I’ve made a little progress over the last couple of days. The curved aprons are done gluing and are all trimmed up. The top has been flush trimmed and sanded again to even up the epoxy filler patches, but a few need to be redone. The three large brackets are cut to size, routed flush with their templates and belt sanded. They need some epoxy filler and they will be ready to receive mortises. I got started on the back board that connects the brackets and mounts the unit to the wall, but I didn’t cut the tenons yet since I haven’t cut the mortises yet.
Today I got the planer sled back out to get another board to 3/4” dimension for the braces. I made another template out of 1/2” MDF to shape the curves and used it to trim up the braces after rough cutting them on the band saw.
I really love the flush trim bit I have to do the pattern work. I’ve tried a really cheap 1/4” shank flush trim bit and then a Bosch 1/2” shank bit, but I’ve had some scary issues with each while routing curves that go across end grain. When I saw the shear cutting flush trim/pattern bit at Rockler I thought I’d try it. It has both top and bottom bearings, is a larger diameter cutter (5/8 or 3/4”) than the Bosch (1/2” cutter) but most importantly the cutter is on an angle to make a shear cut. I’m not sure if it’s the shearing action or if the Rockler bit is just a nicer quality, but that bit performs flawlessly and without any scary grabbing of the stock.
I used that same bit to rout the pattern on even the 3” thick center bracket by taking off the bottom bearing, thus making it a pattern bit, then replacing it to flush cut the remainder. Worked like a charm.
So now almost all my pieces are at least rough cut.
I still need to cut out the boards that back up the three brackets and then I will have almost nothing but joinery to do. Here’s a little mock up of how it will go together.
Oh, and the little SNAFU with the biscuit that was revealed when cutting the curve on the top. Well, the repair worked, but it’s not seamless. It just looks like a walnut biscuit on the edge of a walnut top.
So, I am considering a couple of options for hiding my biscuit blunder better. Since there is a little bit of purplish color in the cat’s eye part of the top…
...I’m thinking of using some thin purpleheart and walnut to put an edge band on that would hopefully make the purpleheart look like an inlay. Either that, or I might use a slot cutting bit to rout a groove all around the edge right where the biscuit is and then inlay purpleheart into that slot. I’m still trying to decide and I have some time, since I don’t have any purpleheart, yet.
Right now, I’m doing some more epoxy filling and then I’ll be waiting for some new spiral cutting router bits to arrive before cutting the mortises for the joinery. I may not have much progress before next week, but I’ll post what I can accomplish.