Wednesday, January 5, 2011

measuring hack

For Christmas this year, I built a cabinet that my mom had been wanting made for about a year. We inherited an old player piano from my grandparents, and she wanted a cabinet for all of the song rolls made using an old glass door she had also found while cleaning out my grandparents' house.

I decided to wait until I got home to St. Louis to build it, I'm not currently working with any large theatres and really didn't want to be loading full pieces of plywood into my apartment to be cut in my kitchen. I headed down to my parents house five days before Christmas and was able to take advantage of my dad's pickup truck and a nice open garage and basement.

Once I got there I ran into the problem of measuring and planning. My mom had made some changes to what she wanted (once we both realized how large the original planned cabinet was going to be), which made all of my pre-planning useless. I was trying to replan the project without computer drafting, scale rules or even a good calculator (the cell phone just isn't up for this kind of math).
I tried to do all the math by hand, but with so many shelves (they were less than 3" apart) and the awkward size of the door I was basing my measurements around, I wasn't doing well. Every time I went back to check my math, something wouldn't add up quite right.

My solution came from a roll of 1/2" scotch tape I was using to wrap presents. I opened up my tape measure, marked off a few of the points and knew and then started using little chunks of tape to figure the spacing of my 1/2" ply shelves.

It ended up turning out really well. I was happy with it, and more importantly, she was too!

1 comment: