I found time to get some shop time, and wanted to get back on track and get this project going (hard to do after a long pause). last time around I was milling the lumber, when my planer broke down on me in the middle. I have then milled some boards with hand planes, and fixed my planer, but at this point, I was a bit confused what was milled already, what thicknesses, and how much material do I have (more of a do I have enough? curiosity).
I still had to mill the apple lumber and add it as strips into the whole thing.
So. I decided to step back and check what I have. I grouped boards by thickness (I originally planed boards to max thickness I could before trying to mix and match) using a dial caliper – It’s a very convenient dial caliper that I got from Lee valley for the purpose of woodworking. it’s easy to read in 1/64th steps.
Stop! now, I did use a dial caliper – not that I’m interested in 1/64 accuracy here, and for that matter – I actually didn’t even bother to check the numerical value of the thickness, but a caliper is easy to set to a given thickness, lock it, and using the locked mouth opening check other boards for identical thickness.
whatever board fell into ‘misc’ reading that didn’t match another board – I put it aside and planed it down to match another group of boards.
I also smoothed out 1 face of each apple slice, glued it to a maple board, let it dry, and planed it flat and smooth to my other boards thickness. these would give an accent to the board – subtle, but visible.
One I had all the boards finally faced, planed parallel, jointed, and ripped to +width it was glue up time. Now this is one of those things that are hard to teach over the net I guess. It’s easy to teach and learn technique (generally speaking), but it’s not as easy understanding capacities, and quantities. I understand how to cut a M&T joint and glue it up – but it’s a different thing understanding how many one could glue at the same time. I know how to put together a butcher block – but what I had a hard time was estimating how many boards I could glue together at one time before I start running into time constraints with the glue setting in. Add to that the fact that it started to get cold here and it was a recipe for trouble.
unlike previous projects, I decided I could glue the whole thing together in 1 go. yup, I’m optimistic. I had my clamps open accordingly, and all the boards lined up. Halfway through I could see the glue starting to white out which usually means its too cold, and it’s starting to harden up. It didn’t feel too cold yesterday, but the glue apparently felt differently. So, halfway through the entire thing I decided to do it in 2 parts, and clamped the whole thing down. the setup wasn’t the best, and since some of the glue started drying it made things worse. Since I milled some of the boards a while ago, I also believe that some boards were not milled properly. All of this put together resulted in a glue up panel that is far from pleasing – there are some gaps, and some glue lines that I feel are too weak. Time will tell, but I think I may have to rip and reglue some joints in the future.
That said, the next morning I had a 40”x12”x1-5/8” board to work with:
Since it wasn’t perfectly flat on either side, I ended up flattening one side with my #6 to that I can lay it flat on the TS sled and trim it to final size:
I then cut it down to 3 12” boards which will make the set and are all aligned within:
The plan is to use sliding dovetail to lock the 3 together, or just 2, or just use them individually. The middle board will be hollowed out to take a drawer for bread crumbs, and 1 other board will have grooves to be used as a trivet.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.