Monday, November 7, 2011

Home Depot, again!

I remember asking Don why in the world he had to spend so much time at Home Depot.  Sometimes he was there several times a day, for goodness sake!  Well, darned if I don't find myself heading off to Home Depot often, sometimes several times a day, too!!  I now believe that it's some kind of mystical phenomenon that occurs when you use tools on a regular basis.

For some reason known only to the powers that be at Home Depot, they are no longer planning to carry the Pure Bond birch plywood that I like to use.  My Glendora store has been out of it for over 4 weeks, but some of the stores still have a few sheets.  So, Saturday morning bright and early, there I was at the Covina Home Depot.  By the way, I hate to try to find things in the different Home Depots - they are similarly laid out, but just different enough to make you crazy!

I was fortunate that they had enough of the birch for my latest project, and really fortunate to have the assistance of a young man named Ernie.  He helped me load up my cart with 7 sheets of 3/4 ply and 3 sheets of 1/2 inch ply, and then pushed it all down to the saws.  Once there he cut all of that piled up lumber into more manageable sized pieces.  One disadvantage to being 5'2" and 61 years old is that 4 x 8 sheets of plywood are impossible for me to lift!   (MDF is even heavier, which is why I use plywood for most things!)
Home Depot will make 2 cuts at no cost, and will make additional cuts at 25 cents a cut.
On cart being loaded with cut lumber - another cart still to go!

Two hours and fifteen cuts later I was ready to load it all on the truck.  Again, I was fortunate that Home Depot staff are usually very willing to assist you.  I was ready to pull out about 20 minutes later!  (by now it was lunch time - so much for my morning!)

I'm still surprised at how much I enjoy the look and feel of new plywood and lumber.  I look at it and see such potential!  However, I will admit that the sheer amount of plywood and boards resting in my truck bed was really quite intimidating.  First, I had to find a place in the garage to store all of it, and still be able to easily get to it.  I had to move things around, put things away and sweep up my mess!  I do try to do this at regular intervals while I'm working on a project, and I try to do it again before I start a new project; so, it was time!

Unloading all that lumber was quite a chore.  Although I had it cut into smaller widths, the pieces were still 96 inches long.  I thought I could easily cut it into shorter lengths once I got it home, but that wasn't the case!  Next time, I'll spend another hour at Home Depot and have them cut into even smaller pieces.  As long as I remember to leave extra to clean up their cuts - it's nice they'll cut stuff, but their saws are not the greatest and I always have to trim everything to size!

In order for me to cut the lengths, I had to build myself a jig.  Actually, it's called a cross-cut sled.  It looks something like this:

Image Detail
Really snazzy cross-cut sled.
woodworking tip: crosscut sled for wide panels
Very simple cross-cut sled.

The sled is to make it easier and safer to cut across the panel.  My panels are still quite large so my sled is pretty big.  And, guess what - it worked!  The pieces are still big, but I'm pretty sure that with this jig I can get them all cut to the correct size and that they'll all be the same size - and maybe I'll end up with something that's square!  I sure hope so!!

This project is for the Docs.  It's a wall unit about 13 feet long consisting of 2 floor-to-ceiling "bookshelf" type side units and a 30" high center media unit.  No doors, a single fixed shelf in each of the side units and everything else will be adjustable.  Face frame, crown moulding and base moulding to match the other trim in the room.  Still undetermined about finish.  I think the cabinets will be painted the color of the trim, and the top on the media cabinet will be stained.  But, we'll see.  Lawyer Doc might want to stain the entire unit.  This month I am a very busy person (I don't know how that happened!).  So, of course, there is a deadline for this:  It needs to finished before Doctor Doc returns from Taiwan on Dec 10th!

Keep your fingers crossed that I finish on time, and that Lawyer Doc's projects go smoothly (hmmmm, I wonder if that's ever happened?).

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