My time in the shop was short today. The onset of warm weather signals the start of grass mowing season. It takes, on average, 3hrs to mow down the grass on my property. Luckily I can now split that time with my teenage son. This weekend was the first mowing of the year so I had to first ready the mower. Which ate up a little extra time. There are few things in this world that I hate more than mowing grass. So my enthusiasm in my work was lacking but the mower was readied and put to use.
I had hoped to fit the three completed drawers and possibly fabricate at least one additional. That plan went to hell right from the start. In my eagerness to start building drawers I completely skipped over the installation of drawer guides and center dividers. That’s one of the drawbacks to working wood as a hobby. It’s difficult to maintain a linear progression in a project. Time in the shop is sporadic, at best, and the beginning of each new session is usually spent reorienting yourself. Sometimes things get missed and you, I, pick up work at the wrong stage. So guides were the first priority of the day.
The guides and center dividers are not difficult. Cut them to rough size, fit them and then glue them in place. This is one of those tasks where I really need to implement hot hide glue. Hot hide glue has a fast initial tack and is perfect for the installation of the guides and the assembly of the drawers for that matter. I’m gonna have to seriously look into hot hide glue before too much longer. There is no practical way of clamping the guides into place so a rub joint is the best way to install them. Liquid hide glue does tack fairly quickly. Just not as quickly as its hot counterpart. So each guide was rubbed in and held in place for about 60 seconds.
Once the guides had been installed I left everything alone for a couple of hours. Then I took up the task of fitting the assembled drawers. One item that I pay particular attention to when building drawers is the planing direct of the side pieces. I orient the grain so that I can always plane from front to rear. It’s a small thing but makes the fitting process go much smoother. The first drawers that I made, back in the day, I didn’t do this and it was aggravating to constantly verify the grain direction. With this new setup all I have to do is create a heavy bevel on the rear corner to prevent spelching and plane front to rear. No need to even look at the grain. Just plane away.
So my short day in the shop ended with three drawers finally fitted to the carcass and the grass mowed. Oh, and the reappearance of my fancy blue drawer pulls.
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My neighbor takes immense pride in his immaculate lawn, while I am constrained by limestone and gravity from ever approaching that moral ground. We take solace in the flowers, instead. Consider the lilies…
If I had my druthers I would mow a 20ft swath around the house and out buildings and leave the rest to its own accord. The neighbors and the county government feel differently.
I don’t recommend planting bamboo (big brother of bermuda). Tried that, I’ll spend the rest of my life fighting it. Interesting, as rare and exotic as Japanese culture is, where we’ve transplanted kudzu, bamboo, honeysuckle, etc. they’ve just taken over. China: lost the chestnut, and I see patches of ailanthus sprouting up that most people don’t even know are invasive.
I’m a firm believer in native plants. If mother nature didn’t put it here, it doesn’t belong. I used to be an over-the-road truck driver. I can remember miles of forest in the south completely choked by kudzu.
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