As I promised in Sunday’s post, I wanted to show off my summer project—well, it took most of the fall too. I have six new drawers that fit in my Per Madsen equipment and record racks. For an amateur, they came out fairly nice.
We’ve been in our Congress house for five years, and the living room seemed a little unfinished, sort of like we were going to move again soon. I’m not planning on ever leaving this house until they drag me off to the crematorium, but Queen Anne has begun obsessing with HGTV shows recently, and that usually means that there’s a moving van on its way. I decided to work on this project to see if I can forestall that—“head her off at the pass,” as it were.
I’ve talked about our record racks before in this blog, and we’ve been pleased with how they work, but Per up and retired about a decade ago, so he’s not making new stock. Other cabinet makers have taken up the challenge, and on Etsy, you can see how their versions if you search for RackIt Record Racks.
Even though they’re not making CDs any longer, I wanted a net set. I had two of Per Madsen’s drawers, but my collection overflowed into several Video Tape units (talk about obsolete), so it made for a mash-up of sizes. After mulling the problem over for a couple of years, I modified his design into something that works better. The first change that I made was to make the drawers out of half-inch Baltic Birch plywood instead of the 1/8″ that he used. That meant that I’d lose space for 3 or 4 CDs, but I made more units. The second difference is that I used dark hardwood for the drawer fronts. This batch was made from Tzalam—a species that comes from Mexico and Central America and is not on the endangered list. Besides, it was on sale, so I bought enough lumber for the drawers and a future top when I get to it.
I wanted to use ball-bearing slides for the drawers, but they don’t come in a 14” length (12” or 16” are the common choices. I found this out after I completed the stile-and-rail sides, so I had to insert panels for a place that the slide’s rear screw could mount. If I were to start over, I’d use Baltic Birch plywood for the sides (they’re hidden anyway) or mount the slides underneath the drawers and modify the bottom rails.
I’m satisfied with the results, but I’d do it differently next time, like any craftsman. As for their worth—the originals sold for a couple of hundred dollars, and that means I made these for less than minimum wage. The bright side of building these drawers—I had to keep busy doing something while quarantined during this pandemic.
Until next time — jw