Monday, December 3, 2012

So, How Do You ……...?

Celtic Case Innards

     The thing about doing custom, one of a kind projects is that you rarely get complacent or bored.  That, in my opinion, is a good thing!  For example, when I was first contacted about making a case for the Celtic Flute, the unknown aspect of this project was how to create the recess for the flute parts to rest in.  In our earliest correspondence I referred to these as "troughs" but that word just didn't convey that elegant image this case will have.  After looking at various designs and things that others had done, I came up with my own solution.

     This first picture shows where we are now, next up will be to shellac and seal this assembly prior to gluing in this high quality, 100% Merino Wool Felt.  It's that deep, rich green color similar to what you may have seen on a pool table.

     The unit starts out with the Sapele ends, Poplar dividers, and a piece of 1/16" Mahogany door skin.  The ends will show so that's why they're made of Sapele, everything else will be covered with the felt.

Basic Structure
   This is sized to just fit into the assembled case.  You may notice how the ends were notched to accept the dividers.  This was the perfect project to use a 23 gauge pinned on, can't imagine trying to apply glue, hold everything square and aligned, and then drive a brad home with a hammer.  I bought the pinner a few years ago for a restoration project that had lots of small moldings to create and re-attach.  The challenge was to create the radius in the bottom of each recess.  Here's how that was done.

Routing the Coves

     The first step was taking a piece of MDF that was longer than the case and cutting a 1/2" cove on each edge.  A small plunge router with an edge guide completed that step.  Boy, is MDF ever a messy product -- dust all over the place!

First Pass on TableSaw

     The tablesaw was used to separate these pieces.  I suppose if this was an official publication this is where I'd put in the disclaimer about keeping your guards in place and that they were removed for photographic clarity but I don't like to lie.  This is how it's done, you could use a push stick and a feather board to increase the safety of this operation but the bottom line sometimes has to be this:  if you're uncomfortable doing any process with your tools than, by all means, DON'T DO IT!  Find another way.

Second Pass on TableSaw

      After making the first pass as shown the fence was readjusted and the blade height was set so that it is just above the thickness of the MDF.  In this instance I am using a push stick.  You need to reach over the end and hold the piece next to the fence to avoid the possibility of it shooting back.  Safety wise, it would have been a better option not to have the cut off piece against the fence but I was confident in handling them this way.  They needed to be consistent in size so I chose not to readjust the fence for each cut.

     The final step was cutting and gluing them in place at the bottom of the dividers.  For this a utility knife did the trick.  My glue of choice for this was Liquid Hide glue.  A bead of glue was applied to the flat sides of the radiused piece and a "rub joint" will hold it all together.  A few coats of shellac to seal everything and then I get to be an upholsterer of sorts!

Cutting the Cove Pieces

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