I started building a microwave cart in the beginning of November for my son and his wife for Christmas. I modeled this after a microwave cart I have, so I had no plans, just measurements that I took. I've built cabinets and carts from plywood in the past, but wanted to try my hand at making this one entirely from hardwood (soft maple). Here's a couple of pics of the original cart I copied:
I have a very slow day at work, so I thought I'd share some pics from the build.
I decided to use dowels and glue for the assembly... wow, that turned out to be a challenge with some of this. I built the 2 frame and panel sub-assemblies for the sides, and then added the front rail supports and back rails and panels to one of the sides. To join everything together, I needed to connect the opposite side frame and panel assembly with (13) 3/8" dowels. Very tricky to do, as I needed to use a rubber mallet to bring the side assembly in close, and then use parallel clamps to close the gap. Was really worried things weren't going to come together.
I'm down to the wire now, just have the finishing to do. Decided on water based shellac to provide some amber color, and water based lacquer, both from Target Coatings. Both are fast drying, so less chance of getting dust etc. in the finish, plus there's no fire hazard spraying with my propane heater. My shop is small, so no dedicated spray booth. I leave the door open slightly with a fan blowing and use a respirator. Last night I was able to spray and lightly sand my 1st coat of shellac. Tonight I'll spray another coat, and then start the 1st of 3 or 4 coats of lacquer. Should be able to "finish" up by Christmas Eve and re-assemble Christmas morning.
Maple boards cut to rough size:
Gluing up the top:
The corner posts. Each made up of 2 lengths glued and 2 veneers to hide the glue joint:
Here are the posts after planing and sanding:
Glue-up of re-sawn long panel for the back. 2 of these were needed, plus 4 smaller panels were made for the sides:
Here are the cleaned up panels:
More to come...