WITH MY YARD basically set for the season, it’s time to return to woodworking. Funny thing is that my timing for getting back into my workshop coincides with some muggy days here in Alabama. The heat isn’t really that bad, it is just that we are getting our first taste of the heat and humidity. Proof of this is the fact that I had the first drop of sweat fall on my table saw on Saturday. Time to get the box fan out and blow sawdust into some strange parts of my shop.
I left off last time with the lower interior of my new tool cabinet mostly complete. The top section is next on the schedule and construction is much the same as the lower section: biscuit joinery for the web frames and then screws to fasten everything in place. Let’s get started…
My first task for the top section innards is make three web frames. Biscuits are used as seen in this photo. I used a lot of clamps. Occasionally, I can have a twisting like alignment problem with my biscuit jointer. That is the reason for all the clamps you see below.
Assembling the interior structure is a matter of careful measurement and screws. This is down and dirty construction. During this step I used not only Baltic birch plywood, I also sorted through my scrap bin for any type of stock which would keep me from having to make a run to the home center for more plywood – I found some oak plywood, some red oak and even a little bit of cherry. Some of this stock was banged up, but no one will see it but you and me.
And it was about this time that the power went out. A thunderstorm rolled through knocking out the power for about four hours, seriously cutting into my woodworking schedule. As my wife and I sat in our darkened home, I remembered seeing this video at the Oldwolf Workshop YouTube channel and needing to rip about four feet of red oak I thought to myself “I can do that.” I have the needed hand planes to clean up the cut. So I opened the garage doors and let as much light into my basement as possible and went at it.
Again, that is red oak in the photo, one of the hardest of hardwoods and a chore to cut with a hand saw. But, it cut really well and I got a little workout using the two-handed technique to rip as shown in the Oldwolf video. I even shot the end grain with my block plane. Pretty serious hand tool work (for me at least).
The photo below shows what the back looks like at present. I need to add just a top drawer runner to each drawer opening which will minimize drawer tipping as they are pulled out. Plus I need to add a drawer stop for each drawer, but I’ll do that as I am fitting the drawers.
And glamour shots of the tool cabinet rolled into place…
Next up, I’ll begin building the drawers which will be a significant step in the project. I am still planning on using my current favorite drawer joinery style – the dowel drawer joint.
NOW THEN, a few more brag pics of my front yard. My hydrangeas are just about in full bloom. I am not sure why I like hydrangeas so much; there are many reasons to like them. The color from their blooms are bold and attention getting – even the simple white blooms of oak leaf hydrangeas are conical in shape making them stand-out plants. Hydrangeas are easy to root and there is satisfaction seeing one I rooted becoming big.
Probably the main reason I like them is because what you see are mine and they are becoming mature plants. There was a time when I had one or two hydrangeas (and zero oakleafs) and a case of plant envy. I love the look of mature hydrangeas. A Southern yard without a nice batch of big hydrangeas is a sin really – every home should have not just one, but multiples and the oakleaf hydrangea should be heavily featured.
To me, hydrangeas, along with azaleas, dogwoods and crape myrtles are must haves in a Southern landscape. Not having any is like a Southern home without a screen porch, or a Southern man not having at least a few Lynyrd Skynyrd songs on his smart phone (I was at a flooring store in Memphis last week and one employee’s smart phone had “Sweet Home Alabama” as a ring tone). Down South, not having these things is un-Southern, so to speak.
So now, I can look upon my yard with some Southern pride. In fact, I have received a couple of compliments from neighbors. But, this is the time of the year in which my yard shines. I’ll report back mid-season with an update.
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