(As always – click on the pics for a larger view)
I outlined the curve of the original front apron onto the wood block and cut the curves on the bandsaw to make the wooden form:
My bandsaw blade was too dull to resaw the ash well and it started to wander, so I quit after a few inches. Rather than take the time to buy a good resaw blade and build a resaw fence/jig, I decided to resaw on my table saw using a featherboard to keep it tight against the fence. With two 1/8” kerfs, I was able to get three pieces in the neighborhood of 7/32” thickness from the 15/16” x 2 3/4” x 60” boards. To take out the saw marks, I ran the two outside pieces through the planer (with a homemade bed insert for thin planing) and the third middle piece through the jointer and planer and took them down to about 5/32.” You can see the walnut piece on the left for the outside “front” laminate
This gives you a sense of how much it needed to bend before I started slinging glue. The original apron is 1 1/2”, but I went with a ~ 1 1/4” lamination. I believe the 1 1/4” lamination will be at least as stong as the original piece bandsawed from solid soft wood and veneered – probably stronger:
I tried to get my clamps set up as much as possible before hand and I laid out all the pieces before spreading glue. I should have gone and gotten some glue that wouldn’t set up as fast, but lazily I went with my yellow Titebond that I had on hand. Therefore sorry, I didn’t have time to stop and take a picture of spreading glue.
After some deep breaths, a brief walk down the drive cleaning my bi-focal safety glasses, a preliminary prayer and asking the painter next door to pray for me, too, I commenced slinging glue and tightening clamps as fast as I could. After much grunting and groaning, a bucket of sweat, a skinned bleeding knuckle and a pinched bleeding finger . . .
You never have too many clamps! Fortunately, I was able to improvise on the fly and gain some leverage tightening the clamps by hooking a six inch metal C clamp around the clamp handles. Next time, I’ll have a short length of pipe handy that will slip over the end of the pipe clamp handle.
I shut off the lights and went to the house. I’ll let it dry and set for at least 24 hours. But it will probably be at least 72 hours before I get back to the shop for any length of time. I’ll clean it up and show it to you out of the form ASAP. Next: attempting to remove the applied carvings from the original and laminating two slightly curved side seat frame pieces – as well as the back seat frame piece.
-- Paul, Texas