Author Topic: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project  (Read 50800 times)

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Offline awdriven

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Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« on: May 11, 2011, 05:16 PM »
I'm putting together a simple raised bed garden on Friday and got the idea to build one of these guys as a surprise - http://brucepostco.com/tower.html



It's probably beyond a 1 day build for me with all of those shelves (looking at the large 11-shelf), but I keep thinking it's really just repeating a lot of the same cuts over and over, and who knows, maybe I will surprise myself or someone here could recommend some time saving ideas.

Any ideas for working efficiently on this? I'm planning on making a sketchup model so I can have my angles established ahead of time. I won't be getting the stock until Friday morning.

Once I get my miter saw dialed in, the shelves would just be a matter of measuring and sliding in the shelves. If I use dadoes, small errors in shelf length would be hidden.

Have to look at my MFT - maybe I could use the fence, guide rail and limit stop to repeatably plow dadoes with an OF1400? (Just mark centerline of each one and slide the workpiece to center each dado)

Much as I'd love it, Domino'ing this together would probably be overkill. (at least for the shelves.) It probably makes sense to domino the uprights and possibly the base together, though.

What would be the best time-efficient way to secure the shelves in place?

Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 06:56 PM »
If my dadoes were stopped on both ends, it would hold the shelves in place.

Thinking about it more, perhaps I could make a template out of half inch plywood for the legs. That would make pretty quick work of routing the dadoes and also remove the need for measuring and marking as long as I was dead-on with cutting the legs and placing the template each time.

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 01:17 AM »
It's definitely easier looking at it on my computer screen compared to what you showed me on your cell phone.  Now I have lots of ideas for you.  I'll go over all of it when I see you later today.  I'm also bringing a more powerful saw that'll put the TS75 to shame for what we tried earlier.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 07:27 AM »
Now I have lots of ideas for you.  I'll go over all of it when I see you later today.  I'm also bringing a more powerful saw that'll put the TS75 to shame for what we tried earlier.

Ken:
You have certainly aroused my curiosity, (not that that's difficult) I would love to see any or all of the above.
Tim
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Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 09:37 AM »
It was good putting a face to a name yesterday, Ken - Thanks for stopping by!

My guess is a 2-man hand saw ;) Just give me a ring around the same time as yesterday.

Honestly though, I have been trying to remind myself of the power and flexibility of hand tools.

There are more hints in the other pictures about how this was put together. I think some of the decisions were made with easy assembly via screws in mind, though.

Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 09:27 PM »
I did a quick sketchup so I could figure out the angles. I drew it with 2x6 uprights, but looking at the pictures and then my drawing, I think the real thing was built with 2x4.



Sketchup Model DownloadSketchup Model


Offline BTDT

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 09:37 PM »
This looks like a cool project. Keep us posted! I might need the push. Of course I think this would be prime opportunity to use some of my Sipo Dominos.

Good luck tomorrow!

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 11:23 PM »
I spoke with Bruce Post this morning to gain a little insight into his design of the tower and confirm some things I noticed in the pictures.  To me it appeared that the dados for the slats were tapered and beveled.  Bruce referred to it as a keystone design to lock the slats in place, yet allow removal for whatever the need.  They also handle the weight of the dirt and plant material.  I'm thinking he uses a jig mounted router that keeps the router at a bevel that's a complimentary angle to the upright framework, hogging out the main amount of the dado with a straight bit, then cutting the sides of the dado with a dovetail bit, two times for each slat.  In doing the geometric calculations and using Bruce's measurements from his website, I came up with a slightly different, but close angle of inclination to what awdriven is showing in Sketch up.  I'm also guessing they are 2x6's because of the depth of the slats.  5 1/2" looks like it would fit better than the 3 1/2" of a 2x4.  Then again, sometimes it does look like 2x4 construction.  I might make a visit to Bruce's place next month while I'm in Maryland and if I do, maybe I can get some good pictures and accurate detail to confirm or correct some of these ideas.

He uses Phillips head screws to connect the basic framework.  I was thinking more along the lines of using exterior pocket hole screws with pocket hole joinery and matching pocket hole plugs for a better look.  Bruce recommends placing a full size traffic cone or upside down clay pot within to displace the need for a lot of dirt to fill the interior volume.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 11:27 PM by Ken Nagrod »

Offline awdriven

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Re: Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 09:12 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations! I think I will make a template out of some quarter inch MDF sheet and some wedges made of three quarter inch ply. This would allow .me to make the dadoes at a tapered depth by tilting the template and router relative to the stock.

Offline awdriven

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Re: Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2011, 09:15 AM »
And I don't thinly the tapered dadoes would need to change the bevel of the compound cut on the shelves, just the miter angle.

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 09:21 AM »
From looking at the parts picture, it appears to be a consistent bevel on the slats or shelves.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 10:05 AM »
I'm thinking he uses a jig mounted router that keeps the router at a bevel that's a complimentary angle to the upright framework, hogging out the main amount of the dado with a straight bit, then cutting the sides of the dado with a dovetail bit, two times for each slat.

Ken:
Why would you have to dovetail the slat inserts? If you cut the miter a bit over, couldn't a friction fit in the sloping dado cut be enough to hold it in place?

I'm also guessing they are 2x6's because of the depth of the slats.  5 1/2" looks like it would fit better than the 3 1/2" of a 2x4.  Then again, sometimes it does look like 2x4 construction. 

Ya, in the 11 slat version it looks like 2x4 but in the photo of the parts (on the site) it looks like 2x6 or even slightly 3 1/2" x 6 stock.

He uses Phillips head screws to connect the basic framework.  I was thinking more along the lines of using exterior pocket hole screws with pocket hole joinery and matching pocket hole plugs for a better look.

Ya, pocket screws and plugs would definitely look nice. I notice staining from the screw holes on the frame, but it is a planter after all so maybe not that big a deal.
Tim
I bought some Festools...

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2011, 10:10 AM »
Ken:
Why would you have to dovetail the slat inserts? If you cut the miter a bit over, couldn't a friction fit in the sloping dado cut be enough to hold it in place?



That's one of the things that isn't clear to me just yet after viewing the pictures and talking with Bruce over the phone.  I really need to see it in person and since I'll be down that way, I might just make the trip across the Chesepeake Bay to find out.

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 10:44 AM »
I made a planter out of a bunch of old, used cedar fence pickets a few years ago using sipo dominoes and no glue. I call it a puzzle planter. At first, I tried to seal it up and keep it looking like new cedar. That lasted about one season and then the top started to loose its finish. I was going to clean it up with a sander and maintain it but it was so full of basil I decided to let it go natural. When the basil died off, I had already gotten into the mindset that natural was good so here it is now:




I really like this strawberry tower and showed it to Veronica. She wants one. I still have several of those used pickets and I'm going to figure out how to build one with just sipo dominoes and no glue. At least, I think I am.


Tom


BTW: I make really good pesto.
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Offline awdriven

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Re: Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 09:52 AM »
I'm glad some other folks are taking an interest in this too!

Unfortunately with some delays I had during the day Friday, I didn't get any farther than buying the stock. (I did finish a white oak raised bed garden though.)

The smell of cedar is taunting me now.

I spent more time in Sketchup last night and my model is very close now. I think I figured the angles out.

Still to do in the model is to incorporate the tapered dadoes in the legs and model all the shelves.

Any ideas on how to build a jig to route the dadoes? Something to keep in mind is that there are 88 dadoes to cut, so I think the most efficient jig would be something that makes it easy to consistently place the dadoes. The idea in my head is a flat template that a bearing guided router template bit could follow - except the whole template would be wedge shaped. An alternative would be a jig that tilts the stock instead of the router.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2011, 03:37 PM »


I spent more time in Sketchup last night and my model is very close now. I think I figured the angles out.

I was curious about the size of the uprights so I did some work in sketchup. Based on using the picture of the 6 ft. version (Photomatch) it looks like everything is 2x4's (1 1/2x 3 1/2") and 1"x4" slats.

I got 16 degree angle but that was somewhat of a compromise based on the photo match.

The sketchup file is  rough and not complete, but if you would like me to send it to you I will.
Any ideas on how to build a jig to route the dadoes?  An alternative would be a jig that tilts the stock instead of the router.

My personal choice is to build a jig that tilts the stock.
Tim
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 03:40 PM by Tim Raleigh »
I bought some Festools...

Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2011, 09:44 PM »
Sure, I'd love to see your model - my e-mail is knelson at (my alias) .net

So far, I have some up with these angles -

Shelves:
23.9 degree bevel  (note - I updated this after my original post.)
39.3 degree miter
Shelf 35 degrees from horizontal

Uprights 14.5 degrees from vertical.

The four uprights have about 4 inches of vertical mating in my model. My previous drawing had more - but this isn't very useful space-wise. (Can't grow strawberries there.) In my model, my tower is just shy of 6' 1" (when you include the flat shelf on top)

Next step is for me to experiment with those dadoes and their impact on the compound cuts of the shelves.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:53 PM by awdriven »

Offline awdriven

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Re: Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2011, 03:43 PM »
I'm planning on making the dadoes taper from half inch depth to zero out half an inch from the outside edge of the 2x4.

Offline awdriven

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Re: Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2011, 12:08 AM »
Still working with the model. Thanks, Tim, for the Sketchup tips!

I wonder in the shelves are set at 38 degrees, which is a common crown molding spring angle. The way the shelves are dadoed into the upright, you have to cut a different miter than your saw's crown detents or marks on the scales would tell you, though.

I had been thinking about skipping the half laps in the base, but they're good for resisting the spreading forces.

I think I will skip the cutout in the cap piece and use some Sipo dominoes and glue to join the tops of the uprights.

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2011, 12:12 AM »
I think the purpose of the cap piece is to keep water (rain) off the upper joint to extend its life and add a little extra strength from separation.

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2011, 12:18 AM »
Still working with the model. Thanks, Tim, for the Sketchup tips!

I wonder in the shelves are set at 38 degrees, which is a common crown molding spring angle. The way the shelves are dadoed into the upright, you have to cut a different miter than your saw's crown detents or marks on the scales would tell you, though.

I had been thinking about skipping the half laps in the base, but they're good for resisting the spreading forces.

I think I will skip the cutout in the cap piece and use some Sipo dominoes and glue to join the tops of the uprights.

If that's the case, the shelf would be 4 7/16" or 4.44" in width OR that would be the length of the dado.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 12:20 AM by Ken Nagrod »

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2011, 09:40 AM »
Still working with the model. Thanks, Tim, for the Sketchup tips!

I wonder in the shelves are set at 38 degrees, which is a common crown molding spring angle. The way the shelves are dadoed into the upright, you have to cut a different miter than your saw's crown detents or marks on the scales would tell you, though.
When I did my drawing I just tried to follow the photo as closely as possible so I never knew the angle. Because the upright is both tilted and turned the compound angle of the shelf is probably never going to relate to any crown detents.

I had been thinking about skipping the half laps in the base, but they're good for resisting the spreading forces.
When I built my model I thought the half laps were a good idea. I would keep them.

I think I will skip the cutout in the cap piece and use some Sipo dominoes and glue to join the tops of the uprights.

The cutout does seem to be a royal PIA, but I think it would do a better job of holding the uprights together. For the top cap I would probably use a 2x and cut a small peak 5 degrees or so into it so the water ran off, rather than sitting on top and eventually warping it rendering it totally useless.


If that's the case, the shelf would be 4 7/16" or 4.44" in width OR that would be the length of the dado.

The length of the dado (in my drawing) would be less than 3.5" as it tapers to a depth of 0" before the outside edge of the upright. You could probably use 1x3 (3/4"x 2 1/2) for the shelves as there is an 1" overhang on the back of the shelves. Other than an easy way to locate each shelves for assembly, I am not really sure what structural value those dadoes have.
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Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2011, 09:53 AM »
I wanted to say this would be a pain, but if you think about it - it's just two perpendicular rectangles that need to be routed out. Is the 'festool' way to do this with the MFS?

Mark the center of the workpiece, set up the MFS templates to appropriate size and route?

Ok, maybe you guilted me into it ;)


I adjusted the shelves last night by widening them 1 inch at the short ends if the miters. This made them 'cut' into the uprights by a little more than a quarter inch. (Quarter inch tapered dado) I experimented with half an inch, but that looked excessive. What say the think tank, is that enough support?

This probably really belongs in the 'member projects' area now.

Offline William Herrold

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2011, 11:15 AM »
This is a great project! I'm trying to look at it from the perspective of latitude, specifically- the choice between constructing a triangle or a quadrangle. Those of us in "the North" will understand. Next, I'm going to call my Aunt, down South in N.Cal for advice...The sweetest strawberries I've had..Thankyou, Joanne....
"I don't believe anything, but I have a lot of suspicions"
 R.A.W.

Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2011, 11:20 AM »
I think when Ken spoke to the person who sells these, he said that this design makes it easy to remove a shelf if that's needed for any reason. I don't think there is any strength added by them, just ease of assembly and maintenance.

I'd think it would be easiest and cleanest to fill the planter by installing the shelves progressively as you fill it up. It would also be helpful if you ever had to empty the planter to move it. I could see a shelf getting damaged by someone elses's kids climbing on it. (Mine would never do that.  ::) )

Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2011, 05:16 PM »
Tim, a tapered cap, like a fence post topper could look nice and also be really functional. Another time where it would be nice to have a band saw  [unsure]

Offline awdriven

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2011, 02:32 AM »
Some updated exports from the Sketchup Model -

On shows the whole project (with possible post cap) and the other shows the dadoed shelf setup. I still need to figure out a jig to efficiently and consistently route 88 tapered dadoes. Maybe just a tray that holds the stock at the proper angle and supports an plywood template above, that I can use a bearing-guided bit inside.




Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2011, 09:12 AM »
I'm trying to look at it from the perspective of latitude, specifically- the choice between constructing a triangle or a quadrangle. Those of us in "the North" will understand.

Hu...triangle or quadrangle? I don't understand? Maybe 'cause I'm in the southern of Canada. [big grin]
Tim
I bought some Festools...

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2011, 09:35 AM »
Tim, a tapered cap, like a fence post topper could look nice and also be really functional. Another time where it would be nice to have a band saw  [unsure]

You could probably use a table saw for this as long as the cut was 3" or less.

Some updated exports from the Sketchup Model -

Looks good!
Hopefully you didn't have to extend each shelf individually to get the right length...?

On shows the whole project (with possible post cap) and the other shows the dadoed shelf setup. I still need to figure out a jig to efficiently and consistently route 88 tapered dadoes. Maybe just a tray that holds the stock at the proper angle and supports an plywood template above, that I can use a bearing-guided bit inside.

I am not sure about a bearing guided bit, my preference would be a template guide and straight bit as there is more flexibility in cut depth.
I think the MFS would be perfect for making the template.
I am thinking you will also need a left and right hand jig for those dadoes, I don't think you can just turn the uprights and have the sloped dadoes oriented the right way.
If I get some time I will see if I can draw up a jig.
I think you can be fairly sure if you build one of these your relatives will want one as well.
Tim
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 12:33 PM by Tim Raleigh »
I bought some Festools...

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Festool this - Strawberry Tower project
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2011, 12:33 PM »
Tim,

I agree, this is probably a good use for the MFS, although I don't have one to lend K. and I don't believe he has one either, so this is another one of those great reasons to convince his wife he needs another tool - Festool for HER project.  [smile]