Saturday, May 19, 2018

Grill cabinet progress...

Grill cabinet progress...  At right is the current state of the cabinet: all frames completed, all 1.25" thick plywood tops installed, and the three units bolted together.  The fit of the three units together was practically perfect – I needed a little sanding on some overhanging plywood, but that was it.  The three units are held together with 8 bolts (3/8" x 2").  My plan is to finish all the woodworking part of them in the shop (including finishing them with marine spar varnish), then move them into place on our deck.  At that point I'll assemble them and call the granite folks to come install the countertop.  I think each unit is going to be around 120 pounds, maybe 150 for the longer center unit.  That's quite enough to have to move around – no way I'm moving them with the granite installed!

Yesterday morning I took the two units with cutouts over to our deck to test fit the grill components.  To my vast relief, they fit perfectly.

The first two photos below show how I cut the plywood tops (from ACX plywood).  You have to look close to see that I have two sheets of plywood clamped together there: one 3/4" piece and one 1/2" piece.  The two together get me the 1 1/4" thick plywood the granite countertop requires.  The saw is a battery-powered Makita circular saw.  It's not merely convenient – it makes a very nice cut with just a 1/16" kerf.

The third photo shows how I attached the bottom sheet to the frame (the same way for each frame).  I put screws every 3" where the frame touches the plywood.  Before I screwed it in, I put down a coat of wood glue on the frame top.  That piece of wood isn't going anywhere! :)

The fourth and fifth photos show the glue-up for the top piece on the two units with cutouts.  That used a lot of clamps!  For the third unit, with just a big flat countertop, I had to do some tricky clamping to make sure the center of the two pieces of plywood was under pressure.  Then of course I forgot to take a photo of it.

The last three photos show views of the three units aligned and clamped together, before I drilled the holes for the bolts that now hold the units together.  That was the first time I had tested the fit of the three units to each other – I was really happy to see that they fit so well!

My dad...

My dad ... would have been 94 years old today.  It's been over four years since he died, but I still miss him every day.  Happy birthday, dad...