I finally found some more time to work on a cabinet for my “clean work” workspace and office. It’s going to have 80/20 aluminum framing, 2-3 banks of drawers, and a butcher block top. Right now the 2-bank frame is up, and my attention is turned towards the drawers.
I’m connecting Blum undermounted drawer slides to the aluminum framing in an unconventional way. Normally, there’s face frame mounting or side panel mounting. The T-slot channels don’t line up perfectly with the holes, so I came up with a solution – 1.5″ x 1.5″ thick hardwood vertical supports that are bolted to the framing, for the drawer slides to screw into.
It’s time to test things out.
It seems that everyone is unhappy with the confusing way Blum gives guidance as to the ideal dimensions for a drawer, and so I figured a test run would be prudent.
I cut my hardwood vertical supports too long, because I forgot to take into account the right angle supports that will be holding up a heavy top and unknown loads.
I cut my drawer bottom too short. Instead of taking away from one side and adding to the other, since the drawer front and back will be joined within the sides, I removed from both sides, making the width about 1″ too short.
But the blunders didn’t stop there.
I drilled pocket holes on the wrong side of the sides. And then I realize that I needed the pocket holes to be in the other pieces.
I cut notches into a side of the drawer, instead of the rear.
I think I found every single way I could have screwed up with this test drawer. But hey, it’s a test drawer.
What threw me off is that the drawers are wider than they are deep. Yes, this is common, but I’m more used to small boxes where the front and rear are narrower than the sides.
Measure twice, cut once?
Back in my How Do You Plan for a Project post, Fred mentioned Gantt charts and Pert charts, which seems like a good idea.
I have always done well working according to my chicken-scratch-on-a-page plans, sometimes going as far to create a sketchup model – such as when I built this birdhouse for a Craftsman thing – but this project seems more complex and the numbers are starting to get out of hand. Things will become even more chaotic if the test drawer is not perfectly sized and I need to make minute tweaks to the dimensions.
I think what threw me off was mixing up the sides and fronts. For the full build, when I’m batching out 14 drawers, I’ll label everything.
So once the test drawer is sorted out, I’ll draft up some better plans, better describing each and every step that needs to be done, and to which drawer component. If changes are made, it’ll go right on those plans, since I plan to expand the cabinet project once I have the first 2 banks (18″ and 24″ widths) completed.
So… what’s your greatest project blunder? Blunders? Am I alone in suffering blunder after blunder on the same project?
Using an impact driver, on stainless steel through bolts. I was unaware at the time whenever one uses stainless on stainless, galling occurs basically cold welding the nut on the bolt. When I had to remove the through stainless bolt, I had to use a 4 foot cheater bar to shear the bolt to remove it. Learn from my mistake, when using stainless steel, grab your ratchet not your impact/drill driver….. and go slow.
Thanks! I didn’t know about this and just did some quick research on the net.
While I’ve never experienced SS galling, I know that a steel seatpost in an aluminum bike frame calls for anti-seize grease. Otherwise they’ll react together and require a lot of effort to break free.
Back in the day, we used heavy Stainless bars bolted down with heavy Stainless bolts as a supplemental door lock on remote shelters. We had special 1/2″ hex security keys (also stainless) to crank them down – manually. It all worked just fine until we needed to use a Partner saw to “unlock” one.
We use stainless bolts in our products. We used to use dry Molybdenum spray to lubricate assembly bolts. That was until we realized it was not good enough for larger 24mm bolts. In one instance, two long cheater bars (one on the nut and one on the bolt itself) could not break the cold weld. The nut was being finger tightened when it seized!! We now use black Moly grease – messy, but works.
Knew about this because a mechanic buddy of mine tried it and got this result. Never wanted to try it myself afterwards just to see if he was correct.
I built a new staircase – sealed everything up – drywall, wainscoting, decorative moldings and all – then was reminded (by my wife) that the lighting sconces she had bought were still waiting to be installed. Of course they required new wiring to be snaked, new switches to be installed etc. which would have been a piece of cake while the walls were open.
“Measure twice cut once”
Sometimes it’s better not to measure (at least not with a tape or ruler) at all. If you are making cabinet doors with coped rails and stiles – you can dry assemble the frame and then take inside dimensions with a bar gauge to determine the length and width of the floating panel.
To avoid cutting away the wrong part of your work you can mark what sections are waste and cut to that side of the line – sneaking up on the line (maybe with a hand plane, chisel or other tool) for a precise fit.
To avoid confusion witness marks and labeling on faces can be a goof-preventer.
I once assembled almost a hundred feet of privacy fence backwards… But got lucky and was able to lift it off in one piece and turn it around. That was embarrassing
Am currently building a 3D chessboard similar to this: http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=3dchessfederatio;id=3;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebpages%2Echarter%2Enet%2Fthreedchess%2F
I applied about 5 coats of gloss polyurethane, then realized I hadn’t filled the pores in the walnut, and the hard maple had some cross scratches (caused by a bur on the plate of my router lift). Instead of sending it to the firewood pile, I decided to sand the poly off. It’s now been about 3 weeks of nights and weekends, I’m finished sanding, and I’m significantly stronger in my upper body, but my fingers still hurt. Going on with spray pre-cat lacquer next.
I put in an attic access ladder in my garage. Measured the distances required to cut the bottom section of ladder and failed to account for the tape measurement body inches of 3″. You know where you measure using the tape body and have to add or subtract the inches printed on it’s side.
Well that being said now my ladder was now 3″ short when open and extended to the floor. Being riveted there was no [safe] way I can remove and replace the lower section. I had to make some small steel bars and attach and strengthen the lower adjustment legs. It works ok but I’m always leery especially when I’m close to maximum load going up or down the ladder.
Ok this is not a project blunder but something doff that I did this week. Our shower developed a major leak that forced me to pull everything apart and replace the drain pipe under the fiber glass floor. For the life of Brian, I couldn’t get the sliding doors back on, should be simple really. I ended up dismantling the rollers just to get them in the notch in the bottom alu ring.
They just weren’t right, hang all weird and didn’t close properly. On Monday morning my wife showers and then tells me with a smirk on her face that I’ve hung the doors upside down! Yes the rollers go at the top. Idiot!
“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”
― Niels Bohr
I’m not there yet, but by god I’m trying 🙂
Not solely my fault, but messing up the placement of a door opening when pouring a foundation below a steeply pitched roof, requiring the header to be beveled and have a steel plate installed.
I typically do Euro style cabinet boxes, but I offered to build a new set of doors for my parents’ face frame bathroom vanity. I took all the measurements and then it sat on my bench for a while before I got around to it. Built all the doors and drawer fronts as flush instead of overlay. Not a happy day.
While not a project I just remembered one HUGE blunder when I was 16 years old. I worked weekends on a dairy feeding calf’s. I went to get a glass milk from the 8000 liter raw milk tank and while turning the handle to fill my glass the entire mechanism just let loose and went in about 5 different directions. One piece up the other down, another left and another right, and the last one straight out. I just stood there with milk squirting in 5 different directions with what seemed like the force of a fire hydrant. I had to try and find the pieces and yell for help while milk just swirled down the drain in the floor. After about what seemed like an eternity we finally found the pieces, three of us had to plug outlets while one guy tried and fit the pieces back together. Got it closed back up. ONLY lost 2,800 liters of milk.
Who in the world would design such an thing that was capable of that? Needless to say I did not return to work there.
I once made four cabinet doors 2″ too narrow and then proceeded to remake them only to also make the replacements 2″ too narrow. That was the worst and I’ve never made a cabinet door the wrong size since.
There’s just too many, I don’t know where to begin.
Been there and done that!
Hinges on the wrong side of a door frame? I know everyone has done this once.
But I’m an over achiever. I’m positive I’ve done it 5 times.
Simple…. attempting to smooth out an endgrain cutting board. I put it in my planet, then was lucky to be out of the way when the planet kicked the end grain board back and put a hole in my drywall garage wall. It shook me up a bit and then realized that was a bad idea after all.
Shot myself with a framing nailer in my finger today, good thing the nail was ring shanked!!!
Yikes, I hope you feel better soon! I guess it can’t be too bad if you’re typing, right?
Meh I’m fine, little tender but good. I think this gun has it out for me, 2nd time it’s got me!
Don’t remember where I saw it, but some cement truck driver poured a load of cement into a formed basement foundation (not sure what you experts call that), and no one was around until Monday to spread it.
I don’t think they even took it out, just shrugged. This Old House maybe?
Overboosted at a very high rpm shortly after break-in, on first hard run. 3 years of work went flying when #3 rod unexpectedly evacuated from cylinder block causing catastrophic oil pressure loss. Lol.
Spent a weekend building a custom bed frame, with custom headboard, out of some gorgeous old barn wood sold near by. Designed some cabinets to go underneath (got the rough design idea from ILTMS on youtube). Integrated some nice antique drop lights on pulleys for each end of the head board, with built in switches and wiring (to function as reading lights) and was all set.
Measured everything, took my time, and I was proud at the end.
Wife reminded me that we had agreed on and ordered a new king size foam mattress…
I measured our existing queen…
Our guest room has a gorgeous bed…
At what point did you decide it was a test drawer?
Replaced a primary chain in a CB900F motor. All sealed up and ready to put the motor back in and saw the primary chain oiler on the bench.
And this after being reminded to not forget it by one of our mechanics the previous afternoon.
Once built an entertainment center out of oak and oak veneer in my basement. I measured the clearance between the stair treads and the sloping ceiling before drawing the plans. I just didn’t account for having to turn the corner at the bottom before being able to guide it up the stairs when it was finished. Ended up having to remove almost all the stair treads in order to have enough clearance to get it upstairs. Resulted in some scratches to the finish and significant damage to my pride, but nothing else.
When I was younger, I stripped out the bleeder screw on a brake job. Had to replace the whole caliper. Live and learn, I guess.
Wurth HSP 1400 lubricating spray is a miracle worker on stainless steel fasteners. Even ones where the threads have been hammered, cut, corroded or even if the bolt is bent. Sometimes on really bad ones the fastener will get too hot to touch from the heat generated by the metal being reshaped.
A life saver in an industry where we ad-free dealing with SS fasteners 90% of the time, Up to 2″ in diameter. A 2″ nut welded to a shaft can cost thousands of dollars fairly quickly.
I’m equally (un)skilled in many disciplines. Having finished a long and costly restoration on my Triumph, I decided to try some woodwork. Using a radial-arm saw to rip a long board (without support) may not have been the greatest idea, but I thought I had it covered. A second’s inattention caused the blade to catch and hurl my new javelin across the shop, smashing through both driver and passenger side windows, denting the metal wall of my shop and sending family and neighbors running to see where the scuds had landed.
Happy Labor Day, everyone.
Had a contract to do catch-up interior framing in new concrete structured condominiums during the last oil boom in Calgary. My brother and I would often come in and frame out several floors of suites over the weekend if their hired crews were behind schedule. One weekend we managed to finish 24 suites only to get a call Monday morning from the project manager complaining about how badly we had messed up the job. We went in to talk to him and discovered that they had revised the plans at some point during the week and forgot to send us the updated blueprints, and we never thought to ask. We made sure to after that.
Had a chunk of an old ping pong table and made a shelf out of it for the garage, put my cased power tools on it and went inside for dinner. About an hour later I heard a crash–The shelf was down, mini van dented, windshield broken; the 3′ screws were still in the wall, but the particle board had broken out around them.
That sucked, but three weeks later I was changing the wiper blade on the mini van, now with a brand new windshield, and the wiper arm, without the blade on it, snapped against the cold windshield and guess what happened…