Stones River Woodworkers Club Murfreesboro, TN

Jay’s Ramblings

February 2014

Well Here we go again!

This story is too long for a Show & Tell so it’s better done here. Over the years Nance and I have accumulated a considerable number of CD’s and most of them are stored stacked on the floor in a corner next to the door that leads into the attic. Nance suggested that it would be nice if I constructed a shelving unit that could fit into the corner and organize the CD’s. Since I have all of the CD’s in the computer and make composite CD’s of only our favorite songs for listening to while we are mobile, I overlooked the obvious that CD’s stacked on the floor is not the best way to keep them. The obvious location is in the corner next to the attic door-frame but not to be large enough to interfere with the return-air vent. This location restricts the maximum size to be less than 5 1/4" deep, 24" wide and between the floor and the ceiling in height. I began to picture shelves, sides, tops and bottoms with boo-coo rabbits and dado’s. Being a minimalist, and having read all the magazines and catalogs in the can, I started thinking of an easy way out. As usually happens, we tend to work harder to do less therefore shooting ourselves in the foot. This is what I decided was the "easy" way out: There is sufficient studs between the wall and the door frame so I have good support to screw through to. I am using a Cherry backbone 1 3/4" thick, 5 1/8" wide and about 6 1/2’ high that will be screwed to the wall . There will be eight Walnut shelves, 5 1/8" wide, 24" or less in length and 3/4" thick that will fit into a 3/4" dado in the backbone and cantilever out with only the dado fit holding them. I plan to cut them with stacked dado blades on my radial arm saw. I’m sure glad I hung on to mine all these years. The shelves will be Walnut because someone (namely me) can’t tell rough-sawn cherry from rough-sawn Walnut and each shelf will be 1" shorter than the last shelf as they progress toward the top.

With a cantilevered shelf some sort of bookend will be needed to keep the CD’s from falling over so it was back to the drawing board. At some point I came up with a design similar to a cheap miter gauge. My plan is to dado a grove 1/2" wide and 1/8" deep to accept a piece of flat-bar that size and as long as the shelf. The bottom of the grove will be 1/4" up from the bottom side of the shelf and held in place by flat head machine screws 10-24 screwed through the bottom into tapped threads in the flat bar. The upper part of the grove will fit a wood stick 3/8" thick and 3/4" wide with one end glued to a walnut piece at 90 degrees similar to a sliding miter bar for a table saw. I will drill and glue a 1/4" rare earth rod magnet at the glued end and a 1/8" rare-earth rod magnet at the other end. The magnets will be attracted to the flat-bar and the bookend and can therefore be positioned as required. A prototype has been constructed to verify that the dimensions will work. Now what I need are some warm days to work in the shop. When is as cold as it has been lately, I tend to stay inside and catch up on my computer data entry.

Today was nice so I tackled the job of cleaning up the shop -- not spotless like I was expecting a shop tour but clean enough that I can have a little table space to work on. It never ceases to amaze me how much the cutoffs from a few projects can accumulate. I really have to force myself to burn most of these scraps, cause I’m a pack-rat by nature and just know that sometime in the distant future I will have a need for a scrap of wood that size. Osage Orange, Yew, Mesquite and Persimmon are the exceptions, I always save those scraps. The mesquite I cook with but the others I use until I have to pick the scraps up with a broom or vacuum.