Tuesday, April 9, 2013

UpDate on Latest Etsy Custom Order and Mystery of the Planer

    First of all, what the heck happened to our spring like weather?  Over the weekend I washed and put away what I call my "winter over-alls", the heavy stone-washed Carharts with the double knees and all!  In the summer time I switch to a pair of their denim ones instead. Also put away the heater figuring that with our daytime highs reaching the upper 80's I surely wouldn't be needing that either.  Well, the wind blew (30-50 mph) and the temps dropped down to the 50's which for most of you is still downright balmy but for us desert rats ---- not so much!  Work goes on just the same, just wanted to complain a little.  We're supposed to get close to a high temperature record on Thursday which was 88 degrees back in 1985.
     Fell one day behind in my schedule for the two boxes due to some adjustments on my planer.  You may remember my post where I had rotated all of the carbide cutters to have a fresh edge.  This is after having the planer for 7 years or so.  Well, the cut became worse instead of better and there was a huge amount of snipe at both ends of the board.  Turns out that the in feed and out feed roller were out of adjustment and putting way to much pressure on the stock as it was being fed into the cutter.  Somewhat of a mystery, there's only .02 difference between the height of the cutter compared to the rollers.  Only thing I can imagine is that over the years the cutting edge wore down and the performance deteriorated ever so slightly, then when the cutters were renewed every thing went the other way.  Oh well, just a mystery that may come up whenever the blades are changed.  Once done I was able to accurately plane the Walnut to fit the slot at each corner of the boxes.

Measuring Key Length

     I really do relish the quietness of hand work, the length of the key was set with a small combination square and placed on a bench hook.

Cut to Length
     For this I use a Japanese razor saw which makes quick work of cutting the key.

Gluing Keys in Place

     The final step is to glue the key into the slot previously made on the tablesaw.  High tech work here with your standard toothpick glue applicator and a small hammer to set it firmly into the slot if needed.  Adding miter keys to the joint can be interesting,  many times I make the key fit snugly into the slot but too snugly!  You know that because the glue causes the grain to swell and you can barely fit it into the slot -- that's where the little hammer comes in.  This was done yesterday morning and due to the unusually cold weather decided to wait until today to cut and finish them off.  On a typical spring day here in the desert the glue would set up in a matter of hours but with the drop in temperature decided giving it 24 hours was a wise choice.
     Off to the shop to get these boxes completed and shipped out as promised.

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