Well it was now time to start making some sawdust, hopefully something would come of it in the end. I started by selecting a board that was about 7” wide to allow for a 4 1/4” and a 2 3/8” rip. Then starting at the beginning of the plan I transferred the board lengths to the piece and cut them to length allowing for an extra inch for adjustment. For the shorter pieces, I left them attached to a longer piece until I cut the dado slot to receive the inset.
I numbered all the pieces along the board to make sure that I could keep track of piece position and grain. I wanted the grain to flow through the piece so it didn’t look like a bunch of random pieces of lumber.
Then I ripped the 4 1/4” piece to width.
After the pieces were cut to length, I setup the stack dado set in the TS and cut a 2 3/8” dado 1/4” deep. This slot would receive a 2 3/8” x 5/8” piece to give me a thicker section for the shaping to take place later.
After all the dado’s were cut in, I then ripped the 2 3/8” piece to fit the slot. This piece also received a dado slot down the center. This slot was cut at 1” wide to receive a hickory inlay that was to be 1” wide by 1/2” thick. The hickory provides some contrast to the piece and can be shaped later on to give some really great lines and curves.
I only did half of the total length of the entire display which took two of the walnut boards to this point.
Here is what each board consisted of
Here is my first stack of rough dimensioned lumber to get me started out
My first screw up!!
In my hast and not thinking ahead, I glued in the inserts to buildup the sections like this
The problem with doing this at this point is that I still needed a slot to install the belt holders. You see the belt holders are cut into the top two inlay pieces and glued to the top of the 4 1/4” wide piece. An easier way to accomplish the dado is to cut the inlay pieces to fit up to the belt holder, this way if the angle is off just a bit it can be adjusted because the inlays are long enough to allow for it. By gluing it up right away I needed to make sure the dado’s for the belt holders were cut exactly right and with all the angles in this piece it’s easy to cut the compliment of the angle rather than then the actual angle you need. Anyway, more on this later and it will be more clear.
The angle of the dangle
Ok so now it was time to start the actual layout of the display on the bench. I started to cut the first miters using my Super Sled knock off.
To measure the angles I used this angle finder that I bought at HD. I wasn’t sure how accurate it would be but since it’s made right in New York I thought I would give it shot. I actually found it to be very accurate.
Note to self
One thing I did find out during this process is that if your angles are off by as much as 1 degree, everything gets way off, especially in a piece this long. So I took extra precautions and built in checks along the path of the piece. This was done by designing in a few boards parallel to a bottom layout line. Then I could measure each end of the piece to check that was in fact parallel. Also, since my bench is nothing more than a thrown together surface, I laid everything out on a piece of MDF that I had that I knew was square.
The First 14 feet
You can see the straight edges that I used to make sure that everything would line up correctly and stay on track. The first picture shows the straight edge at 47 deg to get the all started off. Since my bench wasn’t long enough to accommodate the entire length I had to move it over to complete the layout. The boards are just butted up to each other at this point. Next it was time to pay the piper for my screw up of gluing the inlays to the boards from above.
Dado slots for the belt holders
Well that is all I have time for now, I have to go to the Cub Scout Winterfest to test out the dogsled we built last weekend. The boys are excited to get pulling.
-- Joe Truehart - The Craftsmans Woodshop