I have just recently started on the journey of woodworking. There’s been posts here and there or other specific threads that have touched on the topic, but I thought it would be cool to start a place to talk a bit more about tools and process, as well as a showcase. This is a very new thing to me, so I’d love to learn more from the community about the things they have made, tricks, etc.
I wanted to build a cassette shelf that would allow me to keep some cassettes spine out (for compactness, as my collection has gotten a bit larger), as well as some face out (things I want to listen to in the short-term, things I want to showcase, etc.) After playing around with a few different layout ideas, I’ve decided on this offset checkboard that is basically of the pattern:
Face 6 Face 6 Face 6 Face 5 Face 6 Face 6 Face 5 Face 6 Face 6 Face 6 Face 5 Face 6 Face 6 Face 5 Face 6 Face 6 Face 6 Face
Laying it out it looks like this. I’m using some foam blocks to act as spacer behind the face tapes to make them more or less flush, but they can be replaced over time with 3 cassettes as my collection grows, which will be neat).
The basic construction is a poplar frame with miter (45 degree) cuts and chiseled mortises for the smaller poplar shelves for each row. The pine back is stapled on the frame, and the rest of the construction uses wood glue. The only saw I have right now is a jigsaw, and attempting to freehand the 45 degree cuts was pretty messy, lots of sanding to get things to square up correctly here’s the frame and the back:
I am just now finishing up the staining process using Watco Danish Oil on recommendation from a friend, which really does a great job bringing out the grain of the wood. I learned that wood glue blocks the pores of the wood from accepting stain, so I’ve been using a process of staining, spotting the problem spots (for what will be the visible parts of the shelf), and chiseling/sanding them out as best as I can, and then applying stain to those spots. Next time I will definitely be more diligent and deliberate when applying the glue. Here’s the shelf drying after the first coat of stain:
Here’s a detail shot of one of those chiseled-to-accept-stain spots. Kind of gives it a little character that I don’t hate, so happy accidents! hah
Here’s the finished shelf:
All in all it’s been a really fun project, and I’ve found wood fun to work with (though I think I might need to be a little more deliberate about wearing the dust mask when sanding, as I have gotten some pretty bad headaches the past few days, which I’m thinking that might be contributing to.) It’s cool to take a small step each day and see the thing come together over time.