Friday, June 13, 2014

Curtain rod mounting blocks: a quick project

I won't go into all the details, but we need to hang curtain rods around the 4 sides of some free-standing shelving. There's a wood platform sitting on top of the shelving that extends several inches over on each side. These overhangs are where we will  mount some rod holders. What follows is the recipe for some simple block curtain-rod holders.

Set up the table saw with the rip fence and a stop-block. Take one 4x4, (Treated because that's what I had.) using the stop-block as a length guide, run the 4x4 through the saw, flip 180 degrees and make a second pass to finish the cut.

Repeat until you have 4 blocks measuring  approximately 3.5 inches on each side.

 Orient all the blocks with end-grain up then pick two adjacent sides on each block. It is important that these be adjacent sides so the curtain rod ends, two to a block, will meet at 90 degree angles. Find the center of each of these sides by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner.

 At the drill press mount a 1 inch bit, spade or forstner, then set the tip on the surface of a block then set the drill stop for a 1 1/4" deep hole. Drill two holes in each block using the center marks as guides. Hang onto the block firmly to keep it from spinning. Better yet grab it with a clamp

One of these holes will capture one end of each curtain rod. The other will be the cradle part of a slot into which the other end of the rod can be slipped.

To lay out this slot orient all 4 blocks with the top (End-grain) facing away from you with one hole facing up and the second hole on the left side

With a square draw guidelines as shown. Vertical intersecting left edge of drilled hole. Horizontal 1/16 - 1/8 above the centerline of the hole and a second horizontal 1 to 1 1/8" above the first horizontal. Then, using the same drill-press setup, remove most of the waste by drilling three more, overlapping holes taking care to stay inside the lines.

Once the holes are drilled use a sharp chisel to remove the rest of the waste. The idea here is that one end of the curtain rod will slide in the horizontal slot then drop down and rest in the cradle formed by the remains of the original hole.

Take a break to partially dismantle the table saw cabinet because you heard a whine-clunk-whine instead of the usual whine when you tilted the blade to 45 degrees and started it up.

Figure out that the belt between the motor and the arbor has jumped ship. Crank the trundle back to 90 degrees so you can reach the critical parts. Use a pry-bar to compress the motor spring. Reach up underneath and blindly slip the belt back onto the arbor. Hide behind a handy piece of plywood and flip the switch to see if everything stays were it's supposed to or if things are going to go flying in all directions.

Because everything stayed in place, reassemble the saw cabinet. Re-tilt the blade to 45 degrees. Re-set the fence to slice just a little bit more than a 1/4" off the corner of a block. And now we're back where we started before we were so rudely interrupted. . .

Run all 4 bottom corners of each block through the setup to get rid of them - the corners, not the blocks! (The block nearest to you in the photo is sitting upside down and you are looking at what will be the bottom once it's mounted in place.)

Decide that worked pretty well so take all 4 blocks back to the table saw, fortunately still set up for the corner cuts, and run all 4 vertical corners of each block through the saw.

Clamp the belt sander upside down in the bench vice. Take a block with all 8 corners knocked off (Like the one on the left) and give it a good sanding, making sure to ease all the edges. (Like the block on the right.) Repeat three more times.

Again, the blocks are shown here sitting upside down.
Give the blocks two good coats of your paint of choice.

And now they're ready to be mounted to the cover over top of the shelving units.

Once mounted measure and cut 3/4" EMT to the correct length, which is about 2" longer than the inside distance between block faces.

Turn the whole thing over to your resident interior designer who has already chosen the curtains, help her get everything hung. Stand back and enjoy. (Even though you know you should already be moving on to the next project. . .)

No comments:

Post a Comment