The memories are always there, just waiting for a reason to bubble to the surface. It can be the mouth watering smells, wafting out from a bakery, or the glow of a corn field as the day gets chased away by dusk. For me, it is often the first few bars of a favorite song. Today, driving back from Cedar Rapids, as the sun was setting, and the snow cover fields seemed somewhat less frigid, my childhood memories came knocking. As the car took me home, the radio took me back to 1976. I was nine years old, loved baseball cards, Casey Kasem, and a fun little song by Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight”.
I remember sitting by the stereo, with a cassette in the player, and my finger hovering over the record button, just waiting to hear my new favorite song. At nine years old, I listened to the lyrics, “Thinkin’ of you’s workin’ up my appetite, looking forward to a little afternoon delight.” I imagined that the song was talking about eating bomb pops, which to me would be delightful. What else could it mean? “Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight, gonna grab some afternoon delight”, that is obviously a reference to snacking, isn’t it?
Of course, those who were a bit more mature knew what the song was talking about, or so they thought. Though it is a romantic little tune, the ‘Afternoon Delight’, is in fact, a reference to the band’s favorite lunch choice, from Clyde’s in DC. I learned this many years later, while sitting at the Clyde’s in Chevy Chase Maryland. I looked down and saw the name of the sandwich on the menu, and when I commented to the bartender that there was a song by that title, she smiled, took the menu from my hand and flipped it to the back cover. There was the band, and the article explaining that the song was paying homage to the very sandwich I had ordered.
My first set of 4 pieces of maple, which I had glued together, was not quite as brilliant as I had hoped. The ends had small gaps between a couple of the pieces, and there was a tiny gap in the middle as well. As a group, they were connected to one another with an iron grip, but that isn’t quite good enough. It is important that they be without gaps.
The learning continues. I need to apply glue evenly across the entire surface of the board. I reasoned that if I used my little plastic scraper to press glue into the gaps. Another round of clamping and success was mine. There was a brief round of clapping from the gallery.
I have read of the evils of squeeze out. How it can really mess up the look when one is applying finish. I wanted to avoid squeeze out, so I didn’t apply enough glue. As I looked at my gapless glue up, I took a heavy sigh and examined the amount of glue that was on the surface. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to get rid of, but I was determined to continue my education, so into the vice it went. Out came my belt sander and I proceeded to run it across the edge until there was nary a smidgeon of glue. When the glue was gone, so was the unevenness of the individual pieces of wood.
I thought that it was possible to grind down the edges of my glue up, with my belt sander, but I feared that I would get a really wavy surface. It was much flatter than I imagined. Would it have been easier to run it through a planer? I am certain that it would have been much easier. Would it be simpler to use a hand plane? Yes, it most likely would. Am I, as a person without a planer or the correct hand plane, going to be unable to get a nice surface for my router table? I am not entirely sure yet, but I think it is entirely possible to simply sand it down, until it is flat.
It will take a while. I like sanding, so I will spend the time, because, “My motto’s always been; when it’s right, its right. Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night. When everything’s a little clearer in the light of day. And you know the night is always going to be there anyway. Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight…ooo…Afternoon Delight.”
Feel free to sing along.
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com