I’m finally starting to do actual work on Steve Ramsey’s “Powered Up” online course. Here’s some of my thoughts and impressions so far. Both the good and… the could be better.
As you may remember from a previous post, the first project is a multi-purpose shop cabinet. So that’s what I’m working on now.
The Good (in no particular order)
Steve does something in one of the videos that I really like. In the video, he shows doing a dry run for assembling the parts, and he shows how he would have made a mistake if he hadn’t tested everything first. I’m a big fan of showing mistakes, to help others avoid them (hopefully).
Second, Steve showed how much of a struggle it is to try and assemble the cabinet by yourself. I think that’s great, so you’re prepared.
As an aside, I got to thinking that he really needs some of my corner clamps. I’ll get a chance to try them out, soon, so we’ll see if they help or not. But I’m betting they do.
The Could Be Better (in no particular order)
One thing I don’t like in the video is that he doesn’t really mention that some of the rabbets aren’t the same size. The video makes it look like once you’ve set the dado & fence, you can make all the cuts. Of course, the plans state differently, but still, it’s easy to forget (fortunately, that’s one mistake I didn’t make).
NOTE: The following issues are because I’m not used to using a dado stack. Still, I don’t think it would have been a stretch for Steve to think about people in this situation.
I set up for one set of rabbets like normal, so the stock would go on the left side of the fence:
But the rabbet was being cut on the short end of a long piece, like a cross-cut, and it turned out I needed more support for the stock. So for me, it was easier to move it to the other side of the blade/fence, where I can use my work bench for support like this:
I just wish Steve had talked about the need to support the long piece during the cut, so I would have thought about it before I spent 20 minutes trying to get the dado and fence set up, only to have to move it to the other side.
Or perhaps this one isn’t on Steve. What do you think?
Apparently, if your rabbet requires more than one pass, it’s very important to apply even pressure as the stock crosses over the blade. This may be true for one-pass rabbets also, but you can really see the difference between the two cuts if your pressure isn’t consistent. Obviously I wish Steve had mentioned this.
Speaking of needing to make multiple passes with the dado stack, I wish Steve had explained any tips he might have about this. Admittedly, the largest rabbet he has in his plans is 1”, and maybe his dado stack goes up to 1”, but mine only goes up to 7/8”. I’m using a Freud Diablo dado stack, which, since Home Depot sells it, is probably fairly common, so the idea that all dado stacks might not be 1” wide probably shouldn’t be a surprise.
So I’ve got my four panels cut for the cabinet, along with the rabbets:
I’m going to try and glue them up next. Hopefully that’ll be the next post.
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