Cutting Plywood and Poplar
Mudroom Bench Project — For everything but the solid wood benchtop, this was a project to be supplied quickly and conveniently at the big box store. I did spend more time than normal looking through the plywood and poplar choices to make as clean a selection as I could given their generally lower standards. But I ended up bringing home three sheets of 3/4" birch ply, 1 sheet of 3/4" 'Sandply', 3 sheets of 1/4" birch ply for the backs, and numerous pieces of 1x6 poplar for the face frames and crown molding. I also thought about whether or not I wanted to route the bead board backing of the seat area, and ended up by pre-formed and primed whitewood bead boards. That should save me some time. I also bought some sacraficial plastic sawhorses.
I brought it all home and stored it in the garage for a day. I checked out the physical location of the bench and realized that I have a power outlet to move. (And clearly some Halloween decorations to move . . . oh, and my old Kaypro II computer, purchased in 1983.) As I was working, Liam and his friend from the neighborhood Elly showed up with her dog Remington. I enlisted Liam to help out.
Then I set up my saw horses and my cut list, and carefully cut down the 4x8 sheets into the approximate widths I needed for all of the larger pieces. After cutting them down, I carried down into the basement shop through the door on the other side of the house; the one place where the basement isn't below grade. For the smaller pieces, I had Liam carry them. He's 11 . . .old enough to start earning his keep.
I have to say that I'm getting more and more comfortable cutting precisely with my old circular saw. it's nothing special, but I've had it long enough that i've gotten for used to it's quirks. I didn't cut anything to final dimensions until I got down into the shop, but I got close enough that I managed more from each sheet than I had originally expected.
I took time before this trip to finally fine tune the height and level of my left side table and outfeed table by the table saw. The floor in my basement is very far from level, so it took some careful work. I got all of the sheet goods excepts the backs cut to dimension on that first day. A good start.