Dang it! I went back through after posting the final entry and now I see that I forgot to tag this one with the blog header, so it got left out. Now that I tag it, it inserted it at the end. I’ll see if there’s a way to re-order them, but if not I at least learned something.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for, or at least I have. It’s been about two years since I last fired up the carving wheel in anger, and it’s obvious I am a little rusty. The setup:
The wheel and grinder are both just cheapo brand equipment, but for every so often they seem to work well enough. I started off by drawing a pattern with a marking crayon. There is no way I’ll be able to follow it exactly in any sense, so there’s no need to be too picky or neat with the crayon. I just do enough to make sure I don’t turn the wrong direction once the sawdust starts to flyin’. You can aee the eraser, which does actually work pretty well to remove the crayon when I decide to tweak things.
I clamped the sides down to the bench with the front edge hanging off about two inches or so. The extra room keeps the wheel clear of the clamps when I get to the edges. I do a lot of turning and clamping to get the wheel positioned where I want it, since it will dig in harder (does that make sense?) on the edge I’m “leaning” into the wood. The layout accounts for this so I can’t do all of one face in a single clamping position.
Then the part I love… Sanding! Oh wait.
Sanding actually isn’t end-of-the-world bad. I just use my random orbit sander and go up through grits until I have a base for whatever finish I am planning. In this case, I will likely spray it with a film finish, so 150 is probably about all that’s required. The first round with the 50 grit is by far the longest lived and most work. That carving rasp leaves some really deep gouges, and even with 50 grit they don’t come out too rapidly. I also smooth over the edges a bit during sanding to give it a little more “flow.” Here is the top after 50 grit.
To sand the sides, I clamped it to the face of the bench. At this point, the drawer fronts are still just friction fit in the face frames, and you can see that I added clamps across the seams to keep them from pushing back during carving and sanding.
Here it is sanded on the sides to 80 grit, only a few more steps to go (about 2 1/2 to 3 hours of sanding at this point)
Time for a break. I went ahead and wiped a section with lacquer thinner just to see what it was going to look like.