It seems as if it's been a long time coming but the case is now assembled and the miter keys are glued in and drying. Between my on-going fight with the flu (which I'm determined to win!) and the complexity of the inserts this project is taking longer than I had expected. Let me give you a photographic essay of the entire assembly process.
It started with preparing all of the pieces for the glue up and also getting the clamps pre-set and ready to go. As always, a dry fit is a good habit to insure that things were going to go well.
|Ready for Glue-Up|
The next day it was time to cut the slots to reinforce the miters and add a decorative element to the case. At the time I made it, I thought my jig was over-kill and way to large, however; I must have known I was going to get this commission. I was glad to have the extra size of it to support this case.
|Cutting the Slot for the Keys|
After planing a piece of Maple so that it was a snug fit, it was cut into triangles for the keys. This was easily done with a bench hook and a Japanese fine cut saw.
|Cutting the Keys|
|Cardboard Glue Applicator|
Once the keys were all cut it was time to put them in place. You can see I use a very sophisticated and high tech glue applicator. I've found that for a narrow space like this a piece of cardboard is all you need. First step is wiping it onto the sides of the slot.
|Glue on Bottom of Key|
The technique on this box is one I've done before. After the splines are dry they will be planed smooth and the entire box will be finished. The separation is between the shorter splines in the middle of the box. Notice the mallet? I've learned from experience that the spline material may swell up when the glue gets on it making it almost impossible to seat it my hand. That's where the mallet comes in.
Once the box is separated it'll be time to install the hinges and the catches. First up though will be the egg crate divider system needed for the chess pieces. Yes, I'll make the deadline for delivery!