Oct 19

Drilling and Glue-up

So routed down another 8-9mm in the groove for the LED at one end to give a target zone to aim for.

Now to drill in from the back of the shelf to meet that point. None of my drill bits are really long enough bar some of my auger bits, but I’m not hugely confident of my ability to drill straight-on with the bit and brace when I can’t drill downwards which I thought would be awkward here, so I went off and bought a long drill bit from FAMAG (who got recommended by Crimson Guitars a while back, and I thought for long drill bits, well, they’d know). 

Ever feel like you’ve over-spec’d a tool for a job? Oh well. A few minutes of very careful drilling later, and…

And that’s the last bit to do before the glue-up. I’d fit the LED, but, well, the LEDs didn’t arrive (or rather, the wrong ones did – but I’ll take a look later and see if I couldn’t modify them. Might not do so though because the socket meant to go in that countersunk hole in the back of the shelf has not arrived either.

So, I can’t glue-up in the shed, it’s not big enough. There’s a small deck outside the shed I use for this sort of thing.

That reminds me, there’s a rather large cleanup due once this is finished. But for now, out with the hide glue, the clamps, the cauls, and the hammers. 20 minutes of cursing, belting, giving up and getting more clamps and sticky tape and a lot of confused staring at joints that were no longer as snug as they used to be later and…

It’s not… terrible. Though that was one of the more annoying glue-ups I’ve ever done.

I mean, I knew before day one of this project that this clamping setup would be terrible, but still, this was painful. Also, I really need to spend some time reviving those clamps, they’re fantastic things but they’ve been in the elements unprotected for too long and they’ve rusted.

Having six hands would have been useful too…

Somehow those dovetails are now less well-fitting than when last fettled. It has been some time, there would have been some wood movement but it’s still surprising. Oh well.

This one’s the worse of the two, but even at that, it looks worse than it really is because of the shadowlines – I need to spend a while rounding this corner off and fettling the flow from upright to shelf. Glue should be cured by tomorrow, I can take a stab at it then.

Six or seven hours in the clamps later, I removed the clamps and let the shelf sit in the shed to cure fully. It doesn’t look terrible yet.

Looks even enough…

Definitely too big for my shed though. Yikes.
So, still needs to cure off overnight, then shape the top corners, glue some leather to the contact points where it leans against the wall, add another coat or two of polyx (the one coat on it so far is actually quite nice-looking), polish the resin a bit, fit the LED lights… but those are mostly small jobs compared to this. We’re easily more 95% of the way there. Of course, that last 5% can ruin everything still…

Feb 19


Shed time again (yes, it’s been a while, work stepped up a notch and it’s been a bit miserable and chilly here (granted, not -40C but you can’t move in my shed very much so you feel the cold rather a bit). Chopped the last housing joint and then spent some time wrestling with pieces that are definitely too large for the shed to do a test assembly.

Rather awkward to put together (and those clamps are the largest I have, they were comfortably large enough to make the workbench with padding on the clamps and still they only barely make it).

That’s going to dent the outside corners of the edges, but that’s okay, they’ll be shaped to a round profile and those corners are coming off anyway. I will need to take the angle grinder and flapdisk to the clamps though, they’ve been “stored” outdoors for some time and the rust is criminal (don’t judge me, there was noplace else to put them and the job of rehabbing them has been on the list for a while now).

More worryingly, the housing joints don’t fit very well…

And as a result, the sides are pushed out of true.

I mean, the fix for that is pretty straightforward (fettle the joints) but it’s going to be a bit of a pain disassembling and reassembling the whole carcass.
But, once that is done, I can get on with cutting the dovetails for the top shelf, and once that is done, I can take the whole thing back to pieces again and trim the left side’s foot (it’s a mm long, which might well get hidden by the carpet, but it’ll annoy me…) and then there’s a long bout of inlay work and shaping before the final assembly and glue-up and finishing process.

And then I’m doing small stuff for a while. This building furniture that won’t fit through the door nonsense is a pain in the fundament.