The dying has been postponed.. As of the events discussed in my last entry, the gluing bacame the priority and the dying will have to be done afterwards, maybe even after assembly. The colors seen here are not necessarily representative of the final look as the green has been “washed out” somewhat and in the case of the center, it has been sanded. This can all be fixed later (I hope).
The most critical job left to be done is the alignment and trimming of the veneers, specifically the top ones with the marquetry carried from one face over to another. This will be tricky but I have a plan. The first thing that must be done is to glue up the veneer set on the center piece. It must be absolutely centered on the substrate piece and aligned with the sides. Here it has been assembled in glue, taped to prevent movement, and is ready to press.
It was necessary to glue up the center first because it couldn’t be locked in perfect position with the other segments attached. Now, however with the center solid, the others can be assembled around it and taped in perfect alignment with packing tape. The “rosewood” color I’m looking for here is more like what you see on the center piece above than in the side pieces. they were just starting to be colored when the priorities changed.
With the veneer segments aligned and taped, the whole assembly is turned over and with the structural sides carefully positioned, it can be glued up. This is a critical point. I pulled this whole platen full of pieces out of the bag once to realign one piece and crawled in there with it once to align another one.
To make a long story short, It worked. Nothing moved and I was ready to go on to the next scary step, trimming the delicate veneer edges. In a previous blog entry there was some discussion about the best way to do this and I had said that I wanted to use my old ShopSmith 10ER. My feeling was that a sanding approach presented less risk of damaging the fragile veneer edge than any kind of blade or bit. The old 1950 10ER is perfectly suited to perform that sanding operation. Here’s the setup I used.
With the table set at 31 3/4 degrees, I set a quick and dirty jig against the fence to hold the pentagons. Then the sanding disc could be advanced into the veneer edge under control by advancing the quill of the SS.
The jig was made wtih a square edge to fit on the pieces in mid bevel so that protruding veneers wouldn’t interfere with the alignment.
Here’s the setup all ready to advance the disc into the piece. My hand is on the quill advance lever. When actually performing the operation, my other hand would be firmly on the piece.
And here it is at the finished position. The ShopSmith has a positive stop that can be set to limit the quill travel so as the piece is rotated and sanded, all the edges come out exactly the same. The stop mechanism is the two knurled nuts that can be seen in both of these photos on the opposite side of the headstock from the lever.This is a bottom piece, without marquetry.
This is how the bottom fits came out. The tape is not perfect, the fits are better than they look here.
This is how the top alignment came out. There are some minor misalignments but overall I’m very pleased to get this far without bigger problems than these.
Last photo for today. This is the tape-up of the piece as of this point. I’m very happy with it (except for colors) and very relieved to have made it this far. I have to say there is a certain pressure to these real time blogs. It’s easier if it’s all done and dusted before you make it public.
That’s all for now folks. Thanks for checking in and please feel free to forward any kind of feedback you like.
Maybe we’ll get back to the dying next time. Who knows?
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/