The Big Think

March 25, 2008

Now Get Some Jugs and Fill Them With Water

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 7:45 pm

A black magic magician fails miserably to kill his intended victim. In front of 100 million people.

Ha.

New Shop Project Begins!

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 12:51 pm

Just got back from the lumberyard. I filled my truck with beautiful quarter-sawn red oak (QSRO) to use on the new project. I can’t wait to get started! I still need to get a little bit of plywood (a couple sheets) as well as some more QSRO, but I think I’ve got 75% of the lumber I need. What is it? Well…

Take a look:

Picture 1.png

It’s an entertainment center! I designed it in Sketchup to compliment Erin’s music cabinet in the piano room. Oh, how I LOVE Sketchup. I also modeled the rest of our living room to work on overall dimensions and proportions. It was neat to be able to stretch the piece out until it looked “right” in the space, then take those measurements to the lumberyard and buy wood. You can see the subwoofer I built a year ago as well as a coffee table and couch. The rest of the room isn’t visible in this picture.

Here’s another pic of the ent. cent. In this picture I’ve exploded the piece to get accurate measurements.

Picture 2.png

(Sorry, the proportions of the pic aren’t working out right now. This looks too tall and stretched. I’ll fix it later.)

The cabinet will be solid wood (with a very small amount of plywood in the hidden areas) with ebony inlays. Arts and Crafts style. I think I’ll add doors to the side cabinets but that’ll be a detail that I decide on later once it comes together. Got a really nice design idea for the doors.

Fedex just now delivered the mount for the flat panel HDTV. I designed the ent. cent. to hold our new TV with no cables showing. I’m also going to cut a hole for the center channel to slide into so the front of the speaker is flush with the TV. The whole thing will be finished in the same finish as the bookshelf, which is astonishingly pretty. Hand-rubbed shellac top coat. I’m designing this and building it in my normal fashion: overbuild and make it out of nice materials. I figure I’m probably only going to build one really great entertainment center in my life, and seeing how our current one is a piece of particleboard garbage I bought for $15 from my college roommate 15 years ago, this’ll be a step up. I’m only going to build one and I wanted to make it out of the best wood I could find, so the raw stock cost is fairly expensive. Here’s the kicker, though: go out and price a low-quality particle-board entertainment center. You’re easily in the $750-$1000 range, and the thing is going to fall apart in a few years. It’s not something you’d want to pass on, and it definitely isn’t made of good materials. Now go price a solid wood one. Handmade. You’d easily pass the $6000 mark.

The best thing about having my own shop is that I’ll be able to build a solid wood handmade piece that’s custom designed around our 46″ TV and fits our style exactly… for a bit less than the price of the low-end piece of garbage. That’s why I don’t mind getting the good wood (QSRO is $6.37/bf as opposed to $2.50/bf for “normal” oak…but oh, the difference).

I’ll keep you updated on progress with pictures. I figure (hopefully realistically this time) that it’ll take me about 2 months to build if I work on it a bit every day.

(And yes, we got a TV. No comments from the peanut gallery, please. We still like watching movies. Got it for half of what Best Buy was asking, too! 46″ 1080p LCD. We’ve had it a few months and love the thing… especially plugged into the Mac Mini with the big TB hard drive full of movies.)

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