Got Wood?

Now that the prep is done, it’s time to get to the yummy yummy meat part.  After double checking the measurements, and buying the wood.  Basically you’re building a box with one side open.  The length of the entire thing will be 68”, with a height of 6”.  Since this will be attached directly to wall, the back needs to be one large piece.  This piece won’t be seen so I used the cheapest board that I could find. It was 2” deep by 6” and at least 67.5” long.  We’ll also need 3 pieces of wood measuring 1”x”6”x17.5”.  These will need to be veneered on the edge anyway, so this is not the wood to spend a lot of money on. I used a ½” pine plywood for the bottom.  This piece isn’t really seen, and the edge will be veneered anyway.  So again, it won’t have to be pretty.  The bottom and top will need to be 19”x68”.  I used a nice 1” birch plywood for the top.  There will be one exposed side.  This piece needs to be 1”x6”x19”.  I cut this piece out of the birch to match the top.   Try to visualize what pieces of wood will be seen and will be hidden.  That will help you figure out what wood to invest in and what wood to be cheap on.

So, we know what pieces we need, but now what?  Home Depot can cut the wood for us, but their cuts aren’t always exact.  Plywood often comes in 8’ sheets.  They are hard to maneuver and cut regardless of if you are a chick working by herself, a large man or have a gaggle of friends over to watch help.  To make it easy on ourselves, we’re not even going to try.  Find some scrap 2’x4’s. You’ll need like four.  Lay them on the ground, with the short side on the ground and put the plywood on top.  Make sure the 2’x4’s aren’t along your cut line.

Grab a circular saw and put the blade on the on the cut line.  Use two more 2’x4’4s and brace the sides of the saw.  Hold the 2’x4’s in place with clamps.  Presto!  You just made a huge guide for your saw.  Now it’s time to safety gear it up (ear,eye,mask,gloves).  I always make sure to wear at least ear protection.  The saws can be loud and the ear protection can help mute the sound so they seem less scary.  Turn on the saw and run it up the guides.  Feel free to crawl around on the plywood as you make your cut.

Just do it again for the second piece.  Now you have the top and bottom.

You can follow this for the all of the pieces of wood, but the smaller pieces of wood are often pretty easy and fast to cut with a hand saw.  In this case, I clamp some smaller scraps of wood to side of the cut line.  Normally I do this on a table standing up at a table.  Keep the blade next to the guide and saw in a seesaw motion. 

Sand any rough edges.

See? Simple.  Now the only excuse you have to not cut your own wood is a lack of tools.  It can take a while to accumulate tools, so just start where you can.  If you don’t have a circular saw, then cut what you can with a hand saw and have Home Depot cut the rest.   I promise no one will tell.

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