Dresser for Little “C”

Dresser / changing table for my youngest daughter’s new arrival. Top, sides, and drawer fronts made from red oak. Five foot long, 35 inches high, 21 inches deep.

I turned the feet out of 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 oak glue-ups. First I cut the tapers on the bandsaw, the waste was taped back in place to keep a stable surface while cutting the other three sides. Each foot was turned between centers on the lathe using a parting tool to mark the transitions and a small gouge to cut the concave curves. They were sanded while still mounted on the lathe.

Next I made the sides using a frame with a floating center panel. The center solid oak panel was made from a three board glue-up. Rabbets were cut on all four sides that fit in dados cut in the frame pieces. To allow for wood movement across the grain, I cut the head off a 2 inch finish nail and inserted it into holes drilled in the vertical frame members and the center of the panel. This keeps the panel centered within the frame. The edges of the panel were shaped to fit into the tapered grove in the frame sides to prevent weakening the mortise and tenons joining the frame pieces together.

The rear frame of the dresser consisted of two horizontal 6/4 pieces of popular attached with two mortises to each side panel. The front faces of the popular pieces had a 1/2 inch rabbet cut to allow a 1/2 plywood panel to be inset. The plywood panel squared up the frame and provided a structural surface to mount rails which supported the rear of the drawer slides described next.

Next job was to mount the drawer slides. I elected to use 100 pound capacity full extension slides. To support the rear ends of the slides, I cut notches in construction fir 2×4 sized to match the width of the vertical members in the front face frame. These were screwed to the rear plywood panel. On the front face of the rear supports I added yellow pine whose width matched the notches cut in the fir. These pieces provided a solid surface for the screws which secured the rear of the slides.
Additional oak pieces were attached to the rear faces of the vertical front face to provide a fastening surface for the front of the slides. They also overlapped the mortise and tenon joints for some added support.
Temporary blocks were used to locate the front end of slides when they were attached to the frame.

Drawers were made from 1/2 inch plywood sides and 3/4 inch plywood false fronts and rears. Dados to hold the drawer bottoms made from 3/16 hardboard were cut in the sides and front. The drawer rear was sized to set on top of the drawer bottom. The sides were fastened to the fronts and backs with a brad nailer after gluing. To increase the rigidity of the bottom on the larger drawers, a 1/4 inch deep notch to accomodate a 1-1/4 wide inch pine slat was cut in the center of the drawer false front. The slat was glued to the drawer bottom and a screw inserted into the 3/4 inch false drawer front and drawer rear.
A simple jig was made to accurately position the inner slide rail to the side of each drawer. Slide positions were determined to provide about a 1/4 inch of overhang of the solid oak true front above and below the false front. On the large drawer faces, a 1/8 inch wide x 3/16 inch deep groove was cut 1-1/4 inch in from all edges of the true drawer fronts. Fifty cent coins were used to space the true drawer fronts top/bottom and side to side within the drawer openings against the drawer’s false front face. The screw holes for the drawer pulls registered the true drawer front to the drawer. After gluing and clamping, two screws drilled inside the rear face of the false front secured the true fronts to the drawers.

The cabinet bottom panel was made from 3/16 hardboard sized to fit within the bottom of the dresser and to fit flush with the top of the bottom front frame members. Blocks attached to the inner surfaces of the front and rear frame supported the bottom at the flush height. Small counter-sunk screws held the bottom panel to the bottom blocks.
Corner blocks to hold the dresser feet were made to fit in the bottom corners. A forstner bit sized to accommodate a counter-sink bit was used to bore holes in the 45 degree face of the block. These holes secured the block to the sides. Screws counter bored through the front and back frame faces secured the blocks on its other face. 3/8 inch oak plugs were inserted over the screws on the front face. The feet were attached to the blocks with 1 number 10 screw in the center, and a shorter number 8 screw 3/4 inch to the side to keep the feet from rotating.

The 5 foot top was made from 3 edge jointed solid oak boards. To get a straight edge on the 4/4 rough sawn boards, I used the straight edge of a piece of mdf wider than the boards to ride against the fence after fastening the oak to the mdf with 2 screws located within 1/4 inch of the worst edge. After the first cut, I removed the mdf and used the newly created straight edge against the fence to true the other long side of the board. This provided edges which required no planing before edge gluing. I used 3/8 inch dowels in the two inner edges of the glue-up along with clamping cawls to get a very flat top.
To attach the top to the chest, a 6/4 piece of oak first had three holes drilled at each end. The two outer holes on each end were slotted to allow for wood movement. The block was then attached to the inside top end of the chest with two screws. The top was then centered on the chest and clamped in place. Then the three screws on each end were drilled and secured.

Door Bell Enclosure

The old doorbell ringer was replaced with a Raspberry Pi processor that plays a mp3 tune when the front door bell button is pressed. See Zeek’s Raspberry Pi Doorbell post for the details of the electronics and code. Here is the completed upstairs enclosure made from redwood, pine, and mahogany scraps. The redwood came from siding retrieved from Grandpa Jake’s old house on the ranch.

This shelf was installed in the space occupied by the original door chime. The wires coming from the 24 volt a/c transformer and the line which runs to the outside door bell switch were located here. The transformer was just three foot above the original hole in the wall in the attic. Since I had just a 3 foot run to the outlet powering the transformer, I elected to run an AC line from the attic to the shelf to power the raspberry Pi and the Speakers. The other option was to buy a 24 vac to 5 vdc converter. They can be found on Amazon for about $12.

Here is the shelf with all the bits and pieces in place. Note the french cleat fastened to the top of the shelf back that is screwed to the wall. The enclosure will mate with it to hang on the wall. The raspberry Pi was also mounted to the back with two small screws that run through empty holes in the processor board.

After building a hollow box of redwood to cover the electronic components, I added pine strips along the inside of the face to act as a stop for the grill which would be placed against it from the inside.

I cut dodos in the face frame pieces using a pull saw and a square to keep the kerfs square. The waste was removed with a chisel.

Horizontal grill accents were inserted into the dados and glued in place. The dados were cut before assembly.

Vertical grill accents made from mahagony were glued into the dodos cut in the vertical pieces. They stand proud about 3/8 inch for a 3D effect.

The inside of the enclosure with the grill in place. I used a scrap of pegboard to wrap the fabric around. Fabric is glued. Note the two friction fit slats on either side of the grill that hold it in place.

The downstairs speaker for the Raspberry Pi doorbell project is supported by a simple platform make from a 5mm plywood back, two triangular side pieces that have dado for a 5mm base and a french cleat installed at the top of the back. The hole in the back is for the speaker wire. The platform is attached to the wall with drywall anchors.

The cover for the speaker was made from a simple box assembled with glue and nails. additional facade pieces were glued around the inside perimeter of the opening, and you can see the horizontal grill pieces being glued in space here.

Here the vertical grill pieces are added. They are wider than the horizontal pieces and set up proud of the face.

This is a view from the back side of the enclosure after inserting a face made from 5mm plywood and covered with a piece of fabric glued to the back side of the faceplate. You can also see the mating french cleat for the cover.

The cover was finished with Watco natural oil and simply slipped over the platform. The french cleats hold the two pieces together with no fasteners required.