Learning Curve #19: My Latest Project

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 12-21-2007 02:30 PM 1528 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Scrollsaw Box Part 19 of Learning Curve series Part 20: 365 Days Later »

Yesterday was my day to make presents for my kids… (didn’t really happen). I just can’t think of the right gifts to make and then when I get an idea I need to print a pattern and my printer isn’t working right now, so frustration sets in and I go do housework instead. (See how frustrated I am??? I did housework – by choice and not by necessity!! That’s scary).

But I had to make something…. something….

So down to the shop I went to listen to the spirits of the wood saying “pick me… gift me”.... The strategy worked because 5 seconds after looking at my pile of wood I saw a little piece of thin plywood stuff that is perfect for the bottom of a tray. I didn’t know I had any of it left! Ah ha… I’ll make a tray to hold papers.

I decided that my collection of tongue and groove pine would make good sides and could even be used to stack one on top of the other if I wanted to do that. (Even though the pine isn’t their style, the piece would be functional and made by mom.. so they would have to just like it! haha)

The tray went together so quickly I wasn’t even going to post a picture or write-up about it. but then I realized that this achievement (the ease of making it) is something to celebrate. I’ve reached a new milestone in my learning curve. I knew what I was doing.

The Tray
At first I was just going to put a bottom on the tray but then decided that if i used the pine “as is” I could make a shelf in it and leave room underneath for sliding other material. Perfect.

I cut the plywood to fit a standard piece of paper, with room for fingers to access the material. I then cut the two sides to length.

I used the mitre saw to cut the dadoes/grooves into the sides—AND I used a trick that I saw here at LJ to make sure they were cut at the same height. I clamped a piece of wood to the back rail of my mitre saw which created a block for my wood piece to sit up against. Perfect.

I then used my $1 Store chisel to chip out the centre piece of wood left after the two cuts by the saw. And then I used my router plane to smooth out the dado/groove. Perfect again.

I glued and clamped the sides to the plywood (NOTE: I have to buy more clamps. I only have two “large” clamps that aren’t large enough for length clamping, and two “smaller” clamps that are .. well.. smaller… )

After clamping the sides, I measured and cut a piece to go along the back. And, since the pine already has a lacquer finish—I’m laughing! I’m done.

(Pictures to follow—after the gift recipients have left the house).

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

14 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35223 posts in 5179 days

#1 posted 12-21-2007 03:12 PM

No pictures didn’t happen.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 4633 days

#2 posted 12-21-2007 03:19 PM

I was thinking the same as Karson, no pictures? No project ;)

-- Still learning everything

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4718 days

#3 posted 12-21-2007 04:39 PM

Great story. But you of all people should know that pictures are what keep many of us going. Gotta see. However, since you promised pictures, I’ll wait, somewhat anxiously, but I’ll wait.

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4939 days

#4 posted 12-21-2007 05:58 PM

well I couldn’t take the picture while my daughter and son-in-law were around!!!
Maybe I’ll make you guys wait til Christmas morning, now, before I post a picture!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4878 days

#5 posted 12-22-2007 01:55 AM

I love reaching the point where you realize, “Wow, I know what I am doing and I am efficient in the shop.”
That is a great moment.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4939 days

#6 posted 12-22-2007 11:34 AM

it was pretty exciting, even though it was a simple project
(ha…. a year ago at this time I would not have called it a simple project)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6869 posts in 4758 days

#7 posted 12-23-2007 02:33 PM

Hi Ms. Debbie, Executive Director etc…;

I’m glad to hear your reaching that stage when you can “just do it”, without all the fretting about it.

It’s kind of interesting to watch carpenters or cabinetmakers when first realise they can do it. They go from second guessing everything they do, and in the process, screwing it up, to doing it on auto drive.

You are able to see the exact day they realise they know how.

I’m still waiting for that day for me!

Based on the pictures you supplied I’ll just guess it was a nice job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4939 days

#8 posted 12-23-2007 07:27 PM

and this morning I did a couple scrollsaw projects .. but you’ll have to wait til christmas to have a look.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4815 days

#9 posted 12-28-2007 10:24 PM


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5093 days

#10 posted 12-29-2007 12:38 AM

Christmas 2008? I see how you are.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4939 days

#11 posted 12-29-2007 01:50 PM

oh . haha… oops.
the tray has made it’s way to.. somewhere .. and I didn’t get a picture of it.

I’ll have to make another one, I guess.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4718 days

#12 posted 12-29-2007 02:39 PM

And I’ll bet the dog ate your homework too.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4935 days

#13 posted 12-29-2007 04:22 PM


You silly goose you know better than to tell us bed time fairy tails like this….

Of all people…...... shezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

You think this group here just got our first chisel, to take a piece out of you hide with?

Go to your shop!

Bad Girl!

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4939 days

#14 posted 12-29-2007 09:17 PM

hehehe lol
well… ummm…. ah…. well….. bad dog.. bad dog…

maybe I’ll get some pictures in the new year.. yah.. that’s it – I’m waiting for the new year.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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