Friday, January 20, 2012

African Mahogany vs. John -- I will Prevail

     I hate to make concessions when it comes to the quality of my work, I suppose that's part of my perfectionist and rigid personality.  This African Mahogany is really testing those traits.  I'm not sure if it's just this particular board or what but today continued with its' share of problems.  First of all though, the initial part of the crown is now installed to both cases.  This was created using the bronze beading tool and I shared some of the problems with that in my last blog.  When you're a one man shop you need to improvise on your procedures if a third hand isn't available.  That occurred as I started to attach the crown.

Third Hand for Crown

To properly fit the crown you really need to hold the front and both sides at the same time and then measure and mark them too!  Kind of tricky so what I did was to make a elongated cut with the biscuit joiner into the cupboard top.  I wanted to have some free play so I could clamp it loosely while setting one end piece exactly where it belonged.  This was then marked and cut and the process was repeated for the other side.  Once everything was the correct size, the front was clamped tight and the sides were glued and held in place with a 23 gauge pin.  Now I could concentrate on gluing and clamping the front piece.  Once that was secure I used another clamp to hold the sides together.  The only hassles here is that one of the pieces I beaded yesterday decided it wanted to warp a bit more than I thought it should so it was remade.
     The next step was to prepare the doors for the Radio Weave caning I plan to use.  This requires a 3/8" x 3/8" rabbet cut into the back side of each door.  Easy enough with the proper router bit mounted in the table and off we go.  I didn't want to risk any damage so made the cut in 1/16+" increments.  Things were going okay until the 3rd. pass on one of the doors -- the side of the door ripped off!!  All of a sudden, this is what I was looking at:

Inside of Door Frame
     Now what to do!  I could hear myself telling my students that: "the difference between a good woodworker and a bad one is that the good one has learned how to hide his or her mistakes".  Now I needed to practice what I've been telling them for all these years.

Back Side of Door Frame

     My decision was to continue cutting to the required depth on all doors but leaving the damaged section alone.  The damaged door was brought into the house where it's warmer to repair.  By using a thin piece of wood as an applicator and carefully spreading the ripped piece apart I was able to put glue into it.  Then it was  tightly wrapped with tape, kind of a band aid for wood:

Lumber Band Aid


   I'll allow this to dry over-night and then use chisels and a small router plane to complete this rabbet.  As you can see the router will cut round corners, these need to be squared off with chisels as well.  I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have any more battles with the African Mahogany!


  1. Hi John!
    I'm pleased to know about your work.

    Have you finished this job?
    Have you done any wood work in Brazil?

  2. Yes, the job is complete, one is on my wall and the other is up for sale. Never been to Brazil but I have used some of your beautiful Satinwood in projects!