Thursday, July 17, 2008

The seat frame

It sure looked easy enough. Downhill all the way after those pesky curved cuts were done. Putting the seat frame together looked to be simply a matter of building a rectangle.

I measured and marked where the 2 2x4s would go in relation to the side pieces that I made last night and laid it all out on the floor. The parts are glued and screwed together: Elmers wood glue and 2.5" #10 wood screws. 2.5" is a long way to go through pine, but screwing one into a test piece showed that it could be done. I thought it would be a good idea to countersink the outside surface, though, so the tops of the screws would be flush with the sides:

Isn't the impressive? I'll bet you're thinking that those screws went right on in and seated themselves all nice and flush and... What? You don't think that? Well, you're right:

Stripped out and stuck. Twice! I had to turn them back out with a pair of pliers, drill the hole all the way down, then put in new screws. And it would have worked too, except for one thing: the top screw went right on down into the hole easy as could be and... stuck. Stuck right in the same place as before. Now, I'd like to be able to tell you that it had run into a solid, impermeable pine knot and that no one could have foreseen such a blameless and unpredictable event. But I can't. What I had done is picked up the same stripped out screw that I removed with the pliers only minutes before and ran it right back down in there. It never had a chance. And it had to come right back out, didn't it?

Well, I wasn't really in the mood to pull it back out again right away. I had earned a break, even if it had been earned through an example of abject boobery. Work is work, productive or not. So, a break. So, do you remember that part where I said the joints a screwed and glued? Well, I remembered the screwed part, but not the glued part. I thought it was hard getting that screw out the first time; after that glue set up, it was even harder to get that thing back out of there, not least because the head of the thing was getting pretty mangled.

That screw sitting on the top of the side rail? Oh, look very closely at its head. Once I got the mangled screw out for the second time, I made sure to go to the bench and get a replacement. I put the new one in the hole and hit it with the drill: nothing. Of all the times to pick a bad screw out of a brand new box of screws, it had to be on this one damn painful hole.

Once I finally got a screw into that hole, I proceeded to drill the other joints:

You may be asking yourself what the purpose of those gallon jugs of fluid perched on the corners of the frame is, and I have an answer: they're holding the corners down. I'm using cheap wood again, and at least one of the 2x4s is warped enough that it caused a huge twist in the frame. Those jugs are what I had handy, but they were by no means the optimal tool to use. They kept falling off at the most inopportune times!

Once it was all screwed together, though, it flattened out nicely:

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