Future Fairly Fine Furniture

The decision-making process I used over the fall to decide to get back into woodworking was fairly simple: get better or get out. By that measure, I upgraded tools as I could over Black Friday to meet the “get better” side of the equation. That process isn’t complete, but major steps were made. Now I need to produce something that is worthy of running a shop.

The render above is hopefully the first step. I am a huge fan of early-20th century furniture design, and Prairie School architectural design. What I tried to do was to conceptualize my take on these designs in a functional early-21st century usage. The final design might change slightly, but I want to keep the Harvey Ellis-inspired overhangs, and the Marion Mahony-inspired stained glass design on the doors. The overall dimensions shouldn’t change, unless they are material related.

The first build is a printer sideboard. The current thing holding the printer now is an Ikea cabinet that is only slightly functional. What I would like to do is replace it and let it hold a bunch of retro video game consoles that are currently sitting on my desk and another Ikea cabinet. The design would allow for it to become another bookcase inside, or for whatever purpose. The insides are regular adjustable shelves. I don’t yet know how to make stained/lead glass, so the inserts may be temporarily wood or faux glass.

The desk will have a tower space on the right, which can later be converted to drawers if so needed. The left side will have a spot for files at the bottom. There will be ventilation and cord management slots in the right base and underneath the top. I don’t plan on having any other accommodations for ports or cables, as I want this to be more of a classic desk that can serve as a computer or office/library desk. Any future needs can be addressed by adding on and securing to the top underneath at the back, as the monitor stand will.

I have also designed a TV console, and a basis for tall bookcases. I designed the TV console to hold as many consoles as I can think of at the moment. The width will fit into a future office space should we remain in our current house, but will also work in our current living room and is around a standard size, if not a touch tall. There will be an attempt at cable management in the form of back panels, plus heat management via thermostat-controlled AV fans. Any future consoles will require putting them on top or making other changes, but the entire interior of the cabinet except for the vertical partitions are removable. This is a pretty standard build and design. The drawers will be dovetailed if I can refine my methods. Most likely push to open drawers and door, so that the design stays clean.

The tall bookcase can be duplicated and adapted for any room. Here, it is holding drawers of games, but the goal will be to have them on adjustable shelves. If that turns out true, then no adaptation is really necessary – just add as many adjustable shelves (besides the one fixed at door height) as necessary. I haven’t planned on making full doors or four doors, but I may change my mind here.

I had to choose between quartersawn white oak and walnut, and I decided to go with walnut. As I stated, this is my take on period pieces and I really enjoy the sight of walnut get freshly finished. That, and it’s cheaper, and I like the darker wood.

So, I had hoped to begin this project in late October, but that obviously didn’t happen. Since I knew I had to get my situation upgraded before I started, I have pushed it back to at least now. I have at least the initial amount of walnut on hand, but now I have to make a design consideration of what the final process will be since I’m only going to get about 7/8″ thick pieces out of this 8/4 stock. I will be cleaning up the shop a bit more and thinking on this, and hopefully starting to mill at the very least before Christmas.

Fall into Upgrades

In my last entry on the site I spoke to the idea of discontinuing woodworking. The real turning point came when I decided that I either needed to step my game up or step out. Deciding that I didn’t want to quit, I looked to improve my space and thus improve my mindset, and ultimately improve the quality of work I could accomplish.

The first upgrade I made was to remove the small monitor and small TV and replace them with one larger cheap TV. I would get a bigger screen, and I could also move it higher up the wall to make more usable space. It was a win-win, only $50, and it seemed like a smart thing to do. One less thing to plug in as well. The TV and the computer could plug into the high outlet on the wall and nothing would get in the way…except perhaps the MFT’s track.

Next up was project-oriented upgrades. I will talk about those very soon, but I needed to accurately cut rail and stile joints, and I have wanted a sled to do so. The Rockler one had been on my Christmas list for several years, so I decided to treat myself.

Another router upgrade I made was to finally seal the router compartment with a door and install dust collection. I used on-hand cup hinges and installed the door to pivot down. I used a 90 degree port on the side and a couple holes in the door to provide airflow. Keeping the shop cleaner is a huge goal of mine for 2020 and this will help. Earlier in the summer I had enclosed the bottom of the table saw and installed a larger port for better dust collection there as well. Just the other day I hooked up over-table dust collection to further this goal. As I stated, dust collecting will be a huge focus.

The big decision I made  was to sort out my bandsaw. I could not resaw accurately, so I set about determining if that could be fixed. While I was eventually able to set it up pretty well, I listed it for sale. The bandsaw I had been after for awhile, the Laguna 1412, was going to be on a great sale for Black Friday. I started making arrangements in the shop so that the bigger saw would fit.

At the same time as the 1412 was going to be on sale, so was the Supermax 16-32. It has been a pipe dream of mine to own a drum sander, so I started looking at if I could also fit that in the shop. The bandsaw would be easy, adding a drum sander would not. I would need to start looking at how things could be moved around. If I could get an accurate resaw machine, and then have accurate sanding down to specific dimensions…it would upgrade my shop to levels I didn’t think possible.

To try and fit the larger saw and the new sander, I had to theorize a different layout. One way to potentially realize the new tools was to change my miter saw attachment to the wall. The issue was that it hung down way too far, so much so that it was hard to fit the flip cart that held the planer correctly. So I modified the design to float more completely, and it mostly turned out how I anticipated. The goal was to fit the jointer under the miter saw, and while that didn’t quite work out I did make a lot more space. The entire counter needs to be redone with the goal of raising it about 2-3″ across the board. The counter is already pretty tall, going to almost 48″ tall might be a stretch.

Since I couldn’t really fit the jointer under the miter saw without raising the entire counter up further, I thought about moving the drill press over to that side of the shop instead. Doing so, I could utilize the smaller dust collection hoses for the drill press, and put the drum sander over with the bandsaw and use the bigger hose. The idea of taking the planer off the flip cart and putting it on the drum sander stand meshed with this idea pretty well. So, I cut the farthest 18″ off the counter nearest the table saw and slid the drill press in that spot. I may make further changes to this section of the counter, but we will see. It’s not the best solution but one that can work.

With all that said and done, I wouldn’t ultimately know if I could make things work until I got the tools to the shop. Thankfully, all my planning seems to have worked out and I think this is doable. The only sketchy situation is the jointer, being installed under the drum sander. The height isn’t ideal, neither are the clearances in the trapezoidal stand. I’ll make it work, though. Need a shorter handle for the height adjustment. May ultimately need to build a custom stand for it all.

I also upgraded my hearing protection with 3M bluetooth Worktunes, I fixed my analog Kobalt clock, and fixed a couple of electrical issues. It’s been a fantastic few weeks and has really charged me up for what is to come. I do have quite a bit I would still like to upgrade, mainly storage things getting things to be more efficient or to work better.


Spring and Summer without the Shop

It was not supposed to pan out like this.

It has been over eight months since my last post, and there are a few reasons for that. The main reason is that I didn’t feel like writing much. I get much more interaction and reach with Instagram, so I’ll post pics over there on a regular basis. Issues with uploading pictures to the site over this time hasn’t helped my motivation. That issue will likely continue as Adobe has scrubbed the internet of any ability to re-download their non-subscription software. I don’t know how visual this site will be going forward.

Another reason is that other things took more of a priority. The day I posted Working out some details I started a weight loss journey. I’ve lost fifty pounds this year and have kept it off for four months now. Exercise has taken on a bigger role in my life, and I’ve run a few 5Ks and gone to the gym in times I would otherwise have free. I got back into video games pretty hard, and purchased most of the retro systems from my youth. It’s great to share that hobby with my kids. There were weekends where I wanted to spend my free time playing games or watching sports and not dealing with my shop. I went to Europe for the first time, and I have the travel bug pretty hard.

The biggest reason though was burnout. I successfully finished the theater responsibilities, but another show was handed to us as well and it was just too much. We were glad to help out, particularly due to the circumstances, but I needed a break. Days turned into weeks into months. I went into my shop twice in six months, and I wondered if I just needed to hang it up.

The time off did me good, though, because the desire came back around. I started designing some projects, and the desire to get those done eventually got me back in the shop. Let me tell you, some changes have transpired in just the last couple of weeks much less since March.

So, I am back, and I am attempting to post more. The website is renewed through at least the end of next year, and I’ll have to see if I can make 2020 a great year for content.

Working out some details

From time to time issues pop up that impact how I work in the shop. This could be storage, layout, anything. Right now there isn’t a lot of fine woodworking going on, just set building. As such, it’s a good time to talk about what I’ve taken care of recently and what’s still to come.

I have had my air nailers in a spare systainer for a long time, and it hasn’t been the best solution. Everything was just piled in, and the compressor oil fell over and coated everything. Nails came loose and were everywhere as well. A solution was needed. The pic below is after I cleaned everything up, as I can’t find a before pic. You can see the oil residue left after I wiped up.

I downloaded a template for the systainer bottom, and proceeded to cut out a floor from 1/2″ plywood. I taped the template to a piece of hardboard that I can use down the line to make more if I need to, and in turn taped that to the plywood. It wasn’t perfect, and needed some adjustment particularly along where there are little structural nibs at the front and back. Some trimming with the bandsaw took care of it quickly. You can see them on the paper template, six in back, one up front.

Once I got the bottom to fit in snugly, it was time to take it back out and make a spot for the oil. There was no reason to keep the compressor oil in the systainer anymore with the compressor upstairs. But I do need to tote around the oil for the guns, as you’re supposed to use a drop or two on each use. Being better organized, I plan on doing that. The oil sits up front in one of the irregular corners with two pieces of ply butt joined.

Next up was the nailers, biggest to smallest. The biggest one would fit in nicely with the head going through the floor to where the rear feet are on the systainer, so I drilled a hole umm…close to where it needed to be and it worked out well. A divider along the length keeps it in place.

From there things just started rolling until I had everything in and in place.

Four guns (including a newly added Arrow staple gun), a impact driver, a couple attachments to fill tires and blow surfaces clean, the oil, and storage for nails. These Dewalt cases aren’t great, but I’m hoping to find something that fits the space that is better. I made some cutouts in the dividers to better help grab the guns, and I’ll be throwing in a pair of safety glasses to permanently live when I’m out of the shop. I’ve been caught out before. The impact driver has almost no use to me anymore, but I don’t know of another place to put it. If the new nail storage needs that space, it’ll find somewhere else to live. This systainer currently lives in the MFT Sysport for easy access.

A major project for getting things squared away is the Hanging Tool Cabinet. The current task with this is to move the tools from the wall into the cabinet, and figure out how usable that new wall space is.

The next project is actually a way to solve the dust collection problems I am having. This will consist of closing the bottom of the table saw up and putting in a full port for the hose. I will need to remove a couple of parts from the saw, in particular the existing small port that moves with the arbor. I also need to finally put a door on the router table and install a port in the body of the cabinet. Once I can finally upgrade the table and plate to one with better dust collection, my issues will largely be solved.

What is preoccupying my mind lately is a bunch of smaller storage and implementation issues. I’m not particularly happy with the storage I have above my systainer wall, but I don’t really know how to really improve upon it. I want it to be more custom, but more custom doesn’t lead very well to future use. I want to move the sanding discs to the Sysport, which will open up some storage room. Maybe a drawer in the future related to the below.

I do want to redo the systainer part to add more long drawers to hold more systainers at double depth. This involves taking the short unit out and putting a long unit in. Also adding more holes to allow for more height combinations. Simple stuff, but it might be easier long-term to just redo it from scratch. This isn’t a huge deal right now because I don’t have that many systainers, and I don’t have immediate plans to add more. Long-term, yes, but not right now.

This really all boils down to how I can work efficiently, happily, and to a higher standard in the future. I also have to consider what is going to happen to my lathe, considering the old building is in dire need of demolition. I also have a desire to add a turbine, a drum sander, and to upgrade my bandsaw. I only have so much room, and it needs to function as efficiently as possible. I am happy with the layout for the most part, and the only real change I could conceivably make is to modify the MFT Sysport to store a drum sander, spindle sander, planer, or a combination of the above. To do that, I would need to expand my systainer storage on the wall as above, plus find a bit of room for things like the clamping elements. It’s not a bad idea. I wish I had thought of it last year, to be honest.

The Fine Woodworking Hanging Tool Cabinet – Part II

The carcass of the cabinet is done, and hung on the wall. Now we need to work on making this space actually store stuff. On today’s program, I make the doors, make them start to be useful, and get some other milestones started.

First up is the upper carcass storage. I made a temporary plane till, because shedding the old one meant I didn’t have anywhere to them. I’ll go back and redo it at some later point when I either have more/better planes, or an accurate idea of the space they will take up. Above this area is a small cabinet with storage on and behind the doors. I’ll have a picture for this later, but you’ll notice a spot where I did a dado on the wrong side. No worries, this will be hidden by a door hinge piece. In the photo later on, the upper cabinet area has a shelf where the sharpening stones are sitting on right now.

The big part of this update are the doors. The biggest space usage on my wall is the massive amount of chisels I have, and getting the doors on will allow me to get moving on fixing this. First step was to make the rim pieces, which were more dovetails.

I of course am not perfect with my dovetail making, but I think I did well enough. The rim gets attached to the door frame/front, which was up next. I cut a tongue and groove on all the pieces necessary, including the new plywood I picked up for the purpose.

I will say that this step was fraught with problems. I don’t honestly know what the issue was with the first problem, but things didn’t line up. The second issue was caused by not properly doing the groove because I messed up the bit height and had to carry on.

This was not ideal. I had to do some trimming on the doors, just enough where I didn’t reduce the coverage of the doors. I used the track saw to square things up, and I also used the sander. A lot. Thankfully I was able to save what I made, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do that. I glued the fronts to the rims next.

Next up was checking to see how it would look, which is the featured pic at the top of this page. After that, it was time to install the hinges, which I bought from Rockler. These have a removable pin, and are very much cheaper than the decorative options I saw elsewhere. Everything got a sanding up to 180 grit while it was off the wall.

This picture right above shows that while my mortises and dovetails weren’t perfect, some glue and sanding really helps to hide things. With the hinges mounted and everything sanded, it was time to go back up on the wall.

Looking heroic. After a week off, it was time to tackle the chisels. It turned out that I could fit them eight across on the back of a door, and I had 23. I gave the widest two chisels a bit more room, and went to town. I ordered a 22mm bit to better help secure the chisels, since these would have to be canted about 5° to fit them all in.

I cut the holes on the drill press with the forstner bits, then cut the angle on the table saw. I got a perfect fit side to side, got a perfect fit sizing the holes to each individual chisel. Satisfied by the success, I made some more holes for the Narex rasps I also had, including leaving room for expansion.

And that’s where we leave things as of about a month ago. I decided it was time to take another break, along with it being time to work on another stage set. To be honest, the next bit gets difficult not having things on hand to size accurately, so I’m holding off for a bit. I also need to work on getting finish on what I’ve made thus far, plus putting in magnets to secure the doors. At the same time, I’m looking at the broader picture of the shop and seeing what other tweaks and improvements I can make.

That’s all for now.



Bench Shavings – 03/21/19

It’s been a long time since I had the opportunity to write, and I find myself making excuses when I do get the time. Most of my sharing now is on Instagram, and unfortunately I can’t get an automatic process to share the blog on IG to work. In fact, this post has taken me over a week to write.

I’ve been busy working on set design and building. We’ve had three performances thus far, although the materials for the first were borrowed from the second one. From Screen to Stage has more details on those two plays with the front door set. The third one just wrapped up, and was a fairly simple build, at least from a hard product standpoint. I reused the blocks I made in All the Workshop’s a Stage for a base for a few sheets of plywood.

The goal was to make an elevated stage on the stage for a panel to sit on with chairs and a desk. I painted the plywood and pinned them to the blocks. I made a simple desk frame out of 2x4s and loose tenons. I also made frames out of MDF molding for a cityscape that was mounted on rigid foam. I also made two short steps to get up onto the elevated stage, plus another full set of steps for the actual stage.

I also worked a bit more on the Hanging Tool Cabinet, and some systainer storage solutions, which I will post about at another time. It’s hard enough to finish this post without adding more.

2019 Outlook

This is always an interesting post to do at the beginning of the year, as I can’t always follow through with all of my stated goals. I always try to also follow up on the post from the year previous, but I didn’t do one for 2018.

There will be a couple stage projects to do in the first half of the year, but the big build should be done with via the front porch project. Second half of the year obviously is unknown at this point. The theatre group operates on a public school schedule, and the year goes from September to May. There will be a flower cart, a talk show set, and a couple other minor things.

One of the main things I want to accomplish is “finishing” the shop. What that entails is completing the insulation in the loft, switching out the one light in the loft to the ones I had in the old shop, installing trim on the outside, and trimming up the windows and ceiling inside. I plan on getting the insulation done first before it gets too warm, as it will also free up floor space up there and I can toss the rest. I will also be fencing off the underside of my shop, as my dogs (and perhaps other things) are trying to eat away at the insulation.

I will be improving my air nailer storage by making a custom systainer insert. This will keep the inside from being a mess, hopefully. That’s the plan, as I think it’s a better one than dedicating wall space to hang them. I can fit the three trim nailers, the wrench, the nails, and the oil in one systainer, so I think that’s valuable storage usage.

I will be improving the dust collection in the shop. The table saw that I have is very nice with that exception, and it’s only gotten worse. I will be closing in the base and creating a port where more dust can be evacuated. I will also finally be closing in the router table and creating a dust solution there as well. That in and of itself will solve 90% of the dust problems in my shop, but at some point I also hope to swap out the router top with one that will allow for the Incra Cleansweep rings. I just wish I could get it locally and save shipping charges. At some point I may make other upgrades, but I will see how these two changes get me through.

I’m going to work to make things more mobile, in case I need to build on-site. I don’t like to disrupt what I have going on in the shop, so I need to make it very easy to grab anything that I might need for a set build. I’m still sorting how I’m going to do this. I’d like to make a mobile cart that will hold some systainers and be a work area, but I have so much that I would have to bring. I also don’t really have anywhere to store it.

I don’t really know what might be in store for tool upgrades or additions. I will likely look to start filling out my new tool cabinet, but that is rather pricey. I have my eye on a new bandsaw and some jobsite things, but again those are expensive. I would rather put money into trip funds that I will need to work on very soon. Those are more important.

I will attempt to fix the door situation, which is that it has gaps around the perimeter and sometimes sticks to the other door. There is also some minor water entry at the door which I need to investigate.

I don’t have any set expectations for projects, although I hope I finish the hanging tool cabinet. I’d like to tweak some storage and layout if ideas come to me, but nothing concrete. I would like to continue to refine my techniques, learn new things, and enhance the quality of my home and the sets at the theatre group.

Odds and Ends – Wrapping up 2018

There were a few things that I got accomplished towards the end of the year that I either didn’t have time to write about, or they weren’t worth dedicating a post to. Here we go.

I built an outdoor table to help with breaking down sheet goods and large assemblies. It is just a skeleton at the moment while I decide how best to do a top for it. I also may add other features, like a shelf at the bottom, a hook for the cord reel, etc. I built it out of pressure treated lumber, did pocket hole screws throughout, and it should hold up much better than the previous one. I also built it so that it is level on the uneven terrain.

Instead of building a mirror cabinet for the master bath, I went with an Ikea unit. Made much more sense based on cost and time. The old mirror will be reused in the other bath, and I will be making a frame for it. I’m just procrastinating or it would already be done by now. Perhaps that can be the first project of the new year.

I did some general cleaning up of the shop the other day, and it finally feels like an actual shop again, one where I can come in and do work. I moved a couple of things around to help better organize, but it’s something that will continue to be addressed in the new year.

I used thread locker on the MFT’s hose arm, as to stop it from flopping over at just about every opportunity. I think I may drill into the arm and put in something that I can wrap the end of the hose back to to keep it out of the way.

I tried making wooden rings. It didn’t go half bad, but I don’t know if it is something I will try to keep doing.

I bought some new tools, sold or gave away some old ones. I went on some adventures, and resolve to go on bigger ones next year. Thanks for reading.


The Fine Woodworking Hanging Tool Cabinet – Part I

This is a project I have had my eye on for ages. In fact, I’ve had the DVD on how to do this for a few years, but I can’t exactly remember when or where I purchased. It predates all my Festool gear, I believe. Well, I finally got started on it, but it is taking quite a while.

I don’t think I planned on this starting at the beginning of a month, but on September first I drove to my nearest Woodcraft and found some big Ash boards that would fit my needs. This cost a tad over $100 for all three boards. I also figured out for perhaps the second time in the 16 years we have had this car that the back seats slightly recline if needed.

I decided that I would take this project as an opportunity to work on my hand tool skills, a decision I actually made all that time ago. Which probably explains why it took years to try and do. The first step was to mark all the pieces out for the case, and mill them up. This is just after that process. I tried to select the straightest grains and I matched where the doors and cabinet match up.

Next it was time to start working on the dovetails which hold everything together. I bought a set of dovetail markers to lay them out, but after that it was all manual work. (also had a bit of a bow in one of the door pieces that I was trying to get out)

This was done with my Veritas dovetail saw, and chisels. Next it was time to work on the pins, and I used my small router to take care of most of the waste. This unfortunately had some errors. It also made a right mess, which I saved a lot of for the inevitable filling I would need to do.

The fit was pretty decent, just a bit of finessing to get those in. The square tenons for the shelf were a different story. Or should I say the error manifested on the mortises. I blew out the back sides a bit, which unfortunately were on the show faces.

I got one end it to make it look like this and it sat this way for about a month while I worked on the set project and other things. I recently got the other side mortised out, and was able to get the cabinet together for a dry fit. There was a bit of racking that I had to get out with a couple of clamps when I was fitting the panel.

The back panel is two pieces of 1/2″ plywood, cut on an angle to form a French cleat. I was able to glue everything together and use a bit of the scrap/dust to get the dovetails and through tenons looking better. First two pics are before/after. I might can still do a bit better on the tenons.

Where I’m at now is that I’ve gotten the cabinet hung on the wall, and I’m starting to get the inside sorted out to begin with. I will also still have to make the doors, which will wait until my next trip to Rockler to get more quality plywood.

I’ve done some moving around since I don’t need the old plane till anymore, it is now going to be used for general storage and the finish cabinet that was above the miter saw traded places.

To be continued. I will have to sort out how all these chisels are going to fit as well.


From Screen to Stage

One of the most stressful things I do these days is design and build stage sets. I have gone from a minor hobby to something people depend on to create an alternate reality for a period of time. If I can’t come through, I don’t just fail myself, but hundreds of others. When I succeed, however, it becomes pretty special. This was one of those times.

As with everything, it starts with an idea. This set needed to function in two different locations, and then after that for a completely different play. All I was told was that this to be a front entrance, and I already had an idea in my head.

Ultimate version of initial sketch

There were a couple of wrinkles as I alluded to. Since this particular play was being performed in two locations, it needed to be more mobile than most. I decided to build the entire thing with no bigger section than 4×8 feet. We also had a bit of a problem last year with our wall set being a bit wobbly and having to brace behind. The beauty of this design is that it is freestanding, as it was going to be located near the front of the stage.

Most of this is standard wall construction with 2×4 studs, set 16″ on center. The tricky bit was to figure out how to have the door set in the middle of an eight foot section that had to be broken down to two four foot sections. The solution was to set the door in the middle of a four foot section, and make two two foot sections to either side. These could be combined down the road to make a full four foot section if needed. With that design hurdle sorted, construction could begin.

I also decided to spend a few more bucks for a prehung door vs a slab, to make installation easier. I made the exterior frame of the panel, then placed the door in the middle, and inserted studs to fit. No header necessary because it didn’t need to support a roof. All of this was dead simple. With the door panel done, i proceeded to make the other two panels. The porch floor was standard, and the wall wings had two extra studs where I would need to then split it.

I decided to use the same panels on my shop to cover the walls, turned horizontal. These are redwood-look panels that are exclusive to Home Depot IIRC. These soak up less paint than T1-11 siding, and are slightly cheaper. With the TSC 55, it was super simple to make all the cuts needed, including cutting out a “U” to fit around the door and under the door trim. I also did one on the leading side stud, so it seemed to wrap around the side.

The side porch supports were fairly simple. A 2×4 to attach to the wall, a 4×4 as the front post, and a few 2x4s made up to look like the ends of the porch. I used Sketchup and the HKC to accurately cut cross supports. It was absolutely brilliant to do, and super accurate.

The next thing to do was to mock it up so that I could see how it all turned out. This involved me setting the entire thing up myself, which was also useful: it validated my mobility concept. Here is a later picture of the mock after everything was painted. The sides of the porch are attached to the wings and the porch floor by long screws, and it made everything very sturdy. I did end up with some small gaps where the wings attached though.

I did have one more piece to build, a roof peak. It needed to be open to allow the stage lights to not create too many shadows, so I did something simple to create the effect. It is three 2x4s on an approximate 30° gable. These cuts were accomplished with the HKC, and secured with screws. I got a perfect connection on the miters. I designed it to sit on top of the porch sides, but the bottom piece to sit between. This allowed me to get the piece up onto the porch sides without assistance if needed, then pull everything together with screws. I also made some decorative 45° supports for the top of the porch. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to mock this up before it was to be delivered.

It all turned out well, as evidenced by the header image. We delivered the set Sunday night, and installed it Monday before the play. After the first showing, we took it to the other performance location and had it set up in ten minutes. It came down just as fast the final time.

The only issue came to be was the door expanded a bit due to humidity and I had to plane quite a bit for the door to close properly. If it didn’t have to work that night, it probably would have reduced down to proper operating width on it’s own, as it closed much better for the subsequent performances.

Also, for the first play performance, we had a gap at one end of the stage that could have been a safety hazard. Without the benefit of a tape measure, I had to guess what size the gap was. I came up with the idea within a few minutes, and by the next evening had the solution. These were simple boxes that I would cover with cutoffs from the paneling. The size wasn’t too bad.