Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Death March Begins

I've charted out every step I need to take to complete this project.  I took 3 days off of work last week and worked on it for at least 8 hours each day and I've still got about 3 weeks to go.  Sigh.

I spent some time getting the tongues to fit into the corresponding grooves.

I resawed, reflattened, and glued up the bookmatched panels.

I made my first quadrilinear legs :-)
In hindsight I should have used oak for the core.  Looks neat though.

Finished up the leg joinery (mortises, through-mortises, stop-grooves)

Make sure you know which leg faces which way. 
See the triangle inside the square.

[No photo]
I made all of the tenons on the table saw with a dado stack and fine tuned them by hand.

The first dry fit!

Arcing the Skirt Rails

And then I completely screwed up the lid.

I resawed an 8.5" wide piece of 4/4 oak, but forgot to edge joint it first.  The boards cupped immediately and were a pain to joint in unison afterward.  The substrate - also 3/8" thick and cupping - wasn't cooperating either and the entire glue-up, using every clamp I own and the heaviest and flattest objects I could find, still wasn't enough to create a flat lid.

Stepping back to clear my head, my brother Nathan helped me figure out where I went wrong.  Why the hell am I glueing four 3/8" planks together at the same time?  A cupping 3/8" thick board can't easily be glued into a panel by itself, and this is just the first part of the problem.  I don't have a stable, flat substrate to press my veneer onto.

And speaking of veneer, I don't need to have a 3/8" thick veneer.  A thinner 1/8" sheet might actually be easier to handle and press down.

So I'm ordering more wood so I can attempt to do a better job of this.  I'm going to glue together a solid 3/4" thick panel and square it up to be the final size of the bench lid.  When this is dry and flat and stable I'm going to edge joint and resaw another 8.5" piece of oak into a much thinner sheet and press this veneer down onto the 3/4" substrate.  Once that is dry I'll trim off the edges and we should be good to go.

It wouldn't be any fun if I didn't make a few mistakes and learn something along the way.

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