Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Time to Blog

     Seems as if its been a while since I blogged about the crib project.  I've hit the stage where the work has almost taken on an assembly line process which is not my favorite part of any project but one that inevitably comes up.  Take into account that there are many duplicate parts (the slats) with many duplicate operations needed.  I've made 56 slats to allow for some extras just in case; my experience is that when I make extra parts as a back up plan I never need them but should I decide to take a chance that's when they are needed.  I guess it's like taking an umbrella with you in case it starts to rain and then it doesn't ( unless you live in Seattle!).  Anyway, each slat has two tenons and four edges that needed to be shaped.  Here is how I cut the tenon on each one:

I used a dado head and a clamp to act as a stop block.  This worked out well, since the mortises where cut "by eye" and are not all exactly 7/8" each tenon will probably need to be adjusted slightly.  I also used this setup for the leg to rail tenons but left them slightly oversize so that I can plane those to the exact size.  Usually I cut tenons with a tenoning jig rather than a dado head because it leaves a smoother surface, my shoulder plane will take care of  smoothing and accurately sizing the cheeks of the tenons.
     Currently I'm sanding all of the pieces before assembly.  I'll have to drill all of the holes in the legs to accept the threaded inserts which support the mattress and the rest of the hardware.  I'm a bit reluctant to drill the holes because I don't physically have the hardware yet.  Common woodworking convention is that you should have the hardware in hand before you drill holes for it but in this case I'll have to trust the plans that Rockler Woodworking provided.
     Can't leave without trying to show how awesome the curly/birds eye  Maple is:

The picture doesn't begin to do it justice.  The final finishing choice is a very blonde shellac that I'm buying from   located in Napa, California.  I've talked to Ron who is the owner and he has been more than helpful. Based on my short experience with him so far I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him for anyone who's looking for quality  shellac.  I've always wanted to make my own and now that I have -- wish I'd done it sooner.  Nothing against the ready made canned stuff but this adds another step to the creative process.  I tried a darker shade of shellac called Jethwa but I felt I lost the chatoyance of this piece -- it's drop dead gorgeous!


  1. The maple looks so beautiful - the crib is coming along so well! I cannot wait to see the finished project - it will be awesome!

  2. John, the crib is coming along so nicely! I can't believe all the work that goes into making a beautiful piece of furniture from start to finish. It's so fun to read your detailed descriptions, it's so obvious that you love your work... especially this very special project!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Kathy Denenny

  3. You're welcome Kathy, must apologize for not thanking you for commenting on my blog. It's a new endeavor for me and I have always been somewhat "computer resistant". Hard to believe that in the 80's I was certified and taught Computer Literacy on Apple IIE !