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Back to School - Woodshop

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I didn't think going back to school could be so much fun!  I signed up to take a Cabinetry and Millwork class at my local community college.

It's entirely different working and building with wood in a proper environment compared to being outside on uneven ground, worrying about whether it was going to rain or not, being attacked by bugs or having your neighbors stare at you.

I also learned a lot of helpful little tricks like how you use a chisel for glue cleanup, building a drawer that will fit your opening perfectly and just how useful a block plane is (I assumed only old-school-hand-tool woodworkers used them).

Our building was dedicated entirely to woodworking and construction.  Watching the framing class build walls, decks and roofs got me excited to take those classes (hopefully in the near future).

Our classroom.  We spent only 15% of the time in here, thankfully!

We were tested on how well we could identify different species of wood.  Not exactly something I've done before so it was a challenge.

Here's a view of the shop from the classroom door.

Our project was to build an "apprentice cabinet".  The cabinet is a simple carcass with a fitted drawer and door.  Each student had only basic guidelines to follow when picking their measurements, but it was up to us to figure out the dimensions we wanted.

We used rough sawn lumber which needs to be cleaned up and cut down on every side to the final measurements you want, and usually includes gluing up several pieces to make panels for the large pieces you need.

The jointer and planer are my new best friends!

 We got our main carcass finished before we started on the drawer.  We cut our drawer pieces slightly larger than the opening so we could use a block plane to shave off the sides to fit perfectly later.

My drawer is glued up and my pieces are ready to start shaping for my door.  We used a shaper which I had never used before and it was a little nerve-wracking considering all the warnings and cautions we were given before using it.

Once the pieces were assembled we got to do the final sanding.  I also learned how to use the vacuum press for making my drawer bottom! 

 My friend took the class with me which was fun.  Isn't her cabinet so cute and little!?




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I'm taking the next Cabinetry class where I'm going to build another desk similar to the hutch desk I built last year, but instead of pine I'll be using Ash.  Wish me luck!
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