It's taken years for me to learn, but when Paula says something like, "I don't have a place to keep the dies for the Vagabond machine all together." The translation is, "can you build me some sort of shelves for them?" Her collection really had outgrown its previous storage locations around the studio. Since her Vagabond lives on a counter top in the studio where the basic Sizzix supplies are stored in the drawers below, this was the logical place for it. Some quick measurements proved that shelves would fit perfectly behind the Vagabond. The first step was to decide on what size to make it. The width would be the same as the cabinet it would sit on and the height would be somewhere between 45"-47" depending on the how many shelves we put in. Final dimensions are 311/2" x 48". Now for the shelves. Since the dies are 51/2" x 6", we settled on a depth of 61/4" and height of 6" between shelves.
one 1"x 8" pine board, 8 feet long (for the two sides)
four 1"x 8" pine boards, 6 feet long (the top, bottom and six shelves)
(all of the other supplies I already had)
With lumber in hand, first step was to rip (trim the boards going with the grain) to the proper width (61/4") on the table saw. This is always a fun way to make loads of saw dust. The 8' board was cut in two pieces, 47" each (sides) and one of the 6' boards was cut in two pieces 311/2" each (the top & bottom). At that point, I could have easily just grabbed some screws and done a layout of the pieces and screwed it all together. Just about the time I start thinking that way the voice in my head says, "do it right or don't do it". Sometimes that my grandpa's voice, but usually it's Paula's dad's voice. Okay, then. Dado joints and rabbet joints it would be.
So, with that motivation, I carefully measured and sketched the layout of the shelves on each of the sides with pencil. I then used a Skilsaw to cut the outside edge of each dado joint that the shelf would fit in. The final step was to use a router bit to trim out the rest of the joint making sure that the shelves would make a snug fit (see picture below). I used a similar process on the top and bottom to make a rabbet joint for the sides.
5/8" long was a perfect fit. Applying some wood glue to the joint and with a little coaxing by a rubber mallet, the shelves fit into place, no nails or screws needed.
After I painted it, Paula used her magic and sanded the edges, then rubbed on some brown paint to grunge it up a bit.
Once painted and grunged, we put it in place and used a simple L bracket screwed into the top and the wall to keep it from tipping over. That would not be a good thing.
First, thanks to my husband for building me such an awesome cabinet to store the dies. When I started putting the dies in I realized it was going to hold WAY more dies than I thought. Each shelf can hold about 40 Bigz dies (8 per stack). So I had plenty of room to organize them! I have Halloween on the top shelf. Christmas on the second shelf and then alphabetically after that. My Bigz XL dies are on the bottom shelf since they are the heaviest. On the edge dies and Frameworks are on the shelf right above. I still have plenty of room to grow the collection over time.