|Project by Dan Lyke||posted 04-02-2008 10:57 PM||2588 views||1 time favorited||8 comments|
When we bought our house recently, we used the real estate agent services from Redfin.com, and Ernesto and Angelo, the two folks we dealt with from there, were awesome. We wanted to show our appreciation for their efforts in some personal way, and one of the things that the house has given us is a shop, so we thought we’d make some trays. We went and got some beautiful maple burl veneers, and a bunch of lyptus, and some baltic birch, and we asked at the store how they recommended attaching the veneers, and they sold us contact cement, and a $7 brush to apply it with.
I didn’t notice the price on the brush ‘til we got home, but I think that it was given to us as a “one time use” thing should have given me more pause.
So we dutifully applied the contact cement, pressed on our veneers, left ‘em in the shop. Of course they bubbled, so we took our iron (yes, we have an iron in the shop), pressed ‘em back down, and then went on to cutting the side pieces on our new Leigh 24 Super dovetail jig.
Came back to the bottoms and, as anyone who’s used contact cement to attach veneers could probably tell me, they’d completely torn themselves apart. In talking with some experienced woodworkers we’ve since learned that you want a really hard glue for this, apply smoothly, let dry and iron together, as DaveT talks about in his skill share post.
Time constraints meant that we dropped back to some basic 1/4” birch veneer ply we had lying around.
And it also took us several passes through the Lyptus to get dovetails we were happy with. The Leigh jig was awesomely easy to adjust compared to the horrific ShopFox jig it replaced, but Lyptus has this huge long grain that tears out like crazy, so I learned to tape my ends (so that at the very least I had a prayer of finding the big splinters and gluing ‘em back in), and to try to cut in the middle of the template, and then clean out the space with climb cutting.
This was also my first real use of my homebuilt router table, showing both that a router table is a wonderful tool (Charlene, my partner, dislikes using a router hand held, but the router table won her over), but also that we need to budget for a beefier and better adjustable router for it.
Finishing was sanding to 220, then two layers of wet-sanded shellac followed by two layers of hand rubbed oil based polyurethane. Still searching for that perfect finish, but I think we’re getting better and closer.
Similar notes on our web site.
-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke