Nov 16

More stock prep

So while waiting for the steambent walnut to dry, I got on with the mattress platform. First up, ripping out laths for the remaining crossmembers and prepping them.

Is it me or is stock prep the most common hand tool job of all?


I had an end piece of ash about two feet long that wasn’t going to be doing much else, so I chose that for the crosspieces. I wanted to get four out of it, a bit thinner than the walnut crossmembers for the visual look, but not too much thinner.

Then, once I had them ripped out, I had to thickness them down by a quarter inch or so. Four of them. In other words, I turned a 2″x1″x2′ length of ash completely into shavings. Even with Sid, it sucked.


Still, got it done. And Herself even brought me some coffee as it was kinda cold.


That’s marriage for you, right there.


The railway piece is a little repair job for Junior. Hooray for wooden railway sets, they’re easy enough to repair compared to the plastic ones. When those break, that’s it, the whole thing’s toast.

And they fit. Grand so, time to cut the joinery tomorrow…

Nov 16

Steaming cracks

Well, that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.

The steaming jig was ready, the drying form was ready. all the shopping and other stuff was done yesterday, so this morning I finished planing up the two candidates for uprights so they matched perfectly in size, rigged up a wide compression strap from three narrower ones (thanks addresspal for losing my order for a wider one) and then into the plastic tubing one went, and in went the tube from the wallpaper stripper and away we went.


It got steaming pretty quickly, but it was a rather chilly breezy day today (down around 10 degrees or so air temperature at this point) which was depressing the temperature a bit every time the wind breathed wrong.


Some insulation was needed, so the airing cupboard got raided for towels.


And then it was just a case of waiting while the wood steamed, and refilling the tank of the wallpaper stripper about 45 minutes in before it ran out.

While waiting, I worked on the platform for the mattress. First up, double-check that the components matched in size.


Yup, all good. Then took the crossmembers, left the middle one aside for now, cut the other two shorter by about an inch, marked up for a half-inch wide mortice and tenon joint at each corner, and got chopping and sawing. I tried that method where you clamp a board in the face vice and put the board you’re morticing on the benchtop and clamp that to the board in the vice, and it works better than the method where you clamp the moticee board in the vice (morticee board? the thing you’re chopping holes in).

It didn’t turn out too badly. I’m tempted to drawbore these, or at least pin them, but I think the glue will hold them when I glue up. I checked the fit against the mattress again at this point and yup, it’s a solid match. Grand.

Now the downer. Continue reading →

Nov 16


On with the crib, after a few days of sourcing wood and shed hardware…


You wouldn’t think Kendo and carpentry had much in common, but then you try rip cuts with a ryoba…

That’s the last walnut board to be planed and ripped for the frame for a little while might be one or two more to do yet, but I want to get some components made up and get moving on it. So I’m starting with the most independent part of the design, the platform for the mattress.

Measured off three walnut cross pieces, the two walnut long pieces, I need to think about whether there should be more ash cross pieces (I’m leaning heavily towards yes), and there’s another pair of cross pieces to go under the platform to secure it to the frame, but they can wait for now.

Lots of planing to thickness (using a scrub plane on walnut is vaguely wrong somehow) and getting the components square where they need to be and within a mm of each other’s dimensions.


Then laying it out and I think I either need a bigger bench or to tidy the last of the tools off the one I have 😀


They’ll be mortice&tenon joints, not half-laps, I just wanted to get a feel for the size of the thing first. I’ll check again before cutting the joints by laying it out on the mattress itself (just to be sure). Once the pieces for this start coming together, it’ll be relatively fast compared to the stock preparation.

One thing that’s changed in the last few days is that I got a measurement of the mattress height that this will match (sidecar cots’ mattresses are at the same height as the mattress of the bed mommy is in) and it’s much lower than I’d thought (I was using my bed as a rough guideline) which means that the steambent piece can be a single length of walnut from the ground to the rear crossrail, instead of there being a leg, a complicated scarf joint and then the steambent part. That makes things easier, but I might want to use a longer length of walnut for those parts just to be sure I have enough margin. I’ll bend one of the shorter lengths I have now, see how that goes and if it’s not long enough, I’ll prep and use the longer lengths.

Also, I took a plane to that giant sapele board’s smaller bit (the original 8′ board was cut down to 5′ and 3′) and once you plane off the bandsaw marks, it’s magnificent…


I have got to think of a really good use for that 😀