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And. It’s Over.

About a month and a half ago, I decided to build a Jewelry Organizer for my final project for Tech Design. It was a fairly simple design, but despite it’s simple-looking appearance, it really did take a long time to make. Initially, I was going to make a desk organizer, but I figured that would be boring. 

I drew on planks of wood, later realizing that I still had to plane them, and then after planing, I’d have to redraw everything, that was a bit of a pain — and also very time consuming. I then began to cut all of my pieces, and when you cut, you have to sand. Sanding does also take a long time — fortunately we have a sander machine, which makes everyone’s life easier! YAY! (Of course, I did manually sand some things, but the sander did save a lot of time). 

I then went on to use the router, to make dado joint-grooves (for my shelves). I used this machine a lot — I made about 20 cuts with it! For some pieces, I had to make my own guard because some lager pieces were to be cut in the middle. This was a bit tricky because sometimes I wouldn’t apply enough pressure when routering, and then I’d be left with a non-straight cut. 

GLUE! Glue was my best friend for this project. It was very easy to work with, and left me with a sturdy product (except for some of the shelves, which I glued on an angle, and thereby resulted in the right side of my project to look completely uneven). 

In terms of building my frame, everything was fine, except for the back. Unfortunately, I forgot that in order to make the back piece, I’d need a really tall and wide piece of wood, a piece that we didn’t have. Luckily, we had a dowel board that was large enough for me to cut a chunk out of. However, after “precise” measuring, I still had to cut off a bit of the board. But, because I was negligent, I cut my board too small, and had to glue back the piece I cut off, so that the board would fit my Organizer. Whoops. From then on, I’ve learned to be extra slow using the band saw. 

Originally, I planned on creating drawers at the bottom of my Organizer, however, after realizing that the drawers, would be super small on the inside, I decided against them; I’d be using tons of wood to make all 5 sides, only to leave me with almost no room inside the drawers — waste of time and wood. I then decided on using hinges to make flaps. I was really excited to do so, but then I realized that if I were to use hinges, they’d have to stick out of my Organizer, and I really didn’t want that, because it would add too much bulk to the Organizer. Thus, I decided to leave them out entirely. This is a big change, but I think it’s better, because there is a large storage space at the bottom; it’s more practical. 

In terms of adding a “center-piece” on top, I decided against it, because again, it would add bulk. Besides, I like it better plain and simple — sometimes less is more (only sometimes :p ).

Using some sanding tools, and an awesome carve-tool, I was able to make grooves in some of the “dodo” cuts I made for the rods. I preferred using the carving tool, because it was precise, and a lot easier to use, because it works by cutting, not friction. 

In terms of the rods, instead of using the Drill press to make holes for them, I chose to use the router to make a full groove, so that I’d be able to remove the rods. Thinking about it now, I wish that I could’ve made the rods more sturdy in some parts of the shelf, because they are a bit loose. 

All in all, I’ve learnt to be patient; not to rush my work, but take my time and pay attention to detail. I’ve also learned to plan ahead; when I set day-by-day goals, I’m able to keep up with what’s going on, and I’m able to complete the task. 

Overall, I’m proud of the product I’ve made. It does resemble my initial plan, minus the center piece and the drawers at the bottom. I wish that I hadn’t rushed the last two days of staining, because I feel like my final finish wasn’t done to perfection. Regardless, I set a goal, and kept up with it, and I’m proud. There isn’t one specific part that I’m proud of, but I do really think I did a decent job sanding (everything, except the grooves to hold the rods). I’m least proud of the back. It would have been perfect, if I was just patient with the bandsaw, but I wasn’t, hence the glue-work near the bottom. Regardless, it was a learning experience for me, and overall, I think I did a great job :). 

Finally, I’d like to conclude by saying that it’s been a crazy but amazing semester, and (no-sucking up intended ;) ) I’m so glad that my last-ever high school class was tech design. Hooray! OH right. AND I’m so glad it was with the most amazing teacher ever, Ms. Antle (okay some sucking-up intended :D). 

Construction Day #22, June 18, 2013: The End

The End. Today marks the closing of my Jewelry Organizer days. It’s been a great ride, but you’ll read more about it in my reflection ;). 

Basically, I just finished up everything; Finished staining — had a bit of trouble finding the right colour, I also had issues with little saw dust-bunnies trying to claim my freshly stained pieces. I also put in all of my hooks; 22 in total — 6 on each side, and then, since I wanted to be creative, and make my Organizer more “user friendly”, I made two shelves for the middle, both removable (in case I wanted to replace them with a rod) — as displayed in the bottom three pictures.

Staining Day / Sanding Day #21, June 17, 2013

Today was a busy day! Second last day of school, and I was scurrying away to finish my jewelry organizer. I used a very natural stainer, The Colour is just slightly yellow-tainted. Since I spent some of class sanding, I couldn’t finish staining, so I only finished about half of the shelf. I stained the vertical divider shelves, as well as the left and middle part of the organizer. (the blocks in the middle of the picture on the left are unstained, so you can see the colour difference). The picture on the right shows the “shine” of the stain on the top.  

Construction / Sanding Day #20, June 14, 2013

Yesterday, after school I ran off to the land of tools and awesomeness (AKA Home Depot) and grabbed some super cute (and convenient) little hooks. They’re perfect for hanging necklaces or really anything. They’re small, non-bulky and are super easy to use. Since I spent most of the class sanding to perfection, I didn’t put in any of the other hooks (the two that are screwed in, were removed so that the organizer can be glazed  / stained on Monday).

Construction Day #16, June 10, 2013

Today I spent the period sanding the grooves of the vertical divider shelves, as well, I also spent some time trying to secure the second divider shelf. 

Recall back on Day 11, I mentioned how the horizontal shelf wasn’t glued in on a 90 degree angle, so the vertical divider shelves, though completely straight, look as if they’ve been cut too short in the front. To try and secure the piece, I attempted to nail the vertical and horizontal shelves together (by inserting a nail from the bottom), This somewhat worked to make the organizer more sturdy, however, the gap is still noticeable. 

Construction Day #15, June 7, 2013

Since today’s class was also really really short, I didn’t have enough time to do much. I tried to start making little grooves for the dowel rods to rest on. I used a file to do it, and it took a very long time. It’s also not professional-looking at all. Perhaps i’ll try using a chisel next time.

Construction Day #14, June 6, 2013

Today I played around with the hinges for the potential drawers, and well, I’ve decided against them. I think by adding the drawer flaps and thereby the hinges to hold them in place, the jewelry organizer looses it’s sleekness, and begins to look a bit more bulky. So, instead of making the flaps, I experimented an attempt at making a candle holder. It looks quite nice; but I’m not sure if I will incorporate it into the project. 

Construction Day #13, June 5, 2013

Today I worked on measuring, cutting and fitting in the shelves. Everything “fits” right now, tomorrow I’ll work on finishing the shelves, making them smooth and decent looking because currently it appears that some of the shelves on the right look a bit too small. I’m in the process of trying to straighten the vertical divider shelf. I think I might nail it through the bottom to make it more sturdy for the shelves.

Construction Day #12, June 4, 2013

It’s been a while since my last post, but nevertheless, my Jewelry Organizer is coming together nicely.

Today’s class was shortened, so I didn’t have much time to be super productive. I did, however have time to measure and cut some dowel pieces, which will act as bracelet / ring rods. They are a bit loose, so I might have to make little grooves to hold them in place. 

Construction Day #11, May 29, 2013

Hooray, so today I constructed the vertical dividers, and notice the grooves I made using the router? Took quite some time — having to match each piece to the corresponding wall, etc. Also, I noticed that when I glued the horizontal shelf, it was not glued on straight, at a 90 degree angle, so this affected the vertical shelves because they look like they were glued on improperly. Gosh this sounds confusing. On Monday, I’ll take another picture to show you what I mean. 

Construction Day #10, May 28, 2013

Shabam! Honestly, today’s class was very… long. I spent almost every single minute at the planer, planing my piece until it was 1 cm. After 9 years of letting the wood thin itself out, I had a bit of time to start sanding the vertical divider shelves (top picture). I still have a lot to do, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to finish sanding them, and finally glue them in place (and make the dado cuts). 

LOOK AT ALL OF THE wood chunks that came out of the planer. 

Construction Day #9, May 27, 2013

Today I glued in my first divider shelf. It didn’t take too long, I just sanded it to fit, and then glued away. Fun things… Then I started to cut the vertical divider shelves. Well, the wood I was using was curved, so it… well, it snapped in half (bottom pictures). So, I glued it back together, and we’ll see how well it holds tomorrow. If it’s too flimsy, I’ll have to cut them again. 

Goal for tomorrow, work on the vertical divider shelves, make some grooves in it using the router, and then glue those suckers in place! 

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