A Son and Father Project

Son Chas is the music director for San Jose State Univerisity's FM radio station and into all kinds of music. As a result, he's built himself quite and eclectic collection of vinyl LP albums - 8 or 10 lineal feet of albums and growing. Some of the LPs in his collection are fairly rare and would be very difficult to replace.

On Father's Day of 2004 he asked if I'd help (emphasis on "help") him make some wood cabinets for most of his existing LP collection, or at keast for his most valued LPs. The last woodwork related project "we" had done was building a skateboard quarter pipe when he was 12. Presented with another opportunity to build something with him I naturally jumped at the chance. I figured it'd only be a Two Day Project and that might be stretching it since he'd shown little interest in woodworking since The Ramp.

I was wrong. Turns out he's taking to woodworking like a duck to water. What follows is our collaborative Cow Magnets Hidden Locks Cabinet ( that'll make sense soon enough).

We started with the basic design criteria
- what's it suppose to do
- what are the critical dimensions

He wanted
- two identical cabinets,
- the combined width shouldn't be much wider than the width of his bed
- they should be kept as low as possible
- they should be as shallow as possible
- the cabinets should be clean and simple looking
- the cabinets should be built strong yet be able to be taken apart for moving
- AND the "Kicker", can't have a hinged door on the front because of the space in which the cabinets must fit

Got out an LP, a pocket tape, pencil and paper and here's what we came up with for a first cut at the cabinet.

The "clean and simple" criteria pointed to plywood for the carcass/carcase, back panel and the "door", with solid wood for the shelves, toe kick and perhaps the top. The back panel would slide into a dado on the back of the carcass/carcase and the shelf and bottom connection to the sides of the cabinets needed to be sliding dovetails in order to accomodate the "take apart for moving" criteria. He also wanted to avoid having any of the joinery show on the outside of the cabinet. That last point would lead to an interesting puzzle and a slick solution. Will get to that later.

So here's the basic idea.

So after four hours developing the basics of the design we went out for dinner and he picked up the tab - it being Father's Day and all. Thus ended the first day of The Cow Magnets Hidden Locks Cabinet Project

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