Wow it’s been a solid month and a half since my last blog entry and I still have no bed.
But I do have a new baby and I can say that for a good four weeks or so my time in the shop has been minimal.
That being said I have been able to finish rough cutting everything and complete putting together the four legs for the bed.
Some notes on my progress:
I finally got all the wood I needed and rough cut it all. Here it is all on my workbench. This actually wound up taking me longer than I had anticipated. Some of these boards had crooks or slight cups that needed to be addressed. I did 95% of this on my bandsaw. I love my bandsaw for rough cutting.
Western Maple has tons of figure! Holy cow I didn’t even buy special figured boards or anything. This was just picked from the lumber yard – so far one out of every four boards has got some really nice pop to it. You can’t really tell when it’s in the rough. It’s very interesting for me – it only really comes out once you start jointing or planing it.
Here’s one of the boards after planing – I know it looks like a bunch of bumps on the surface, or a really bad cut, but it’s just the light. It’s all “quilted” or “boiled” grain. The surface is smooth and flat all the way down, but the light just plays tricks on the eye when you try to stare at it. Looks pretty cool.
Of course there is a downside to this – you need to be VERY careful when jointing or planing. And on many boards, there’s really no “correct” way to feed the wood…there is only a “less damaging way” because of the alternating grain pattern. I think I”m going to have to spend a bit of extra time sanding when it’s time to finish the project up.
Here’s my setup for jointing. I have a relatively inexpensive 6” jointer which is directly connected to my “Thein Baffle” garbage can separator, which is placed in front my of my HF DC. Just as a side note – I built that separator last year and I just BARELY knew what I was doing. There are ill fitting parts everywhere. It still works extremely well. Well over 95% of the dust and chips stay in the can.
My planing setup is pretty much the same – I just a Delta 12.5” planer with a home-made dust collection jig that attaches to the back If you have not done this yourself, I strongly recommend it. The amount of dust, shreddings and chips created by my planer is insane. I used to hate using my planer because it just had one of those chip deflectors that blew the shavings back onto the wood and operator…what a mess. This is a dream. I should probably do a small video or blog entry on my box. I think most people think it’s more difficult than it actually is.
Here’s the inside of the trash can after planing and jointing the legs:
I’ve emptied the trash can about 6 times since I’ started using the jig last fall. I haven’t had to empty the bag on my DC once. And the level of chips / dust in the DC has not increased in months.
Well, all my leg pieces got jointed, planed and cross cut to length:
I have to say that the maple looks great. I know a lot of people dislike Western (Big Leaf) maple because it’s a soft maple and therefore somewhat inferior in strength to Hard Eastern maple, but I think it still looks great. Also, I really don’t think the fact that it’s softer than eastern maple is a big deal. In terms of strength it’s actually pretty similar to cherry.
I did lazy man’s mortises for the legs, as the plans call for. There are three leg board which are laminated together. The inner leg board has two notches cut out which turn into the mortise when you glue everything up:
The plans advise you to glue up all four legs together side by side…I was not feeling that frosty. So I did mine one at a time…took longer, but I think it allowed me not to panic.
This is the end product:
Overall this thing is working out well so far. I’ve cleaned up the glue and trimmed the legs to final dimensions. Now to work on the headboard and footboards…that will be more difficult I think…we’ll see what happens!
-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.