I was tasked by my boss to modify a part for the machines that I work on. A 6’ long and half inch square piece of plastic that is a guide rail. I had to rip it on the table saw and ream out the screw holes. I made them order me a special plastic cutting blade that arrived on Monday. Last week in anticipation for continuing my bench build, I had ordered a new ripping blade so consequently I was on hold until both blades arrived. The plastic one came first so I got that little job out of the way first, then put on my ripping blade. A Freud LU87R010 24 tooth flat tip grind blade. Man, I’m telling you this is night – and – day compared to the 50 tooth combination blade that I smoked last week trying to rip this 8/4 hard maple. It left a good finish when it was good, but even when it wasn’t so good, it still wasn’t bad. When the grain is straight, it just motors through it with no issues.
I digress. . . . On to the project. I first started off my picking and choosing which boards will supply which parts of the bench. I thought I’d had this already done at the lumber yard but taking a second look at these boards kind of made me sick. The end grain checking on some of them was just horrendous and I had to re-arrange many pieces as a result. So now I’m missing only a half of a leg, and about half of the shelf boards, and one plank for the top.
My first mistake was that I didn’t wear work gloves while milling these things. I did a little bit of cutting yesterday but the bulk of the work was done today, and I just came in from cleaning up the garage and jumped in the shower and it was then I realized how many nicks, cuts, and slivers I had accumulated today. It was rather a painful lesson.
The planer got a lifetime workout today, I milled the legs, the short and long rails, and all of the top boards. I just wanted to focus on the back half for now, so the drawing says the back top half should be 11 3/16” wide. It uses 7 boards in the pictures so I selected 7 boards and continued running them through the planer until the stack with a clamp on it measured 11 3/16” wide. This little process produced the biggest pile of sawdust and shavings I’ve ever made. When it was done I was feeling it in my back so I went to glue up the first planks.
I wanted to take this part in bites so I selected 3 boards, arranged them the way I wanted them to show and went to work. The mistake I made here is that I used Titebond 2. It took much longer that I thought it would to get the glue spread on both faces, put them together, spread glue on the other two faces, put them together, line them up and get all of the clamps on. It was an ugly process but I think I did ok. The boards are lined up pretty well. I don’t have a biscuit joiner and can’t afford a domino so it’s all done by eye. Lesson here is: Use Titebond 1 for longer working time, and get a glue roller. This credit card thing is ok for small surfaces, but is totally outmoded on glue ups of this size.
So I have more planing to do for the front half but that’s later. I also final-ripped all of the back half boards to a width of 4 3/8” at glue up time. I want to make sure I have enough to end up with no less than 4” thick.
Well, my back is trashed, my hands are cut, my arms are tired, and somehow I ended up with a charlie-horse in my right forearm. Not sure how that happened, but I have to start my work week tomorrow so I gotta go.
More next week.
-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."