Make something big: A night table
One night I was reading in bed, and I went to put my book down. Bonk! It dropped on the floor. Also, it would be great to have a nice spot for the mini-DVD player that I got for Dorothy to watch in bed. We need a night table!
I measured the height of the bed, and got a rough sense of the size it should be for the space. I made some sketches, then drew it in OMAX layout. I learned several things as I did this. I wanted to make a press-fit design using the 3/4in plywood, so I actually made a jig first to try to figure out the right slot width. All the slots on my jig fit, just with varying snugness (from "pretty snug" to "very hard to get it apart again"), so I picked a width in the middle. Unfortunately, this proved to be too tight. I was able get the two large leg pieces together with the help of a rubber mallet, and now they are quite firmly attached. The two shelves wouldn't go on, though, even after much effort sanding and filing. I eventually made some "edits" with a scroll saw, taking off thin slices of wood until everything fit. Fortunately, it all holds together well, with no screws or adhesives or anything!
I also learned from Kenny the trick of making cut-outs for inner corners. Basically, because of the width of the tool (in this case, .25in), outer corners can be very sharp, but inner corners will be rounded. So, to make slots that things fit all the way into, the corners need cutouts. That's why all those funny circles are there in the corners of the slots.
Here's the DXF
Here's a picture of the table in place: