Sunday, August 28, 2011

Refining the Profile, Use of a Story Stick, and Waiting for Cooler Temps

     Have I mentioned how hot it's been lately?  Seems like my shop time is dwindling down but I'm still moving forward.  One of the things that's most enjoyable about doing custom, one of a kind work, is that you create pretty much every part of the project.  I guess that's what it means when something is referred to as "Custom".  Many times you can find things that'll work but more often than not, it's up to the individual craftsman to make what is needed to complete your vision.  Case in point is the molding that will make it look as if the bookcases are separate units, here's a close up of that profile:

See the Difference?
The black thing in the back is what's called a tadpole sander.  These are rubber profiles that can be used to  refine or sand a shape that's been cut.  Look closely at the pieces of molding in the back --- see those faint lines running perpendicular to the grain?  Those are marks left by the shaper cutter and are commonly referred to as chatter marks.  By comparison, check the piece in front -- they're gone right?  In most mass produced furniture and moldings you'll still see these marks.  They're virtually unavoidable because of any slight variation in the cutter or run out in the bearings but very time consuming to remove.  Here's a close-up of the profile for this bookcase:

    Although the tadpole sander isn't a perfect match it flattens out when you put some pressure on it.  At this point the molding has been completely sanded with 120 grit paper.  Once the piece is assembled it'll be completely sanded with 150 - 220 grit paper prior to finishing.  As much as I prefer a natural oil finish, this piece will be stained to match the other units the client has already.

In between the times I spent whining about the heat I also managed to sand all of the pieces that will make up the bookcase.  In my construction technique I prefer to use joinery to "lock" pieces together.  When using sheet goods like on this project a good choice is tongue and groove joint.  I find it hard to believe that much of the knock down furniture available from the so called big box merchants use particle board and relies on a butt joint and screw to give it strength!

Story Stick
In the  photo above you can see how these units will go together.  What we have is the top of one of the side pieces with the groove for the shelf to fit into.  The piece that says "back" is the story stick.  I needed to locate 4 holes to secure each shelf, top,or bottom to the case sides.  Rather than measure and mark the location numerous time,  you mark them once on the story stick and use it to locate all of the required holes.  These are drilled from the inside of the case.  After temporarily clamping the unit together I'm able to drill and countersink for the screws from the outside.  The way I've designed this unit is that the molding I talked about earlier will cover the screws.  Should work like a charm!
Here's the first look at the top unit, clamped together, pre-drilled, and waiting for a cooler temperature so it can be assembled.

First Look

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