|Project by Bill Akins||posted 08-18-2008 03:50 PM||2898 views||6 times favorited||16 comments|
Last Spring I received a gift of several rough sawn cedar planks. Over the summer I have spent my spare time making my wife a Cedar Hope Chest. The plans called for raised panels but I din’t have the $500 to buy a set of bits and a new router with a bigger shank. I studied on making the panels on a table saw. I tried making a beveled panel by using a high fence and pushing the panel vertically across a tilted blade. It was just OK but I wanted something different.
I found how to make coved panels. I removed my fence and used a 2×4 across the top of the blade and clamped it down. I found the center of the blade, marked it across the saw table and put the front of the 2×4 on the line. Start with the blade up at 1/16 and make your first pass on the end grain and work your way around to avoid chipout. Repeat for all your panels (good face down). Raise the blade another 1/16 and start all over again. A good push block comes in handy (not a push stick). The first couple of passes does not show much progress but after that the woodgrain really comes alive and the cove really stands out.
It doesn’t hurt to have a scrap with the groove cut into it to test for thickness if not the original piece. Raise your blade just a hair for your final pass. It took 6 passes the get the thickness just right on a 4/4 panel. I made mine a bit proud to allow for sanding. I ran the tip of my belt sander across each cove and then finished with a bit of hand sanding. I don’t think it could have turned out any better. I do wish I had a planer, I have wore out several belts on my sander. Also, 75% of my sawdust goes down into a box but not on this project, excpect a mess (although the entire house smells of cedar now, bonus).
I just finshed the top and have starting sealing it with polyurethane. The pretty pink cedar has turned a beautiful blood red. When i finish it I need to put the bottom in the chest and give it all one more sanding and hopefully will have it completed soon.
-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.