I am posting yesterday’s progress today. I wasn’t up to posting last night. So I had to wait until today. I titled this post about the shelf surface. I will get to that, but first, sanding. There was a lot of sanding. I love working with cottonwood. There are a lot of advantages to it. In my opinion it is a good wood. When prepped good, it takes finish real well. That will come in handy considering I plan on staining this one dark. Sometimes though, with cottonwood, there is a lot of sanding to do. For example, if your planer blades are not absolutely razor sharp, they will sometimes tear up the grain. It is not enough to ruin the wood. It is enough though to require extra effort when time to sand comes.
With so much sanding to do, I decided to try something on this table. On the first one, I simply knocked the hard edges off of the corners with a sanding block. On this one, I used an eighth inch roundover bit in my palm router and rounded over all the outside edges I could reach with it. That left me only inside edges to do by hand. This did cut out some of the sanding I had to do. The router left good enough edge that I only had to hit the routed edges with some 220 paper and be done with them.
Next I cut my particle board to fit. This is what I will be gluing the shelf surfaces to. The is another area where the cottonwood is allowing me an advantage. I have plenty of it. I was not able to do the surfaces I wanted o the first table because I didn’t have enough sapelle that was large enough to accomodate the length or the width. Everything was either too short or too narrow. Well, I have enough large cottonwood to do this.
The pieces for the tops only have a thirty degree arc to them. I have found that you have to be careful when cutting these on the table saw. If you don’t take precautions, things can go wrong very quickly.
I don’t know how other people cut things such as this, but I don’t know what I would do without my sled. I have an Incra sled. The biggest advantage of the Incra is that the holddown works very well. This allows me to set up each piece to be cut without my fingers being near the blade. If by chance something goes horribly wrong, and it has before, the only thing I have to do is watch for flying wood. With my hand behind the fence, on the handle, there is no danger of me being pulled into fast moving carbide teeth.
I contemplated several ways of accomplishing this. I needed to make these pieces and then glue them down in a square shape. I figured this was the easiest way. I marked the particle board so I could see where the center was, and where the halfway point was. Next, I glued down half of the pattern. I allowed that to set up while I drank a couple of cups of coffee. Then, using the flat edge opposite the parts I’d already glued down, I trimmed those pieces even with the edge of my particle board. Then I could glue down the rest of it knowing I had a flat edge to work off of to finish trimming the rest of it.
Yes, this may be a little wasteful. I am low on firewood this year anyway though. So I measured and cut all the pieces as long as I needed the longest one. After doing all this, I just threw the various odd shaped pieces that were trimmed off into my firewood pile. Actually, I was cold yesterday, most of the pieces went straight into the heater before the day was over.
I think they turned out nice enough. They’ll look even better after I get the dark stain on them.
I wanted to do more yesterday. However, by the time I finished sanding these flat, I had had all I could handle. We had warm tempuratures the day before yesterday, only for it to turn off cool yesterday. These sudden changes in tempuratures kick my butt. So, as I sit here this morning, I don’t know if I’ll make it to the shop today or not. I layed awake last night though thinking of what I want to do with the drawer front. So ya’ll know that somehow I will pull my butt together in a little while and hobble my way to the shop.
See ya’ll with the next installment.