The Dining Room Built-In: The Base

The Foundation of All Things

It's real now.  The old bookshelves are gone, and now the base to the built-in has been, well, built!  First, just for posterity, here's the first board all ready to be cut:

When you're working alone, it's always good to have hacks to make the work easier.  Recently I saw a suggestion in Family Handyman magazine to use rigid foam insulation to support the boards when crosscutting.  It worked like a charm!  I used 2x10s for the base, and they're way too awkward to cut on sawhorses by yourself.

One problem I ran into was that the 2x10s were only 8 feet long (96") but I needed 101". So I married an extra length using pocket screws. It also gave me an opportunity to use my new Stanley smoothing plane, and my new random orbital sander! I also had to notch out one end:

Each plank…can have only one ideal use. The woodworker must find this ideal use and create an object of utility to man, and if nature smiles, an object of lasting beauty. - George Nakashima

One of the things we love about 173 is the woodwork.  It's never been painted (except back in the day in the bathroom), and not trusting my skill level, I thought it better to notch around the quarter-round and base molding rather than cutting it.  And now the base is in!

This gives you the idea of where it's headed, with the fireplace positioned slightly forward of the bookshelves.  Let's cross our fingers!
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