Monday, March 31, 2008

Building a Portable Step

This was this weekend's big project. Christie's in her third trimester now, and needs a little help getting in and out of the tub, so I built her a step. It's a tricky spot, though, with only nine inches between the door and the tub surround, which isn't deep enough for a good step, so I decided to curve the front, which I laminated out of three pieces of 1/4 inch plywood. You can see it in place here.

I'd never done a curved lamination like this before, and I learned a few things. First off, while I've long known that you can never have too many clamps, I generally think I have enough. Not true. I do not, in fact, own enough clamps. At least not for this kind of project.

Secondly, I learned that it's worth the time to build a curved form and laminate to that. As it was, I had to put a line of screws along both edges to keep everything in line while the glue dried, then cut off the bit with the screw holes.

The other lesson I learned was to check the depth on the pocket screw jig. As it was, I poked a number of holes through from the backside of the curved front. I was worried that I'd ruined it, but I brought a spray bottle and the iron down to the workshop, and was able to swell the holes shut with a little water and heat (another thing I'd never done before, but had read about).

Oh, and I put up a pic of my extremely messy workshop, just for grins.

Update: Title added for clarity's sake, after a reader pointed out the resemblance this step bears to a coffin. Which is kind of funny, as I've actually been asked to build a coffin before, albeit not for anyone who was actually dead.


Jennifer said...

Oh my! At first I thought it was a coffin! I was relieved to see its true function. Very nice.

Mike said...

I guess it does look a bit coffin-like. Maybe I need to swap out the picture for a different one.