Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Project -- A Present

     Well, I can't really say who or what occasion this latest project is for but he's turning one year old and it has elements of his crib incorporated into it.  I know his parents don't see facebook or my blog so I'll just hope that others who may will keep it a secret until he gets it!  I won't put the completed project on the blog until we've given it to him so that'll be mid-October.
     Let me start at the end of this project since that is the best look, everything else will be an explanation of how I got to this point.  When I made the crib, I cut more of the Walnut pyramid shaped blocks than I needed thinking there could be a future use for them.

Final Smoothing Done

I used a piece of Maple and banded it with Walnut on both edges.  Those are the materials the crib is made of.  This is after all of the machine work was completed and the surface is now ready for several coats of super blonde shellac.  Wanted to do that today but it was pretty close to 90 degrees and it would have dried way too fast so it'll be a morning project.  In the class I just taught we spent a little bit of time on using planes to achieve the final surface as opposed to sanding.  The bronze, #4 Smoother Plane you see at the end of the board is perfect for this.  This picture is with natural light, no flash, and you can see some of the gleam in the lower right hand corner of the piece.  Can't get that with sandpaper, it's only with a keen cutting edge that you can achieve that look!

First steps after Laminating
The first step was too laminate two pieces of Walnut to both long edges of the Maple piece.  The thing you need to be careful of here is that the grain runs the same way on all three pieces when you laminate them together.  Whether you use a hand plane as I do or a power planer this is a real important consideration.  If the grain direction is not taken into consideration, you'll find that the wood will tear as you plane with the grain on one piece but against the grain on the adjoining one.  Then you have little choice but to sand it smooth.

Coping Saw

The next step was making a template that could be used to remove the waste for the Walnut pyramid inlay.  In this case I used a piece of MDF, calculated the opening size and then drilled holes in each corner.  A simple coping saw is ideal for this step and takes very little time to complete.

Chisel in MDF

MDF, being layers of tightly compressed paper can be filed easily.  I thought I'd experiment and see what a chisel would do instead.  I used one of my "beater" chisels and as you can see, the layers of paper cut cleanly.


Whoops,  needed to make two cut outs before I got it right.  I almost wonder if I should have just traced the inlay onto the board and worked it free-hand ..... maybe next time.

After using a plunge router equipped with a guide bearing and a 1/4" straight bit the recess was finished off with a small router plane and chisel.

Router Plane & Chisel to finalize Inlay
All that remained was to locate and drill the holes needed for the things I can't show yet! Since this will be hung on the wall I also used a keyhole bit to put a couple of slots on the back.  I had a deja vu moment when I did that.  When the school district shut down the woodshops in middle school, I kept the guide I'd made for the class to use on just this very same operation.  Heck, Jennifer probably used it when she was in my class in 7th. grade!

Keyhole Slot
The last step of todays process was to spokeshave a very slight chamfer on the front edges to ease them ever so slightly.  Love that corkscrew shaving coming out of my spokeshave.

Look at that Spiral!!

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