a gas-pipe lumber rack #3: post preparation

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Blog entry by metolius posted 06-04-2019 10:02 PM 371 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: floors Part 3 of a gas-pipe lumber rack series Part 4: more post preparation »

About a half mile from my home is the lumber yard of I go there at times to browse through their slabs and imagine some of them sitting up on a new lumber rack in the garage.

They specialize in stocking slabs derived from local trees cut down for disease or construction. Most of this is soft-maple, walnut, western cedar, and myrtle. They’ll sometimes even have provenance papers on the slabs that document the where, when, and why of the slab’s history.

I stopped by there recently not to look at the slabs, but to browse the forest products. I found five fair 10 foot 4×4s and started working on them right away.

The first step was to size each for its place and mark off where to notch the top to accommodate the ceiling header. Though I had leveled the concrete, the entire floor itself is is sloped from the back to the front at a rate of a 1 inch drop for every 8 feet of run. So, as I measured and marked, each was specific to its place.

This also meant I needed an independent reference of what is level. For this, I clamped on some blocks and moved them around until the sat on an even line, and marked along the level edge for reference. From this reference, I marked off every 6 inches of the length.

My drill press can’t be used right now because its in the middle of a cluster of tools in the middle of the garage. Besides my miter saw, I only have access to hand held tools for a while. Nevertheless, I don’t think I could manage 10 ft 4×4s on the press. I picked up a wolfcraft drill guide for the next step.

The wolfcraft works ! But, not really well. This guide has a lot of slop. I’d be willing to pay more for something better. There is significant play in both the guide post runners and the chuck bearings. Is there something better ?

To minimize risk, I mounted the guide on a board with a fence to hold it on center. The bottom of the board has shim on one side to tilt it at 3-4 degrees so that the pipe may angle upwards slightly.

With a 7/8 inch Irwin tri-flute for a 1/2 inch gas pipe…

To further minimize risk, before clamping down the drill, the hole center was marked and awl-punched from the reference line using a story stick to give the bit a solid position to start. Even so, I still needed to be steady and careful to keep the bit from wandering after it was on its way.

The first 5 holes were fun. 6-10 were OK. After 20 my back was getting tired. This is to be 17 each for 85 total …. no hurry.

-- derek / oregon

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