Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Slow and steady...

It's been a month since the last post and things are moving at a tortoise pace.  I've just about finished the lower cabinet of the bookcase, the section of the piece that I think will take the most time.  This past month I worked on the feet, played with some finish, made some trim molding, and installed the backing.  Here's where we are now:

The finish is Watco Danish Oil in "Cherry" which I'm regretting using a little bit: I should have just gone with "Natural" color instead...the cherry-colored cherry is a little much.  The feet are bracketed feet.  The six visible sides are semi-ogees and the two back sides are blanks.  The front feet are joined with half-blind dovetails, the rear feet have through dovetails.  Here's an "in progress" shot:

I first joined the two pieces of each foot, then pulled them apart and traced the pattern on them.  The front faces are longer than the side pieces, so the side pattern is a little more "compressed."  I just eyeballed it.  A rabbet was then planed into the top interior of each piece; this is what the carcass sits in.  I then used a forstner bit to get the tight radius near the corner and then the bandsaw to cut the rest of the pattern.  The picture above show a big mistake I made by tracing the pattern the wrong way on the near piece and drilling the hole.  I had pretty much resigned to starting over on the foot, but then I realized that the  hole actually wouldn't interfere with the correctly installed pattern, so it was no big deal.  This was a double-d'oh moment: first for the initial screw up, then for not immediately realizing that it was no big deal.  I can usually save a small flub, but I suppose boring a 1.25" hole in the wrong place just initially struck me as unsaveable.  A woodworking buddy then allowed me to use his oscillating spindle sander...one of the coolest and most effective power tools I've ever used.  Things worked out:

The molding was made with a router.  I routed the ogee on the edge of a quartersawn board, and then ripped it off at the correct width with the bandsaw.  Trimming was done on the shooting board.

The back is simply a couple ship-lapped boards nailed in place:

I used a uniform gap between boards to disguise any irregularities.

That's all for now; next will be the top shelves.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Back at it...

I made some extra cash doing a little carpentry work back in January and blew it all in one place: cherry lumber from Craigslist.  I got about 220 board feet for $450...not too shabby.  It had been poorly stored and a lot of it was pretty severely cupped and warped.  Not a big deal though...it was 5/4 lumber, so much thicker than I needed.  Home Depot just happened to have 13" Delta planer blades on sale for 50% off...perfect timing; in the end I got a lot of good wood out of it.

The plan is to make some nice bookcases out of it.  The one I'm working on now will have a cabinet on the bottom and then some shelves on top of it.  So far the casework for the bottom is coming together nicely:

This is only a dry fit...gaps between joints will be closed during the glue up.

The interior contains a single shelf:

The top is joined to the sides with hidden (full-blind) dovetails:
This is the first time I've tried this joint and I'm pretty pleased with it.  The great thing is that it only has to be functional...the tails and sockets don't actually have to look good because they'll never be seen.

The frame for the doors has a tongue running around the outside of it:

The tongues fits into a groove running around the inside of the case:
This method allows easy alignment of the frame within the case with a consistent offset from the front edge.

The bottom is also dovetailed to the sides, but very differently:
This is just a quick and simple joint that will keep the bottom from falling out if it's ever picked up.  The exterior of the joint will eventually have a run of molding around it, so it won't be seen either.

The panels for the doors were resawn from a single board--resawn on a new bandsaw, but that will be another entry.  I would've liked to have had the panels symmetrical (book-matched), but with book-matching the grain ends up running in opposite directions.  This isn't normally a big deal but in this case the grain of the panels was somewhat iridescent and changed color at different angles.  So had I book-matched them, they would've always been different colors.  With one of them flipped vertically, the colors match.

The next steps will be ship-lapping some planks on the back, making some molding, and making feet for it.  Should be some new techniques, so I'm looking forward to it.