Jul 19

Finish line

Big parcel arrived in the post…

Mind you, it felt light, but still, I think this might be overpacking 😀

Inlay binding. Interesting to watch it being made if you ever get the chance. It’s supposed to be a purely decorative element, and it costs so much less than the shipping that I got a few different bands, but I’m only interested in one…

And the point of this pattern isn’t normal decoration…

Cut to width, knife in lines, chisel and #722 router plane down to depth (the depth being the thickness of the binding), and chisel it just a hair too wide, so add a piece of stringing to close the gap…

Let the glue set and trim to the surface…

And there’s the finish line for the racetrack 😀

I think that’s the last of the stringing for this shelf as well. Next up, route out the central portion, seal the grain with grain filler, stick down reflective film, and pour blue resin…

Meanwhile the DIY is done and the fridge is secure.

And people wonder why MDF gets such a bad rap. Not the best choice in the world for supporting the weight of a full fridge freezer, especially when that’s likely to mean lots of vibration as you open and close the door a lot every day for years, possible liquid leaks, the vibration from the compressor and so on. Surface tops, substrates, I can kindof see the idea there if you need cheap flat surfaces, but this is just a stupid application. I’m surprised it lasted this long. I’ll have to make something better from a proper wood once I get through with the desk. 

Jul 19

Stringing along…

Finally back in the shed after a few weeks of long work days, and it’s time to try to get the stringing finished. 

First up, prepping some material, cutting the strings and planing the edges reasonably straight, then thicknessing them with the scraper tool which I’ve tweaked slightly. 

Still needs a lot more tweaking though, it’s still rather rough. 

Straight lines first, then on to heat-bending the stringing for the curves…

And after letting the glue set a bit, out with the chisel and lop off the excess and take the stringing down to a few thou over the surface (the final smoothing pass will take everything to the same plane, but I’ll hold off on that until the epoxy and everything else is done). 

There’s a bit of inlay banding for the start/finish line on the racetrack, and then there’s a large blue epoxy sea for the Titanic to sink on, and maybe some other bits and pieces if I can think of any. 
Then time to smooth the surface, and then on to do decoration on the sides and other shelves, run the LED lighting and then I can do final assembly and installation.

May 19

Desk inlay

So the box is now done (bar a branding that I somehow forgot and will be trying to do on the roof of the office tomorrow), there was a surprisingly short clean-down and then back to the desk. 

That’s the actual desk itself and my box of education to the left (as in, “why would anyone want furniture built in cherry, it’s so awful and orange” followed by opening the box and seeing what nice cherry looks like and then going “why do we use any other kind of wood?” 😀 Thanks again custard! 😀 )

I have a very basic idea in my head for what the desk surface will be – a racetrack surrounding an ocean complete with iceberg (the Titanic has to be able to hit something after all). There’ll be an outline of stringing for most of that, and an outline around the margin of the desk and probably something on the edges too, just because. And there will have to be something in that back left corner, probably Calum’s name. But first, (well, after a small tidy-up of a corner or two with the spokeshave), the margin. So out with my inlay tools.

New additions to the homemade line cutter and the lie nielsen radius cutter are the veritas inlay chisel (still in the box) and the veritas groove cutter (think of the line cutter, but now in freehand pen form). There’s also a bending form I got for the curved bits because last time I did stringing around curves, the need for one of them became obvious.

And of course the trusty pizza cutter with the tungsten carbide blade…

So I cut the margin stringing groove first.

And then laid out the overall design in pencil with compass and straight edge. It’s not going to be a very classical design (this is a desk for a seven-year-old) so I can be a bit… straightforward with the design, mostly. The “road” will follow the front margin, have a straight run from left front to right back, then an s-curvy bit back to the front right corner. The inside will have a half-inch or so of space and then all the internal area will be routed out, probably with my hated trim router – I need to buy a decent bit for that work – and then I’ll lay down a reflector sheet and pour blue resin into the cavity (there’ll be an LED light overhead in the final desk, so the reflector will make the “water” look less dark). Ironically, that straight run from left to back right is probably the bit I’m most worried about – I am *not* cutting that with a router, so I’ll clamp a straightedge and try to cut it with the freehand groove cutter. That’s the most risky bit. 

I then tried test fitting some of my veneer into the slots, and of course it’s a little thick, but I knew that ahead of time. 

First thought was to just use the anvil on the back of the imp vise and hammer the veneer to compress fibres in the wood, which would then relax and expand back once in the slot (this is an old japanese technique with a name I can’t pronounce). But either I’m not hitting hard enough, or the wood hasn’t much room for compression. So, plan B, we need one of these:

Except they cost 70-80 euro and ffs, they’re a bit of wood and a bit of metal, so…

Yes, I know, it’s rough. It was half ten at night, I can’t use the angle grinder that late 😀 I’ll trim it to size and do some filing and polishing later. This is a proof-of-concept 😀

Set thickness with feeler gauge, clamp plate to wood…

Then draw the veneer strip through multiple times. The idea is sound; I need to trim the ex-saw-blade stock to a saner size, then form an edge for scraping over on the end. Shouldn’t take too long. How to clamp it so I can still vary the thickness is a more involved question – just drilling bolt holes and making them slots in the saw plate should do it, but for now I’ll just trim the plate to size, form the edge, and clamp it with some c-clamps. I can polish it more later on.