In Projects, Shop Blog, Techniques

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Making a change to my blog posts. Instead of posting old tips from the American Woodworker archives, I'll be posting a wide variety of stuff, including projects on which I'm working, new tools that I'm putting through their paces, or maybe just an interesting piece of wood. 


When I'm not working on a commissioned piece, there's no shortage of projects to build around the house. Just finished installing this glass rack and in-ceiling light frames.


Both are made from Cedar that was left over from a much more interesting project. I had two big conference tables to build – one 4' x 8' and the other one 4' x 12'. While rummaging through one of Minneapolis' best salvage yards, I came across a pile of 4" x 8" Douglas Fir and Cedar planks; most of them roughly 20' long for five bucks per lineal foot! In their previous life, these planks had been a guard rail for a warehouse at an old armory. After a day with a small trailer backed up to the pile, chainsaw in hand, I had enough of these monster planks to build my tables. As it turned out, I had plenty of scraps left over for lots of small household projects. The glass racks and light frames are the most recent. The old glass rack was plastic and fastened to the light covers. So every time a bulb burned out, I had to take down all the glasses, unscrew the rack from the plexiglas cover, then unscrew the 15" x 30" piece of plexiglas. Whoever designed that mess is on my list. I cut up the plexiglas and re-used it in these cedar frames.

Each frame has four pieces; two rails with tenons and two stiles with bridle joints. Only the rear rail is glued to the stiles; the front rail is removable.

Now, when I need to change a bulb, I can just slide out the front rail and plexiglas. 

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