I made some good progress today and it looks like the next time I can spend a decent amount of time in the shop, I should have this thing assembled. I started today sanding the three brackets and the aprons in preparation for assembly.
I noticed a decent sized dent in the face of one of the aprons and decided to try out the wet rag and iron method to raise the dent. I forgot to get pics, but it worked like a charm. As I was sanding one of the end brackets and looking at the inlay that had a couple of places with slim gaps, I thought about trying the iron technique here, too. So, I wet a rag, wet the inlaid area where the fit was a little loose and applied heat from the iron. Success! It didn’t close up completely, but the gap was noticeably reduced.
Here are the brackets before the iron technique (note the gap at the bottom of the inlay on both brackets)...
And here they are after…
After finish sanding those pieces, I was able to start some assembly. The center bracket was glued and screwed to the mounting board first. Then, the aprons and end brackets could be glued and clamped.
I didn’t have a clamp long enough, so two pipe clamps clamped to each other spanned along the mounting board.
Extra F-clamps help hold the aprons to the assembly table to make sure it stays nice and flat.
While that dried in the clamps, I turned my attention to the top. I already glued the curved edging on the large curve at the front of the top, and glued together some strips to go on the corners, so now it was time to fit them. After cutting the first piece I realized the curved edging that was glued on already was the culprit in the poor fit at this joint.
To fix it, I clamped the next edging piece in place and used a hand saw to cut the joint line. Cutting both pieces should make the joint fit together perfectly.
In my case, the joint wasn’t perfect, but at least this fixed the glued-on piece. I was then able to fine tune the loose piece by adjusting the miter angle on my miter saw and all was well. Here’s a look at the edging all glued and brad-nailed in place.
To account for wood movement across the grain of the top, I only glued the edging on at the front corner and used brads only for the rest of the edging.
With the support structure now out of the clamps, I could cut the bracket-backer boards to size and rout a 1/8” round-over on them.
These were then glued and brad-nailed to the backs of the three brackets.
With the glue now dry on the edging, it was time to go crazy with the belt sander to make them flush with the rest of the top.
I went back and sanded the top some more with the random orbit, but didn’t have time to complete the sanding. I did get a chance to fill the brad holes so I can sand them smooth tomorrow.
Hopefully tomorrow will allow time for me to finish sanding the top, cut out the braces for the three brackets, sand them, install them, and then install the top. That’s all that’s left! I know I won’t have time to get to the finishing process, but hopefully it will be completely assembled tomorrow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.