I say "we" as the spouse has been laid off from work off and on so I have actually had an "apprentice" out there helping me. It's a good thing too because 3/4" sheets of oak veneered particle core plywood are NOT light. Next time I am going to use veneer core ply. The cutting actually went surprisingly well. I used Google Sketch Up and CutList Pro to work out the plans and the cut lists. After that came the staining using Minwax Golden Oak stain and two coats of Minwax Polyurethane Satin Finish. The staining and the finishing did not go as well as hoped. The different grain patterns in the veneer create widely different tones of stain. The poly had to be applied very thinly to avoid bubbles or "fish eyes" as they are called. I think we could have done 3 or 4 coats of poly to get the proper finish.
Of course all this has to be done in the very space limited garage. It's not ideal for a large project that's for sure. We are at the assembly stage now. I am using dowels to hold the bulk of it together. This was something that intimidated me wondering how I was ever going to get them to line up properly. A friend who is a cabinetmaker by trade suggested I try the WolfCraft Dowel Quick jig. I watched the videos online and even though I thought it looked a bit "cheap" I bought one. The price was reasonable at least at about $17.00.
If you watch the videos, they sure make it look easy. Well this is actually one product that works EXACTLY the way they say it does. Everything lined up exactly right. The dowels went in flawlessly. I LOVE things that really work! Kudos to WolfCraft! I give this jig a 10 out of 10 and HIGHLY recommend it.
Once the main section is installed I will be moving on to the drawers which will be made out of 1/2" MDF with wood fronts. The fronts will have a little twist to them, so stay tuned. And wish me luck like usual.