Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just as Advertised -- 5+ Hours Later!

The Innards! 
     If you can make out the picture at the left you'll see this is what I wanted.  Each half will be a mirror image of the other with the King & Queen in the largest niches in the center.  The wide area on the bottom/top two rows will be filled with a solid piece of Walnut which will have the locking mechanism for the inner lids.  As is my unfortunate habit, I made the joinery on the snug side but that was easy enough to fix.
     Any wood that comes off of a planer will always show some type of chatter marks.  This is true no matter how carefully the machine is set up.  I have a Powermatic, 15" Planer with a Byrd helical head.  Works great but the chatter marks are there none the less.  In lots of furniture or other wooden items you'll see those marks, I've tried to photograph them on this piece.

Lower Right, See the Vertical Lines?
     The way most folks remove them is through sanding but if you know me, I'm not a great fan of sanding.  It's messy, wastes material, and most importantly I feel it muddles the grain of the wood and is apparent through the finish.  Planing is the best way to get rid of those marks.  Short pieces can be held with a bench hook like this:

Bench Hook to Hold Small Dividers for Planing
     Longer pieces can be secured to the bench like this:

Smoothing the Long Pieces
     I now have a beautiful, bronze smoother plane that works great but you don't necessarily need a top end tool to get good results.  My main plane is an old Stanley Jack plane that I've had since the 60's.  Before I was able to afford or justify the Lie-Nielsen plane I have now I had two blades for the Stanley.  One was sharpened square and used for edge work while the other one had a slight chamfer to it so it could be used for smoothing.  I've taught many students how to accomplish excellent planed surfaces with mid-quality tools.  The key seems to be in learning how to sharpen it and then set it up properly.  Maybe it's just me but I get a lot of satisfaction creating a mirror smooth surface and piles of whispery shavings!  After surfacing both sides of every piece of this egg crate they slip together easily.  All that remains for them is to clean up and radius the top edge and then apply a few coats of shellac.
     I ended day with laminating a piece on to the edge of the Maple needed for the top and bottom panel of the case.  I need a piece approximately 10 5/8" wide, as luck would have it the piece I have ranges from about 11" on one end and 10 1/4" on the other.  That's what's meant by "random width, random length" when you buy hardwoods.  The joint will be right on the edges and more than likely be cut away for the rabbet.  Check out the chatoyance of this piece, especially to the left of the center clamp.

Love it!
     I did mess around a bit with the coloration on the iPhoto but it'll finish beautiful.  This piece will be difficult to smooth plane.  That's the down side to beautifully figured wood, the figure is caused by the grain going every which way!

No comments:

Post a Comment