12
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…


06
Jun 18

Splitting rabbets

So, another housing joint to chop…

Giving the new chisel mallet a workout. So far, it’s working very well. Chopped the housing joints as per yesterday (had to take a pause to take the #08 to the edges in the vice, I’d missed a small bow in the edge so I wanted to correct that before marking out for the new joint).

All grand. Did a test assembly and everything fitted and was square. Excellent. Then thought about the back and decided to rebate it in, but with a stopped rebate (the client ūüėÄ doesn’t want the back to extend all the way to the ground), so marked out for that and got out the #778 and suddenly realised that on one side (and of course, the side I’m starting on), the #778 is the wrong handedness. Bugger. So off with the fence and the rods and we attack it from the other side, treating the #778 like an old wooden rebate plane. Which is a pretty hairy routine – tilt it over on the inboard side, run the point of the blade along the knife line to dig its own reference edge, then drop the outboard side gradually to work down to a shallow but level rebate and then plane to depth… except that the stopped rebate bit means the plane isn’t of use for the last two or three inches. Bugger. Well, you can chop a rebate with a chisel…

Bloody complicated rabbit this. Starting to question the wisdom of the idea. And then on almost the last chisel chop getting the wall of the rebate vertical, the inevitable happened…

Well, feck.

Short crack, too thin for PVA or hide glue, don’t want to split it off and glue it back on, so… low viscosity superglue, your time has come! Held it gently open, and dropped in thin superglue until I could see it running all down through the crack and then clamp the crack shut and set aside overnight.

James Wright did a long series of tests on wood glue recently and CA glue (superglue) very surprisingly blew most of the competition away in several categories from strength to filling ability to shearing force and so on, so maybe this will work.

If not, I’ll break it off completely and reglue it with PVA and accept the surface defect, but hopefully it won’t come to that…