown in my RV related content and videos lately. Alas, this week will be no different. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is that I’m what we call “single-threaded”. It’s a bit of IT nerd humor, but basically it means I can really only work on one task at a time. Lately, that task is the woodworking project. (And, to get really nerdy, you could say I’ve got some cooperative multitasking going on, since I AM able to do things like eat, go to work, and create an occasional blog post.)
So, the furniture project continues to occupy most of my spare time, and most of my shop. It literally has crowded out some RV projects, which is why I haven’t been up to anything with the black tank simulator lately. But the good news is I’m making some headway on it, so it will be just a few more weeks. My goal this week was to work on the web frames inside the two side sections (they’re the parts that support the drawers and hold the sides of those sections together). I got about 80% of the way done with that.
I used the Festool Domino for most of this joinery. The Domino, for the majority of you who don’t know about it, is a handheld tool for quickly completing floating-tenon joinery; which is a fancy way of saying “holds two pieces of wood together”. The Domino is a German tool. This is another one of those things that I know, but seem to forget every time I start a project. Being a German tool, it’s incredibly precise and highly efficient. It’s also set up and marked out in metric units…
And *that’s* what I forget. I set up and started this project in English units. Stock is 2 inches or ¾ of an inch thick. It is most definitely NOT the 50mm and 20mm that would have made my life so much easier. Having been through engineering school, I KNOW that the metric system is easier to work with; but I’m stubborn, or maybe just too lazy to plan a different way. Anyway, since the Domino is set up in metric units, and I have to convert, this means I have to adjust things in fractions of a millimeter. And those fractions of a millimeter get harder to see each year. I finally had to resort to busting out a magnifier so I could estimate .125 of a millimeter on a black-on-black scale.
And my entire week has been full of mental conversations with myself like this:
Me: “I want this rail set back 3/16 of an inch from the front of the leg. Where do I make the mortise?”
Myself: Well, the leg is two inches wide, that’s 50.8 millimeters. And the center line is 25.4 from the front.
Me: “Umm… Yeah. So then cut it 3/16 of an inch aft of center?”
Myself: Well. 3/16 of an inch is 4.7625 millimeters.
Me: “So center the mortise 25.4 + 4.7625 millimeters aft of center, right? That’s 30.1625 millimeters. Assuming I can see that small.”
Myself: Not exactly.
Me: “Wait. What?”
Myself: Remember, you made the rail 3/16 of an inch narrower than the leg. This means you only need to offset half the 4.7624 millimeters toward the back. So take the 30.1625 millimeters, and subtract back half of the 4.7625 millimeters (or 2.38125 millimeters). That leaves 27.78125 millimeters aft of center. Not accounting for continental drift.
Me: “#%*^ it. I’m gonna go get a corn dog.”
And now you see why progress has been a little slow this week. Eventually, I came up with a system of spacer blocks measured in a new system I’ll be calling “Engric” units (or maybe “Metrish”). But thankfully, when clamped to the workpiece, they let me cut holes that are lined up and mostly in the right place.
After cutting lots of 8 quart by 22 furlong by 25 farthing holes (yeah, whatever) I was able to assemble the end sections of the cabinets. Still missing a few pieces, but coming along.
Next week, I’ll be adding the drawer runners, guides, and kickers; and then working on the same parts for the center section. With all the translating back and forth I’m going to be doing in the next week or two, there’s a good chance I’ll wind up speaking German. Wish me luck.