if all goes well…

If all goes well up to this point you’ve got yourself something that looks like this:

In order to turn this TARDIS blue framework into something usable, you still need shelves. That’s not a big deal, we’re just going to make some tongue and groove shelves out of 1″ x 8″ pine (you’ll need a 10″ board). Problem is, you’ve only got place for two of them and you need two more.

There’s no obvious way to build and attach runners for the shelves like there was with the three frame boxes. the shelves need to sit where there are only slats. This is where all you folks who went the board and batten route win because you just attach battens halfway between the frames and you’re golden. For everyone else, here’s a solution:

Make 4 drawer runners out of regular 1″x6″ 3/4″ pine like so.

Mark them up, avoiding any knots. I marked mine at 1″ intervals or thereabouts. I cut them just a little longer than 13″ for a reason I’ll go into later.

Rip the strips first and then cut them even with a carcase saw on your bench hook. Plane them even and square them up. Don’t shoot them yet.

With the case on it’s side, measure your spacing as to where you want to attach the runners. Remember, you’ll be adding 3/4″ to the top of each one of these runners when you put the shelves in so take that into account. I like to lay it out so that the top of each shelf will visually be the same distance apart and each cubby will be equal.

On mine the sistance between the top of the bottom frame and the top of the middle frame is 26″ and it would seem that if there is exactly 26″ from the top of where the bottom shelf will be to the top of the middle shelf, I would want the location of the shelf in-between those two to be 13″ above the top of the bottom shelf but you have to take into account the framework and how it will interfere with the basket. On mine the distance between the top of the bottom frame and the top of the runner came out to 12 1/2″ and the top of the runner to the top of the middle frame was exactly 13 1/2″. That repeated on the top half. Mark that and that’s where you’ll want the runner. Confused yet? That’s why I try to keep math out of woodwork. Trust your eye. Lay out your baskets and test everything out. When it looks good it is good.

Anyway, once you’ve got that marked, lay your runner on the inside of the shutter overlapping the front and back frames of the shutter about 1/2″ respectively (I just gauged it on the way the shutter was made.) Mark the top and bottom of the runner with a marking knife. Go back and delineate those marks with a chisel and make a stopped dado about 1/4″ deep. I used a router plane for this, but you could easily do it with a chisel. Do the same thing where the runner meets the back of the shutter frame.

Clean it up with a chisel and test fit your runner. It should be a little too long to slip into the dado on the front and back. Now go ahead and shoot the ends of the runner so that you get a nice snug fit. The wood isn’t going to contract or expand front to back much, so you want this to fit well.

When you’re satisfied with the fit, glue them in place and clamp them up. Later, I’ll drill a little pilot hole and put a finishing nail in each one just for good measure. I’ll also shape them some toward the front and back with a nice chamfer to take out some of the blockiness.

After these dry, you’re ready for shelves.

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