Laundry hamper #15: Starting the shelves

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 05-27-2022 08:37 PM 809 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Slats & top Part 15 of Laundry hamper series Part 16: Chopping and paring »

I’ve reached the part of the project where some precision is needed, so between that, some household chores, and spending yesterday afternoon serving meals to people evacuated from their homes in Las Vegas, NM, progress hasn’t been especially speedy.

If you remember way back when I started this project, I think I showed a drawing of how it would go together. Here it is again in case you don’t remember.

Each (plastic) laundry basket will sit on a shelf, which will be held by a pair of horizontal cross bars, which will have tenons on the ends, which will fit into a matching mortise on the uprights. The cross-bars will also carry the doors. I decided that I would make these mortises 1/4 inch wide, by 1/2 inch high, centered on the cross bar. And they’ll be 1/2 inch long. So I set up the table saw to make 1/4” deep cuts, with the fence 1/2” from the far side of the blade. And I cut some tenons.

They were more like 3/8 rather than 1/4, so I got out my dovetail saw and fine-tuned them, then cleaned them up with a Clifton 3110 shoulder plane (which I bought just for this project – I’m going to have a lot of tenons that need cleaning up, right?).

Tenons sorted, I marked out where the slats would fit into the cross-bars. They’ll be spaced so seven of them fill the just under 21 inches of the cross bar. Seven is easy because I can just split things in half a few times, and I’m done.

Now I needed a jig to make holes for the mortises 1/4 from the top edge of the cross-bar. I took a scrap of ash and drilled a hole, then used the band-saw to cut out a notch such that the edge of the hole is 1/4 inch from the edge of the notch. I’ll use that to drill the pilot holes for the mortises, and then square them off with a chisel. Should be pretty easy to keep things accurate that way.

And that’s about it for today. It’s time to run to the Friday afternoon farmers market soon, and then when I get home it’ll be time to cook dinner. More next time, including gang-cutting the tenons on the slats, and drilling holes for some mortises.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

4 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3538 posts in 3682 days

#1 posted 05-28-2022 01:02 AM

Dave, I like the memory test with the drawing posted again, spot on. Seems like anymore I need to leave a trail of crumbs when I leave the house.
The hamper is coming along nicely, good thought process you’ve used in this design while building project.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10487 posts in 2074 days

#2 posted 05-28-2022 01:43 AM

Yeah, Tom. I generally have a sketch of whatever it is I’m supposed to be working on blue-taped up right in front of me at the bench so I know what to do when I get to the shop. Doesn’t always mean that’s what I do work on, but at least I know when I’m taking a diversion.

I think the design is coming together. I still haven’t figured out exactly how the sides are going to be, but either some sort of slats or maybe I’ll just drill ventilation holes in a piece of 1/4” plywood. See how I feel when I get to that point. I think tomorrow is a “going shopping in town” day, which generally means very little shop time. Plus I’m working on two different miniature fireplace screens to see what my sweetie prefers for that.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Eric's profile


5736 posts in 1365 days

#3 posted 05-28-2022 11:14 AM

Looks like that is going to be solid on the joinery Dave. Great ideas, and keeping a sketch handy is always a good thing. I have a drawer full of sketches and patterns. I have been trying to make notes on a pad for small projects that I do. Hit or miss with that.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10487 posts in 2074 days

#4 posted 05-28-2022 11:28 AM

Thanks, Eric. Going to be a lot of mortises and tenons before I’m done, but yeah, I’m hoping it’ll be solid.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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