To Err is Human

Sometimes you do things like misplace a dado…

…fortunately for us, SketchList 3D makes fixing errors pretty painless!

In my last blog, we had completed our cabinet side and mirrored it. This time around we will complete the box ready to add doors and other details. This may seem like an involved process, but we are building a “library” cabinet. An accurate representation of the actual cabinets that will be included in our kitchen.

This is done ONCE, and from here on out, we can “copy and paste” this model into our kitchen and alter it almost instantly to fit the openings at hand. We can also use it on other jobs in the future. So taking the time now to create an accurate model will pay off every time we use SketchList 3D.

The next step, and again, note that we are building this cabinet in the computer in much the same way we will in the shop, is to add the deck and stretchers.

bottom shelf

As with the sides, we start with a board, but this time the thickness will be top to bottom and the grain running side to side. Fill in the dimensions, and you’ll note that the board appears at the bottom as if we laid it onto the workbench top.

Now we can “attach” it in place.

First we’ll “lift” it into the dado we created in the side. That dado starts at the top of the toe kick cutout, so we enter 4 inches into the dialog box on the right of the screen. The deck is “screwed” to the bottom of the dado, which we know is 5/8″ from the left of the overall cabinet, so that data is entered as well.

Note that there are three measurements for each dimension.

  • The first is the start position of the board, this is where we are making the changes to “position” the board.
  • The second is the actual dimension of the part, so we do not want to alter this yet if at all.
  • The third entry is for the OTHER END of the board after placement. This will be the sum of the start point and the actual dimension.

When you alter the start point, you will notice that the other two settings are highlighted in red, indicating that the numbers need to be reconciled. Clicking on the button next to either dimension will recalculate that dimension BASED ON THE OTHER TWO.   As we position the deck, we want to ONLY recalculate the ending points, not the actual dimensions of the part.

We are human, errors will happen! Below is a screenshot of a deck where the initial width of the part was typed in wrong. SketchList 3D allows us to immediately see something is wrong (no wasted ply yet!) and correct it. At this stage, I can either enter the correct deck dimension if I simply made a typo, or I can change the ending point to 26 3/8″ (27 inch wide cabinet minus 5/8″ for the dadoed side) and then click on the width button to fix the bad dimension.

dado cut

Again, the computer model is working just as we would at the workbench. I set the deck in place and find out my overall cabinet is not 27″ I’ll then measure the deck to see if the problem is the cut sheet or the sawyer!

The stretchers are added in exactly the same way, creating a board and setting it into position 3/4″ down from the top. Once the front stretcher is placed, I can take another quick shortcut and simply copy it (called cloning) where needed.

Select the stretcher, click on “Clone and Space” at the bottom right side of the screen, and a new dialog box appears asking where to place the copy. Just like we did when creating the sides of the cabinet.

clone and space

Our cabinet box is completed with the back and toe kick added. Now it is ready for details like shelves and doors!

finished carcass

In the next blog, I’ll walk through adding these details which will bring us to the point of placing the cabinets in the kitchen space! So stick with me as we continue this exploration of SketchList 3D.