Saturday, July 28, 2012

OMG!! John's Using Nails

     Diane likes to give me a bit of hassle for not using nails on furniture and tells me all of China's finest from Walmart, Target, Cost Plus, etal has them!  She knows though that joinery is for things that are made to last and that's the way I like to build them.  You may recall in my Anatomy of a Leg blog how I designed the legs for this project. The L-shaped legs are closed off with a mitered piece to give them a streamlined yet structural appearance.  To clamp all of them in place would have called for specialized, shop made cauls and a whole bunch clamps.  Using an air powered brad nailer makes the work go quicker and it's much easier to line up your parts when they're covered with slippery glue!
     Here's the approach I took.  On some scrap pieces I determined where the brads should be placed so there was no chance they'd come out on the front side -- not a good option.  Masking tape was applied and a line drawn on it to mark the location:

Ready to be Nailed
     Quite easy to apply the glue, hold the back piece in position and nail it on.  Quick work to complete all twelve legs, now to conceal the holes.  I thought that the tape could serve double duty.  Just like taping the inside of a box to keep the glue off of the wood I figured that if the putty was put in with the tape in place the wood wouldn't get stained...

           .... and I was correct, none of that unsightly stain that even Famowood can leave on the wood.  Even though these pieces are on the inside of the table and probably never be seen I don't want to have any blemishes.  If the need arrises to do this again I think the tape should be removed right after the putty has been applied.
Almost Invisible

     The final step before assembly is to smooth out the surfaces with a smooth plane.  This is probably one of my favorite tools, a Lie-Nielsen #4 Bronze Smooth Plane.  I took these pictures and hope that you can see the slight yet significant difference in the surface before and after the Smooth Plane has worked it's magic.  Here it is before:

Before ...
     I'm hoping that you can spot the differences.  There are ever so slight chatter marks made by the planer when the wood was surfaced.  It's subtle but if you ever examine a piece of wood in the light and see slight divots going across the grain.  They could be sanded out but planing them shears the wood and leaves what is considered a "cleaner" appearance.

And After
     It's one of those things you may not spot immediately but if it's all about the wood for you as it is for me this is an important step in furniture design and construction.
     Checking the temperature in the shop when I completed the end table pieces and seeing that it was in the high 80's I decided to give in to my impulse and get some assembly done.  I decided to go ahead since there would only be two joints to glue and get together at a time.  Hopefully the weather cooperates and gives me a low 80 degree reading in the morning.  Then I can get Diane's help to assemble the two end tables.
     Here's how they look paired up and drying.  Just checked the temp and at 4:45 this afternoon it's a toasty 101 and the glue would set up before the clamps are in place!

First Look at some Legs!

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