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Yet another box stores all my oddments of 'crap'...bits of mdf, small oddments of ply, which are useful at some point during a making process.
Anything too small for the green boxes lives in a drawer under the bench. Stuff in here is usually small, maybe a bit longish and often a bit skinny, but always useful for all sorts of little jobs.
Under the sharpening table is a rack with all the fatter, shorter lumps that won't go anywhere else...Greenheart, Indian Ebony, a bit of Ash and one or two pieces of Mahogany. Another rack...
...is positioned under the pillar drill, this time specifically for bits of Elm.
I finished the walnut cabinet on a stand a while ago and positioned in the lounge. To begin with, it looked great and I couldn't see anything that looked out of place. The cabinet itself was fairly chunky...as it was intended to be and the doors lined up perfectly.
Happy bunny so far...but the more I glanced at the stand, the less enthusiastic I became about it...it just didn't look right. The colour contrast was too great, but the most annoying thing is that the legs (at 32mm square) are just a mite too chunky.
The more I glanced at it, the more certain I became that something had to be done.
So last Saturday, some more legs and rails in English Walnut were cut (well over size) and are now quietly conditioning in the 'shop. With any luck and a following wind, the new stand will be a nice little project for next winter.
In the meantime, I have to finish off the current Japanese lamp by making the shoji panels (frames are already made) then repeat the performance by re-making the panels on another lamp (this time in English Oak), then make a curved door, wall hung cabinet in Oak...
Wish I had a Kit Kat.
There's been a fair bit of progress on the Japanese Lamp project, without, I'm happy to report, any dire or assorted 'cock-ups' , which for me, dear peruser, is a bit of a bloody miracle!
The first pic above shows the various smaller components hanging from a line and if you've ever been to Naples, you'll know exactly what they remind you of. Masking off the pre-glued Doms and suspending them from a cord means that I was able to finish all sides in one hit, using a couple of thin coats of matt Osmo-PolyX (great stuff by the way)
Once all the interior surfaces were dry and waxed, it was time for a trial assembly of the lower panels, made in Ipe, or Brazilian Walnut (band sawn veneers over 4mm ply). No real Doms used here, but 5mm bits of ash cut to the right size.
Having checked it all, there were three gluing stages to get to the point above, where a long 22" jointer was used as a 'super-smoother' to level each of the sides, after which the....
...router could be used (with an extended base) to make the rebates all round for the shoji panels. With the corners squared out, the exterior frame was polished and waxed. The eight little stubs were then individually marked with Roman numerals using a 3mm chisel...
...and if you click on the pic to enlarge it, you can clearly see the markings. This means that by aligning the 'III' on the shoulder with the 'III' on the frame, the stub, once shot in and sanded, will fit...
...exactly with no 'step' or overlap.
Clever, ain't it?
Once the stubs were hung out and polished (as before) they were glued in place...
...a pair at a time.
However, that's not quite the end of the saga, because I had a small parcel of Ipe left over and I found that it's one of the nicest cabinet woods that I've ever used in a long time. Being somewhat of a parsimonious old git I decided not to waste it, so I made a small...
...box out of it.
So far, so good.
This is a shot taken a while ago and you can see that there are a couple of boards for Bevel Up (BU) and the one in the foreground is for Bevel Down (BD) blades.
I've also been exclusively using LV BU planes, with a bed angle of 12deg, so in theory, to get more or less the correct honing angle or around 45deg, I should have been using the BU board, top right.
Except I wasn't.
Some while ago, those boards were replaced with others and I never got around to making the correct individual board for the BU blades...I kept on using a 30deg one, which of course meant that my effective pitch was now 42deg, which for practical purposes is a mite too low.
So how did this wondrous discovery come about?
I've recently been using some American Cherry, which is pretty benign stuff, but there's a tendency for it to 'tear' on the quarter sawn face...which was happening quite alarmingly as I was merrily planing away. I then went back to the honing station and had a look at the projection board I'd been using...
...and then the penny dropped!
I've now made another little board with a projection of 40deg, so now my effective pitch on all my BU blades is 52deg...
...and no more 'tear out'.
...with a couple of removable bases, so that one or both of them can be hoicked out when needed.
Especially useful if you need to cramp from the other side of the bench top, as above for supporting one side of a frame on the Japanese Lamp project. When the current piece of the job has been done, replace the bases and all the odds n'sods that live permanently in the bench well...
...such as my Star Trek mug for pencils and brushes.
Is 'the Force' with you, or have I got the wrong franchise?
In case you hadn't worked it out, one of these joints is difficult to make...four of the things linked together is well nigh bloody impossible! But the impossible becomes simple if Domino jointing is used but its absolutely critical that all the component parts meet and match. Any little 'step' is going to stick out like the proverbial...
Firstly, I decided to use a couple of 30mm boards of American Cherry, which were machined to 22 plus a 'gnats todger' and then hand planed to exactly 22mm square, which is just about the smallest size you can comfortably use in a Domino, bearing in mind that the doms themselves are only 20mm wide.
Having marked out the centre line of each slot, positioned with a pencil line....
...I then marked out each Dom mortise with a big 'D' (shown above).
Unusually for me, I realised the application of a bit of brain power (ha!) could result in a way to exactly register the machine on any face, so I built a tight fitting box to ensure that the edge the Domino rested against it.
All I needed to do was to cut the first mortise...
...spin the wood through 90deg to reveal another 'D' and the new slot would correspond exactly with the original.
What wasn't quite so clever was that the mortises weren't in the centre of the timber as they were 'out' by a mm, which caused a little bit of re-jiggling to be done when the joining rails and their mortises were cut. Once I got that sorted out, it was reasonably straight forward to cut all the other bits.
I'm getting to the stage now, where I think, only think mind you, that I may have caught some nasty disease or affliction, because there are thirty planes there (one of which is a signed JK original.)
I don't have a problem...really, I don't, sort of...but with the value of the hardware on that table I could probably pay off the national debt of a small country.
Now where the hell did I put that Axminster catalogue?
However, I didn't like the use of blue tape...messy, sticky and a bit impractical, so I've taken the concept a stage further. Delving into the oddments box, I came across some lengths of ash and machined them to about 6mm thick and 20mm wide. I then used a 6.4mm router cutter (1/4" to the enlightened readership across the 'Big Wet') and made a slot up the middle of each... then lop off one end at 45deg.
They're used for transferring, or measuring internal dimensions. Simply slide the two bits together till the square ends touch, tighten the butterfly nuts and remove the sticks by turning anti-clockwise...the sticks won't work if the ends are left square as they can't be removed.
In fact, so clever is the idea that I decided to make a second, smaller pair...
... shown above.
With all the various bits laid out, there's a large combination of sticks that can be assembled to measure just about any dimension.
If that's not a cunning plan, I'd like to know what is...
As it's the 1st April, here's how it was done. Sometimes it pays dividends to think laterally...it also helps to own a Festool Domino.
At other times, something pops up straight away...such as the Japanese lamp on page 82 in the first edition Alan Peter's must have book, 'Cabinet Making, the Professional Approach'.
We need another lamp in the lounge and SWIMBO was rather taken with the photo in the book, but at the top of the frame on each corner is a construction that looks like my pic, where the rails have been extended by 40mm or so.
This was a practice piece, but if you can work out how it was made, you can have a week's membership, free and gratis, to this Blog...now there's an offer you won't receive every day!
Don't have nightmares!...