Friday, June 15, 2007

Current Work

I haven't been spending quite as much time in the shop since the challenge table was completed. What I have been working on is getting finish on the other projects which are ready for it.

First up is the nightlight since we don't want Snowflake to be a teenager before he gets it. I'm finishing it before I assemble it. I've got stain on all the parts. Next up is the finish coat. I'm going to go with polyurethane for that. I should get to this on Monday.

I've also done a little final sanding on the wall cabinet. I've also decided one of the doors needs a slight adjustment - it's rubbing on the bottom. That'll be a round of planing. Then I'll stain the walnut panels on the doors and the shelves which are also walnut. I think I'm going to finish it off with shellac.

Next up will be the foot stools. I've found a recipe for grain filler that uses pumice and boiled linseed oil. I've got the ingredients, just need to find a time to try it out. The grain needs to be filled because the hickory has open grain. Stay tuned for progress and pictures.

In class (Thursday nights till mid July) I've been working on hiker boy's advent calendar. Last week I remilled/recut the wood for the case. The design of this was still evolving at that point (I finished it last night) and when I first cut the case parts I forgot to leave room for drawer handles inside the case. Last night was more milling and a little bit of cutting.
  • planed the stock for the drawer fronts
  • jointed, planed and cut the stock for the door stiles and rails
    • I may have to repeat this since some of the pieces sprung into a lovely curve after cutting
  • jointed, planed and resawed (explanation below) stock for the drawer sides
When looking for a thin piece of wood there are basically 3 options - buy thin lumber which is expensive, plane a thicker piece which can waste a lot of wood, or resaw which maximizes the use of the lumber. Basically what a woodworker means when they saw they resawed a piece of lumber is that they cut the wood into thin strips. A lot of times this is done on a band saw which has a blade that is a loop (think rubber band) with teeth on one edge. This can also be done on a table saw - usually by raising the blade to 1/2 the height of the wood and running the wood through twice. Or a combination of table saw and band saw can be used - run it through the table saw to get most of the wood cut away and finish up on the band saw.

The reason the band saw is the preferred method is the blade is much thinner so there is less waste. But because the blade is thinner it is harder to get a straight cut. It's a trade off and there are lots of products to help.

Since the piece I was resawing was not very wide (2") I just cut it in one pass on the table saw. Yes, I used a push stick! Next time I'll run the cut pieces through the planer to even them up.

On tap for next week -
  • recutting the pieces for the door frames
  • cutting plywood panels for the doors, drawer bottoms and back
  • milling and cutting pieces for the drawer supports/dividers

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