Friday, April 6, 2012

Breadboard Assembly -- Almost Ready for the Knife!

     After all of the painting and carpentry work I've been doing on the kitchen remodel it's been a real pleasure to work wood in the shop.  Here's the final results of that ready for assembly:

Proper "Breadboard" End Construction

     Go back to the discussion of why the breadboard end is what it is and does what it does and this will now make sense.  The Maple board will expand/contract across the width.  The end which is now painted white, caps it off and conceals the relatively unattractive end grain.  You'll notice that the holes have been elongated.  The only glue to assemble this is applied to the middle of the joint, they are then glued together and the pins are glued in place.  Because the holes are elongated the Maple can expand/contract in the groove without cracking, the elongated holes allow that to happen.  My finish of choice for anything that comes into contact with food is plain old Mineral Oil.  Cheap, safe to ingest, and won't go rancid like a vegetable oil would in the wood.  Applied it with some 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper followed with another application with a Scotch Brite, white colored pad.  For maintenance that's all you ever need to do.
     As I was working on this I remembered that when I first began teaching I became good friends with a math teacher on staff.  He was getting married so I decided it would be neat to make them a Maple salad bowl on the lathe at the school shop.  I finished it with Mineral Oil, engraved their names and date along with some wedding bells on the bottom and proudly presented it for their wedding present.  Several weeks later, he mentioned to me that the finish had gotten kind of dull after putting it in the dishwasher!!  Once he understood why wood, glue, hi-temperature water and heat drying wasn't the best for wood we refinished it and things were okay.  I wonder if they still have that bowl, it was only 1978  or so!
     Anyway, got off subject so back to the breadboard.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to do some hand tool work on this piece.  First off, the end piece needed to be shaped and sculpted.  Could have used a router bit to do this but this is a safer, quieter, and more enjoyable method.  First off, draw in the boundary lines for the shape:

Finger Guided Boundry

     Great opportunity to use spokeshaves to form that edge by carefully working to those lines:

     The spokeshave I'm using in the pictures has a radiused sole so it can get into inside curves.  The one on the bench is one made from a kit.  With these tools it's very easy to form edges, because you work by hand taking thin shavings it's easy to work with the grain of the wood and avoid any tear out.  Routers, on the other hand, go quickly but it the grain direction changes can be prone to ripping the edge of your board.
     Well, the ovens came yesterday so now it's time to open up the cabinet to make it fit.  Oh yeah, I will be using a router and edge guide to accomplish that!

No comments:

Post a Comment