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Bill of Materials for the Module Frame
Let's take a trip down to our favourite building supply store and get the materials we need to build our 4-foot module.  We're going to use 1"x 5" lumber.  We'll need:
  • 3 pieces of 1"x 5"x 6' knotty pine 
  • Yes, for a 4-foot module, we'll need 6-foot boards.  The lumber is known as "dimensional" lumber.  The actual dimensions of the lumber will be  ¾"x 4½"x 6'.  Select lumber that is free of curves. 
  • 1 box of 1½" #6 flat-head Robertson wood screws (get a box of about 100 screws)
  • Ten  5/16" T-nuts (you can use smaller or larger size T-nuts.  The size will depend on the drill you use and your supply of drill bits. )
  • One sheet of 1½"x 2'x 8' butt-joint styrofoam (if you can't get a piece that's 4' long).  This is either blue or pink in colour.  Don't buy the white stuff!
  • One bottle of carpenters' glue (I usually buy the 8 oz 240 ml size)
  • One tin of paint.  I find the small tins of Tremclad rust-proof paint (or house-brand equivalents) really soak into the wood.  The secret to preventing warping due to humidity is 2 or 3 good coats of paint.  My colour is flat-black.

You may not be familiar with the T-nut.  We'll use T-nuts to fasten the legs to the module and for a couple of other things which we'll explain later on. 


We'll also need some other supplies that will help in the assembly of our module:
  • One 5/16" bolt that is 1½" long with a fitting washer. 
  • Epoxy Glue
  • Wood Putty
  • Three or four sponge Paint Brushes 

We should have the following tools to help us assemble the module frame:
  • 1/8" drill bit to drill pilot holes for the wood screws
  • ¼" drill bit to countersink the screws
  • 3/8" drill bit to install the T-nuts
  • 9/16" drill bit to drill holes for the alignment pins (optional)
  • 1" Forstner or spade bit to countersink the T-nuts (optional)
  • coping saw, sabre saw, or some other type of saw to cut out some square holes for installing our RJ12 telco jacks.
  • chisels, router, or some other tools to recess the faceplate of the RJ12 telco jacks (optional)

Cutting the lumber
Before you rush out of your favourite building supply store, Stop!
Save yourself some time and trouble.  Most building supply stores offer a "saw" service where they'll cut the lumber for you - free or at a nominal charge.  Take your 3 pieces of 6-foot knotty pine to the sawing service and get them to cut up each piece as follows:
  • Square one end of each piece of lumber
  • Cut 4' from the first piece of lumber.
  • Cut 4' from the second piece of lumber.
  • From all the remaining pieces, cut 5 pieces 22½"long.
  • If you're going to use our rigid ABS plastic pipe legs, you'll need 4 pieces that are 5" long - in which case, one piece of lumber should be 8' long.  (I hope you read these instructions first!)
  • Collect all the scraps of lumber.  They'll come in handy later on. 
  • Pay for your materials, put them in the car and head home.
  • Take a piece of sandpaper and sand the "crumbs" of sawdust off the ends of each saw cut.

Identifying the Pieces of Lumber
To keep things straight, mark the pieces of lumber as follows:
  • One 4' length - Front Piece
  • One 4' length - Back Piece
  • Two 22½" pieces - End Plates
  • Two 22½" pieces - End Cross Members
  • One 22½" piece - Middle Cross Member
  • Put the lumber scraps, screws, T-nuts, and styrofoam aside for the moment. 

Here's what your pieces of wood  look like.

Each piece of lumber will be fastened to the other with 1½" #6 flat-head Robertson wood screws and wood glue.  The next step is to lay out where we're going to drill those holes.  But before we do, let's take a look at the plans for our module frame.  If you're not used to reading plans, have no fear.  We'll walk you through the construction work step by step.  Click on the "Next" button.