With the border complete I could now focus my attention on the apron…the area beyond the border. Here I wanted to do large 10×10 Pine tiles and then incorporate smaller one inch Hard Rock Curly Maple strip tiles that would mimic the grid square designators on the Old Sailing Maps.
My father built, or I should say, is still building after 20 years, a timber frame mansion for my mother and he had quite a few left over sections of pine timbers. I saved a few and put them in my barn a year prior anticipating this need. Initially I was going to get a sliding table for my bandsaw so that I could keep them long and slice them into tiles that way. The table would not fit in my fathers shop so I cut them up into small blocks so they could fit in between the blade and the support post of the bandsaw.
I cut roughly 48-10×10s and 10-12×12s.
It was clear to me then that my old coping table for the table saw was way to small. So I had to divert energy for a day and make a new one. I used my Kreg Miter Tool Stock to make one that will last so that I will not have to keep making them.
I have already sacrificed the tip of one thumb of in my fathers table saw when I was 19. I do not plan on ever doing it again. So I added a thumb shield. It is a little long and gets in the way of the knobs so it needs to be trimmed but it does its job!
I raised the rail off the table about an 1/8th of an inch so that sawdust would not get in the way of keeping the tiles square.
With the sled done I could begin squaring the tiles. I would have to vacuum of the table about every third tile.
Before I could start laying them out I knew I wanted the four points of the compase to be in different tiles. I selected a section of the 300 year old California Black Oak that my neighbor gave to me and resawed it up into the proper thickness. Then I stickered it in the shop to let it finish acclimating.
Those all cut out and the tiles squared up, I cut out the Rock Maple strips and began to lay everything out.
Once I was satisfied with the lay out I had to number every tile, each with its own code so it would not get confused. I still had more work to do before glue down.
When they were safely numbered I moved onto drilling each of the Rock Maple tiles to receive the 1/8in brass rod which represents the grid square numbers on the map. (I was tempted to inlay numbers…just kidding I didn’t even consider it!)
After the drilling was done I cut all the brass to length and inlaid them using two part 60minute epoxy.
I wanted to do something other than brass in the four maple tiles at the four points of the compass. Originally I was going to use Abalone but I accidentally ordered White Mother of Pearl. Instead of reordering I went ahead with the pearl…It is usually better to be patient and stick with your original plan. The pearl looks good but I still wish I had but the Abalone in. I think it would have been catchier.
Because Mother of Pearl is so thin it is important to layer it when you put it in the floor, otherwise it will be sanded away when finishing. The same is true with Abalone. I layered up to about 5/16 inch thick.
There is more work to to before glue down…
More to follow…
-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate