I spent 25 years running my own home improvement business. I NEVER had a single problem. I only had challenges. To me, given a task, it had to be done. The solution was the challenge. Wifey plays Bingo and the guy who runs the game needed a Bingo Card Cabinet. He asked if I could build one. I said I could. He showed me where he wanted it and how deep and far apart the shelves would be. I took measurements and went home to ponder the task.
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Step 1: THE CHALLENGE
How do I build a unit that will be too heavy for me to lift, too large for me to transport? In pieces, of course. This called for some step-by-step thinking. And I'm not saying my final solution is the ONLY solution, or even the BEST solution. It was my solution. Here's how I accomplished it.
Step 2: MATERIALS
Four sheets of 4 x 8 3/4" plywood
Two sheets 4 x 8 1/4" plywood for the backing
One 8' 1 x 2
Ten 8' 3/4" shelf edging
Step 3: TOOLS
The tools I used are pictured above.
REVIEW OF NEW TOOL AND TIP: The Cutting Guide I used was new to me. The 4' plus pieces could be bracketed together for 8' plus cuts, but that clamping system still had play to it and I didn't use it for my long cuts. In the past I've always used levels. They are straight. And with an accurate spacer placed against the edge of the level or cutting guide, the blade would cut exactly where it was supposed to. The only thing to really keep track of is which side of the mark your are cutting. That 1/8" kerf can really screw things up if you don't pay attention.
Step 4: CUTTING THE PIECES
If I built the unit like an IKEA put-together and transported it in pieces, it could be assembled on site. To accomplish this I relied on the measurements on my drawing. I cut one 4 x 8 ply to the height of the two sides and ripped down 15 3/4" wide pieces. I cut the remaining third to 15 3/4" wide and 70 1/2" long. Then I broke down the remaining three pieces of plywood into the same size shelves. I double checked width and lengths to make sure they were all exactly the same.
Step 5: POCKET HOLES
Each shelf got 4 pocket holes per edge. This would make it easier to hold each shelf securely in place as I put in one screw, then release the clamp and put in the second.
Step 6: SHELF EDGING
I installed shelf edging to on edge of each of the 10 shelves and two sides. Now each shelf measured 16" wide. Can you figure out where I went wrong? With ten pieces of shelf edging and 10 shelves I didn't have two pieces to cover the sides. So to solve this challenge I spliced together pieces left over from the 8' long edging. I used a miter cut to overlap them and it came out beautifully. Why not just buy two more pieces? He supplied all the material. I was doing the job for free since he is a good friend of Wifey. I'm on Social Security and have limited funds. I didn't want to bother him for an additional purchase, which he would've eagerly done, but I was in the middle of building and didn't want to stop.
Step 7: BRACING
Shelves with a 6' span will warp with weight on them. My solution was to make two 8" wide plywood spacers I'd place between each shelf as I installed it, move to the next, put in the spaces on either side and go to the next. My plan was to put a center brace of a 1 x 2 in the middle of each shelf.
THINKING AHEAD TIP: Plywood is not exactly 3/4". The very bottom shelf would not be 8", it would be slightly more. So I left one piece of 1 x 2 long and brought along my back saw.
Step 8: BACKING
If you look carefully you'll see two pieces of 1/4" plywood sandwiched in there. I cut the two ply to 1/16" shorter than the calculated width of the unit.
Step 9: TRANSPORTING
To get the material from the store to my garage and from my garage to the Bingo Hall we used his truck. Which meant I really had to think through each step of my build and assembly to make sure I had all the tools I would need so I wouldn't have to run back home to pick up something I forgot.
Step 10: ASSEMBLY
The Bingo Hall was loaded with tables which were moved to give me floor room. I laid the sides out and started with the top shelf. I held it in place with the pocket hole clamp, thus the two screws at each side. This made flushing out the shelf easy. I then place an 8" space on either side and snugged up another shelf, double checking measurements down from the top each time, and up from the bottom when that was called for. I installed the 8" shelf bracing and the longer bottom brace at the front of each shelf. The unit would sit on a 1 1/2" base recessed 1" which I'd made out of scrap 2 x 4s. To square the unit I used the 1/4" backing and the corner to corner measuring method. As long as those two measurements were the same, the unit was square. I had to cut one of the 1/4" backs to the final height on site.
Once assembled, it was time to move it against the cinder block wall in an alcove up two steps. I'm going to be 74 on my next birthday (Harry Potter, JK Rowling and I have the dame day). Holy forking shirtballs, was that thing heavy. (Yes, a big fan of The Good Place). Luckily the Bingo Guy's husband was there and he helped me get it into place.
Step 11: THE FINISHED UNIT
Why were the individual shelf braces staggered? They were secured straight down and up with a nail gun. It was the simplest and neatest solution I could come up with.
He was very pleased with the job and ordered Chinese for all of us: him, his mom, his husband and, of course, Wifey. What a feast! That night I slept well.
Now, everyone sing: B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O.........
Step 12: CONCLUSION
I had years to perfect my ability to think ahead to each and every step needed to complete a job. All worked out perfectly. Thanks for taking the time to view this Instructable and as usual, all questioned answered and all comments welcomed.
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