Right Angles

One of the projects I've taken on for our home remodel was building the downstairs linen cabinet -- a built-in set of shelves, drawers, and doors that fit into the space next to the first-floor bathroom. To get this project going last summer, my wife and I purchased several sheets of mahogany plywood -- 3/4", 1/2" and 1/4" -- that will be used to create the basic box, the shelves, and the forms for the drawers. It will all be trimmed out in fir and stained to match the rest of the exposed woodwork, but mahogany had the advantage of being considerably less expensive and, of the available options, looked more like fir than anything else.

Last summer, I rough-cut the sheet materials I would need, then stored them for when I had the table saw back running. (I'd removed the 240v circuit for it when I wired the second floor. At the time, there was a great reason, but I can't remember any more.) Earlier this evening I re-ran the wire and reinstalled the breaker to get the table saw up and running. A quick test and the table saw was ready to go.

So this evening I dusted off the plans for the linen cabinet, retrieved the rough-cut sheet goods, and began to final-cut them. But something was off. Just a little bit off, but off. I'd done a quick check to make sure the saw still held true right angles, and it looked fine. I didn't notice until I'd run an 80" piece of lumber that it was about 1/8" off at the bottom. So now I have a bunch of lumber that's all slightly off -- about 1/32" per yard. I probably just need to make a slight tweak to the rip fence.

Fortunately, none of the pieces I cut will show the problem -- they're all part of the basic box and all the ends are rabbeted together and can easily absorb even 1/4" of error. But it just goes to show that I should have broken out the Master Plate, which is sitting idly in a drawer.