I was asked to create a shelf system that consisted of equal sized cubes that baskets 13 x 13 x 13 could fit in for a new baby my sister in law was having. This didn't sound terribly exciting, so I decided to mix it up from the standard dado plywood with face frame deign and do a little joinery with thicker than usual hardwood for fun. This is how it went. First I drew up some plans which were good for estimating wood and a rough guidelines.
Once I had an idea what to do, I purchased the wood from a local mill. This consisted of three 2 inch by 8 inch 8 foot long boards of solid red oak, three 6 inch 6 foot board about 1 inch thick rough, and 1 sheet of 3/4 A grade red oak plywood double sided, or about $200 bucks. The first thing I did was plane down the rough cut lumber.
Once that was done, I cut the pieces down to rough length of use and joined an edge on each. My next step was to rip all the 2 inch stock on the table saw to 2 inch squares, at this point all about 48 inches long.
Once this was completed, I planed down each 2x2 stick to make sure they were perfectly square and to remove any saw blade marks to aid in sanding later. Then I cut the 2x2's to the various lengths. (8x48") (16x14") (24x13 1/4"). I used a power miter box for this.
After that I began milling the ends of the 14" pieces to have just a 3/4" outcropping 3/8" long to fit into a dado on the other pieces. I did this on the table saw which was time consuming and not very clean, a chisel cleaned them up.
Next, I put the dado grooves in the edges of the short pieces. Each piece had a different place in the design so there were between 1 and 4 sides machined on each small piece so it was time consuming, but I am happy to report no pieces were wasted or screwed up (too bad anyways).
Here is a picture of the worst of the most complex one.
Here you can see how many I had to do.
Now I was on to the longer pieces, the main columns. They needed the dado on one side each for the others to fit into, but they extend to feet below the structure so I needed the groove to stop, which I don't have the right machine to do. So I got friendly with my chisel to get this right.
Once that was all out of the way, I glued up the up and down layers, no hardware here.
Once 4 pieces like the one above had dried, I started gluing layers together, one at a time. I did use pocket screws to hold the layers together.
Here you can see it together on it's side.
Finally, I had to glue my thinner stock together into a 18" plank to be the top. The picture below shows me planing it after it had dried, I love having a larger planer for jobs like this one.
Finally, I assembled it, and sanded it.
The only thing left was the finish, I stained it per the color requested and did 3 coats of rub on varnish. Not a bad result IMO, I wouldn't mind having it in my house. It isn't perfect, but they never are. It weights a lot, and is sturdy, the kid can climb all over that one.