Wednesday, October 31

Filler Panels

I started the morning off by pulling the clamps off of the honey locust that Marie and I prepped and glued up last night, then ran it through the surface planer to smooth it out and bring it down to the proper thickness.

Then it was back to the steamer trunks. Today I will be milling out stock for the filler panels that fit into the rails that frame the trunk. I do this by re-sawing thick lumber with the band saw to make thin lumber. In the oak and walnut I have stock wide enough to get the panels out of single boards, the maple however is all too narrow for this, so I’ll need to joint two pieces together. The best way to do this is to resaw each thick, narrow board, open it up like a book and joint the inner edges to glue them back together into a wide, thin board. Doing this produces a good match in colors and some very pretty grain patterns. Much better than joining two separate boards then resawing that into thin boards.

I do my jointing on the table saw with a very fine toothed saw blade. I’d rather use a jointer, but we don’t have one (yet) so I do it this way. Takes a little longer but gives good results if the saw is set up right. Then the thin pairs are taken into the assembly room to be glued and clamped. I clamp up as many pairs as I have clamps to do, then go back to resawing the walnut and oak. When the glue is set up enough, I pull the clamps and glue up another set. I won’t start surfacing them until all the blanks are glued up and I can do the whole set in one session, preferably with a helper.

And that is another day. Marie went out on a grocery run and I need to be at the house when she gets home to help haul them inside, so it’s time to clock out and head home.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 30

Completing Rails

I got a good day’s work in today; no distractions.

The whole morning was spent cutting the grooves in the edge(s) of the casework rails. I started out doing this on the router table, but quickly realized that this was going to be too slow for as many grooves as I need to cut, so I set up the table saw with a dado head and dispatched the job that way.

After lunch I set up to cut the tenons on the ends of the rails.

Before cutting the tenons I had to square the ends and cut the rails to finished length. I used the chop saw to do the cutting and a marking knife for laying out the cuts. The knife score is much narrower than a pencil mark making the work just that much more precise. It’s also easier to see than a pencil mark on dark woods like walnut.

I used the same set-up on the dado head (another reason I switched; I was going to have to set up the dado head anyway), added a sacrificial cover on the fence and a backer board on the miter gauge.

When the afternoon was over I had all the grooves and tenons cut. That means that many of the parts are done. The arched lid parts need to be cut to shape, the upper side panels need to be formed, and I need to mill the thin panels that go into the rails, but otherwise the parts are finished. And the piles of lumber on the floor are much smaller.

I took a break for supper, then came back and prepared stock for Mark’s burial urn. I need some 8” wide honey locust, but don’t have any that wide, so I must joint some up. I took care of that tonight. I’ll let this set in the clamps overnight, then it will be ready for surfacing and shaping. There is an interesting story behind this order, I’ll tell you about it when we get going on the box.

The shop was a mess. Milling all these parts throws wood chips and dust all over the place, even with a dust collection system in place, so I needed to take some time to clear away the debris.

And that was my day. See you tomorrow,


Monday, October 29

Making Rail Parts: sort of...

The plan for today was to get all the parts that I roughed out last week trimmed, groooved and tenons cut.

The first step in this process is to sort out the parts and group them by function. All the parts for the four trunks are stacked together; upper front rails in one stack, lower front rails in another, etc.

Then I started trimming: 1/8" off of one edge, when all are done I will flip them over and trim the other edge by 1/8". Why not just take the full 1/4" off of one edge and be done with it? Because the thin kerf saw blade I used to rough out these parts left a pretty swirly edge on the boards, the finer, thicker trimming blade will clean this up so much less sanding will be needed, it wall also make both edges square to the surface planed faces and it will remove any slight bowing that may have set in as the parts laid up over the weekend.

During this process I cut the beveled edges where the lid fronts and the lid edge rails will join. The lid has a curved top, not flat, so I need 37° splined miters where they meet to set the proper angle. I cut these bevels before I cut the other edges to the finished dimension in case something went wrong and I had to cut the bevel again: I have 1/4" of extra wood to work with.

I did manage to get the edges trimmed, but that is all. during my lunch break a visitor to the web site pointed out that our Deluxe Sewing Cabinet is missing... and she'd like to order one. I can't say for sure what happened to it, but it was missing sure as anything, so I had to dig out all the numbers, photos and as much of the description as I could remember and build it in the web site database again.

That took several hours because while I was working on that my neighbor came over to explain that we have a common problem. Again this is kind of complicated but it involves the fact that there are 6 homes in a little "community" here, and the water well that is on our property at one time supplied water to all of them... and more. Everyone now has a water well of their own, but it was decided that in case of emergency we'd leave the supply lines in place with valves installed to keep the systems separate. But should one of us suffer a well failure, opening a couple of valves will provide them with water until their well can be repaired. Part of that system failed and needed repair, and that needed come cooperation from me.

Once all this stuff was taken care of I got back to making parts. I did not get nearly as far as I had hoped, and now it's time to shut down for the night. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am allowed to work late, the other days I need to be closed up by 5:30. Oops, I'm already overtime.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 25

Roughin’ Rails

I spent the day today roughing out parts for the casework rails.

This starts by picking through the piles of lumber looking for suitable boards. I'm working my way through the cut list, making sure I've cut enough parts in each species of wood to make all the trunks. It's a terrible thing to get to the assembly stage and find you're missing a part. Boards with a slight bow to them are fine for short pieces, but not the long ones. I hate to cut a nice wide clear board into narrow strips if I can avoid it, so I’ll use up the narrow stock first. When I find what I need I lay out my cuts on the board, working around defects, then take the board to the chop saw and chop it up into the lengths I need.

Then the pieces go to the table saw, equipped with a thin kerf ripping blade (ripping is the term we use for cutting the length of a board or with the grain.) and I cut the pieces to width. At this point I’m leaving ¼” extra in each direction for trimming and truing.

Then I clean up the mess: there’s a ton of wood chips on the floor which can be a hazard. Marie called just as I was finishing to the sawing to sat that she is on her way back, that will give me just enough time to vacuum before she gets here. Then we’ll take a supper break.

After supper Marie comes over with me and we spend another two hours surface planing all these pieces down to the proper thickness and making them nice and smooth. Time to call it a day.

Tomorrow is my day to be shopkeeper at Treasures, so I won’t be in to do much except to straighten up again in the evening. Normally I clean the place up before I leave, but it’s getting late and we’ve still got things to do at home that must be done today. So…

Hope you have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 24

Corner Posts

Last night Marie and I came back here after supper. Marie was working on some decorative Christmas items to put in our gallery; Treasures of Appalachia, and I worked on steamer trunk templates. While we have built and sold steamer trunks before, Brian was our trunk-meister but he has become very busy with his own woodworking and he still has the plans I gave him and the templates he made from those plans. Being a Rockler plan, there were errors in it that I hoped would have been corrected by now, so I bought a new set of plans and used them to produce the templates for the tricky shaped parts.

I was pleased to find that the plans now included full sized patterns for these parts and a large sheet of carbon/tracing paper to help make the process simple. So I set about the task of tracing the shapes onto 1/8” birch plywood then cutting those shapes out on a band saw and shaping them to the line with a stationary belt sander then sanding all the faces and edges smooth and even.

Unfortunately, once they were done I discovered that the pattern for the lid center supports and the lid end pieces did not have the same shape. I did some investigating to see it was supposed to be that way, and no, it was not. In fact the patterns weren’t even the correct sizes; one is short by 1/16” in and the other is off by 1/8”. There were other problems as well, but you get the idea.


So I tossed the evenings work in the trash and started over taking my measurements from the dimensioned drawing in the plans. This took longer, but yielded useable templates.

We finally went home about 9:30 PM. Of course none of this time was billable because this is a "stock" item and we will be using these templates on other orders. This is one of those shop expenses that we just absorb.

This morning I got started working on the steamer trunks themselves. We are building four at one time: two in red oak (one stained black, one natural), 1 in maple (to be stained classic cherry) and one in walnut. Why 4? We have an order from a furniture store in Chicago for the two stained ones, but they expect a discount and the only way to get enough of a cost savings to offer them a discount is to build them in multiples of four or 5 at a time. The other two will be given a natural finish and posted to our web site as On-Hand items… Christmas is just around the corner!

Today I’ll be making the corner posts of the trunk body. These involve a splined miter joint where the two parts of the post meet and some joinery where other parts will tie into the corners. But I start by milling out a stack of blanks from 10 foot long rough planks of lumber; cut them to rough length, plane them smooth and rip them to width. Both parts of each post will be cut from one blank so the grain and coloring will match well.

I cut the miters with the “face” side of the blanks down on the table so the least amount of wood will be cut away on the good side, that will help the grain flow around the corners. But first, I mark each blank so I will be able to keep them paired up even if the stack topples over or something. After cutting the miters, I flip the blanks over and cut the spline slots in the face of the miters. And finally I set the blade back to 90 degrees and trim each corner piece to the proper width. The cut-offs are made into the splines that lock the joint together.

Next we need to route a stopped groove in the edge of each of the 32 corner post pieces. This groove will house the side panels and tenons on the side rails. Because it does not go all the way to the top, I set up the router table with lines drawn on tape corresponding to the edges of the router bit. Then when my lay-out line on the piece being routed gets to the line on the near side of the bit, I stop and carefully lift the piece up and off of the bit.

The final task for today is to install the dado head on the table saw and cut a dado in each post part that will line up with matching grooves in the bottom rail to house the chest’s bottom plate. The plan calls for ½ inch plywood, but we avoid plywood when we can so we’ll make the bottom of solid wood and get tricky with the joinery so it can expand and contract without affecting the trunk.

That used up the whole day. Time to clean up and head home for supper.


Tuesday, October 23

Chasing My Tail

Have you ever watched a dog spinning around trying to catch it’s own tail? That’s a little bit like what my day was yesterday.

Monday mornings are always bookkeeping time, when I prepare the previous weeks reports and checks for Marie’s review, approval and signature. Normally this is a pretty straight forward thing and it takes only a couple of hours. This time we ran into a few speed bumps that caused us to review the way we do things and make some policy changes and that meant making updates to the web site.

I also fielded a long phone call from a fellow who wanted a bench made for his wife’s birthday. Nice guy, just has some questions and things he needed to be clear on. So we discussed those. Then I went ahead and created the estimate and posted it for him.

I also got a call from a fellow who worked for a company that books freight deliveries through various trucking lines, and because they do a considerable volume of business with each, they can get better rates than I can as a small account with Old Dominion. Old Dominion is one of the companies they represent.

At first I was going to politely blow him off, but what he was saying made sense so I had him run a comparison quote for the last piece we had shipped. His price was about $80 less than my cost with ODFL, and was almost half what I paid if I went with South Eastern truck lines.

That is tempting – this could save our customers a considerable chunk of change – but there is a danger in switching.

In the six years we have been shipping through Old Dominion they have not torn up a single piece of our furniture! That is an amazing record for a freight line, one no other company we have worked with can match. I am reluctant to “try” another company when failure means having to rebuild a piece of custom furniture that my customer has waited patiently for months to receive.

Then I discovered that he did not include lift gate service or residential delivery in his quotes. That would add $150 to the ODFL quote, making my price better than his and he could not get an updated quote from South Eastern so we have no idea how much extra they would charge. I think I’ll stick with what I have. By eliminating the middlemen, I can save you money.

In the afternoon I packaged up Ellen’s tray tables. This involves cutting down sheets of Styrofoam to line the box, cutting special pieces to insert between the tables and stand to protect them, strapping the whole table set assembly together with cellophane wrap and packing it into the box to prevent movement. These boxes are custom made for us just to ship these tray table sets because we sell so many of them. Then of course I must weigh the carton and process a shipping label.

But wait… Ellen chose to pay with PayPal instead of the regular credit card processor. We were experiencing technical difficulties when she placed her order. So I can’t run her final payment and ship the box the same day as I normally do. No I have to bill her through PayPal and wait for the payment to come in before it can ship. So… it waits.

Time to clean up and put away the packaging materials. These are all stored out in the loft of the lumber shed. Eventually I will build a shipping room onto the side of our workshop to improve the work flow, but that won’t be for another year at least.

Then as the day was winding down and I was about to get started making templates for Lynn’s steamer trunks, I got an e-mail from Start-Up Nation ( informing me that Smoky Mountain Woodworks had been selected as a finalist in their Top 100 Home Based Business contest. But to keep the qualification, they needed some additional information about our business TODAY. So I spent the rest of the day filling out their form (which included an essay) and submitting it.

I had intended, along the way to get Maple and Honey Locust lumber brought in for projects that are to be started, but it rained pretty much all day. Wouldn’t you know it. It’s bone dry all summer long. Even when we get a 70-80% chance of thunderstorms the most we’ve gotten were a few light drizzles that barely dampened the ground. Today we had a 30% chance of rain and it rained all day. Not that I’m complaining; we REALLY need the rain! And I would have, without a doubt, braved the rain but it was accompanied by high winds. I have learned the hard way that attempting to handle the 10 foot long sheets of tin that cover our lumber piles single handedly in gusty winds is a very good way to end up decapitated.

I will try again this morning. We have a 100% chance of rain today, but so far have had just a sprinkle early this morning. The winds are less consistent, so if I time it right I may get the job done without losing my head over it!


Friday, October 19


Today was spent finishing Ellen’s TV Tray Table set. I started off by doing what I call the Sit Steady Test… that is I place each table and the stand on the only guaranteed flat surface in my workshop – my table saw – and check to see if it sits steady. If it wobbles I mark the offending legs and sand just a little off of each until all four sit flat and solid on the table.

It is entirely possible that shipping these tables to a new environment will cause the wood in the legs to move a bit, and it may cause a wobble again, but at least when it went out my door it was right.

Then I got out some 180 grit sand paper and hand sanded everything. Done with that I vacuumed them, tack ragged them and set up my HVLP sprayer in the finishing room. Each of the three pieces of this set got two good coats of lacquer, scuff sanding in between.

When the second coat was dry I took them back out into the assembly room and looked them over carefully. There is one more step; to skim coat the tray tops with tung-oil polyurethane to improve their resistance to water marks, but I want to be sure the lacquer has cured out well before I apply a different kind of finish to them, so that will have to wait until tomorrow evening after I get back from Treasures. Then the poly can set up until Monday morning when I will package them up for shipment to Ellen.

One of the features I especially like about this set is the "curly" grain in the piece I selected for the handle. Pretty isn't it?

Hope you have a great weekend! Coming on Monday: Steamer Trunks!


Thursday, October 18

Completing Construction

Another very satisfying day.

I started off by adjusting the latch mechanisms on Ellen’s tray tables. As you can see, the tab on the latch block pokes through a hole in the upper spreader and the cut little curvy shape I milled into the under-side of the tab allows the tab to snap down on the other side to hold the legs in the open position. To achieve just the right amount of “snap” I wrap a Popcicle stick with 100 grip sand paper and very carefully sand away the upper curve in the hole. When it’s right, I smooth it all out again with 150 grit paper.

Next I take the stand parts blanks that I cut out yesterday, lay-out the shapes using my templates and cut them roughly to shape. Doing so takes the table saw, the band saw, the miter saw and a Forstner bit in the drill press. Now I take these parts to the stationary belt sander and refine the curves. Then it’s on to the router table to round over the corners of the handle to produce a shape that will be pleasing to the hand.

I drill and counter bore the screw holes in the stand sides, pilot holes in the handle and spreader and dowel holes where the uprights join the feet. Then comes a little quality time with the glue pot and some clamps followed by some smoothing, filling, and sanding and the parts are ready to be assembled.

The two side pieces are joined to the handle and the spreader, then the arms are attached, and finally the screw holes are plugged. While the glue dries on the stand, I trim and sand the plugs in the tables, then return to do the same with the stand.

At the end of the day, construction is complete on Ellen’s 2 table TV Tray set. Tomorrow I will begin the finishing phase.

See you then!


Wednesday, October 17

Assembling Tables

Lots of visible progress today – other days I may make good progress, but it doesn’t look like much.

I started out by completing the spreaders; that means laying out and boring the pilot holes for mounting screws. Naturally the lay-out must be done carefully so the pilot holes will line up with the screw holes in the legs. Once the lay out lines are drawn I dimple the location of each hole with a punch so the drill bit will have a good starting point. Otherwise the end grain may pull the bit off it’s mark. To get the pilot holes bored perfectly straight I use a jig on the drill press to support then at 90° while I drill the pilot holes.

Then I apply glue and install the screws to assemble the leg sets and spreaders. While the glue sets up a bit I finish shaping the trays by rounding over the upper and lower outside edges on the router table. Then I get comfy with some sand paper and hand sand the tray rails with 100 and 150 grit paper.

Next I make the leg mounting blocks, sand them and attach them to the leg sets. Then I get the glue out again and join the leg assembly to the tray. The clamps will stay on overnight, but I will be able do more before we’re done for the day.

That “more” is to make the latch blocks. These consist of a low rail with a tab mounted cross-wise that will poke through an oblong hole in the upper spreader and snap in place to hold the legs in the open position. These are a little tricky to make because the tab must enjoy a precise fit and the rail is shaped to flow into the tab for a more finished look.

Once the latch block parts are made, assembled and sanded I glue them too onto the tables. These assemblies will now sit overnight to give the glue a chance to set up hard. I still have to plug the screw holes, but that will wait until tomorrow.

Instead I turn my attention to roughing out the parts for the stand. I found a special piece of wood with a patch of curly grain. I’ll use that part of the board for the handle for an especially dramatic look. But I’ll wait to get started on cutting those out until tomorrow. For now I’ll clean up the shop, put away the tools and go see what Marie is fixing for supper tonight.


Tuesday, October 16

Completing Trays

Today I built the tray tops for Ellen’s set of tables. I started by taking the rail parts that I made yesterday evening and routing a round-over on the inside-upper edge. This edge will be especially difficult to do later, so I do them before assembly. The others will get rounded over later. Then I sand the inside faces of the rails. Just the inside faces, nothing else. Finally I test fit the trails around a tray panel, checking closely to see if they fit properly.

Once I’m satisfied that the rails are not to long, not too short and will meet up properly at the corners I get out the glue. You may recall that I said the ribbon panels (the upper part made of walnut – i.e. the pretty part) must NOT get glued to the rails for they must be free to float in their grooves. Only the backer board (the Baltic Birch ply on the under side of the ribbon panel) gets glued to the rails, and of course the rails get glued to each other at the corners. To accomplish this takes some very careful work with a glue pot and a small artists brush, applying glue carefully to the lower edge of the groove in the tray rails. Oh, and I have to hurry with his so the glue doesn’t set up before I get it done. I remove one rail at time, apply the glue and put it back in place, being very careful to get it in the right place as I’m inserting it because it won’t slide much: the joints are snug and the glue binds in them. When the last piece goes on I apply a band clamp to draw all the corners together while the glue dries.

OK, so the trays are together and clamped and will sit over night. But since I’m only making 2 tables for this set I still have lots of time to use up today, so I start in on the legs sets. The leg blanks were cut previously and planed smooth. Now I set up my Incra fence and trim them all to the right length. Then I get out my templates; these thin plywood patterns have a wooden hook at one end that fits against the foot of the leg, then holes are drilled in them to precisely lay-out where screw holes will be bored and give me the right length and shape of the upper end of the leg. Everything I need to know to make the leg sets is written right on the template. A small hammer an a few nails tapped through the lay-out holes mark each leg, then I take them to the drill press to bore and countersink the holes – read those instructions; one does NOT get countersunk! Then the top is shaped on a stationary belt sander. When they’re all done I break out the sand paper and sand them all smooth.

And finally I take them into the assembly room. First I pre-finish the areas that will be inside the pivot joints of the legs. Then I install the rub-washers and screws that will act as pivot hinges. These are special screws that won’t back out with use causing the pivot point to wobble. I will install screw hole plugs over most of the screws, but not yet. Not until I’m sure everything will fit properly. It should – as long as I follow my instructions on the templates these tables should turn out just like the 300 or so other tray tables I’ve built… but you never know. So I wait to plug the screws until the tables are all together and I’m certain it all fits properly.

I’m out a little earlier than usual today. See you tomorrow!


Monday, October 15

Making Tray Parts

Being Monday, I spent the morning preparing the bookkeeping Marie’s review and approval and processing orders taht came in over the weekend. I also had to try and figure out how to economically get a stopper rack to Australia. A fellow name Rafik wants to order a wall hung stopper rack, but the shipping calculator in the shopping cart errors out. So I went to the U.S.P.S. web site and ran the inquiry directly. Kind of pricy. So I checked with UPS and was shocked to see that it would cost over $130.00 sending it that way. Yikes!! Back to the post office.

Once all that was taken care of it was back to table making for me. I started by cutting the backer boards for the ribbon panels. These pieces of thin birch plywood (cabinet grade – good stuff) serve as a stable platform on which to mount the side rails. I can’t glue the side rails to the ribbon panels because the ribbon panels will need to expand and contract; glue them to something that won’t expand with them and they will split. So, the ribbon panels get a stripe of glue down the middle and glued just this much to the backer boards, then the rails will get glued to the backer boards – and each other – but NOT to the ribbon panel.

So next I rough out the rail pieces for the tray rails, groove them and miter them. I want then to sit over night to see if they will have any tendency to twist. Don’t want to use any that will want to twist. That would be bad; it would pop the corner joints. Very bad.

For the rest of the afternoon I work on making the spreaders for the table legs. Each table has two; one “bow tie” that is the lower spreader and an upper spreader that is part of the latching mechanism. I got the four pieces I needed cut out and sanded, I’ll round them over tomorrow.

For now it’s time to sweep up and head for home and some supper.

See you tomorrow!

P.S. I had more photos to share with you, but Blogger errors out saying: "Unable to upload image - We are aware of this problem and currently working on a fix."

Thursday, October 11

Completing Tray Panels

Today was spent surface planing the four half panels, jointing them and gluing them into full panels. Once the glue set up I sanded them, filled any pits and sanded them again.

This process used up most of the day, but left quite a lot of time in between steps; while waiting for glue or filler to dry. During those gaps I found a variety of things to do.

One of those things was to resurrect a product we used to offer, but removed because of problems we had with it. It was our over the sink cutting board.

If you’ve been following along, you may recall that we made one for Don just a few days ago. Don had ordered one before, and so had been indoctrinated (trial by fire) in making a template that we will use to make his board. Since we sent it to him just yesterday, he hasn’t gotten it yet so I don’t know for sure if it will fit properly. I hope so.

While Don’s cutting board estimate was living in our Accept A Bid section, Anne found it and asked if we would make one for her too. I reluctantly admitted that IF she can provide us with a properly fitted template, we can produce a board that will fit her sink.

In the past this has been the Achilles heel of this product. Too many times we’ve had to make a board two or even three times before it would fit properly because the templates we were supplied with were sloppily made (or upside down).

When we were making these things before we did not have a digital camera. Now that we do -- it occurred to me -- we could post a pictorial tutorial for making a proper template. Perhaps that would help folks know what we need and how to get it right the first time. So I did.

I spent part of the afternoon making an actual template for our shop sink, photographing each step, and writing text to go along with it. I posted it [here]. Then I updated the item page, converting it from a bid page to a product page, and posted it to the Non-Furniture Items category. That is available [here].

Then I wrote this thing, now I’m going home. Tomorrow is my day to shop-sit at Treasures, so I'll make up the time on Saturday, but won't post again until Monday. See you then.


Tuesday, October 9

Pressing On

This was another early morning. Not as early as yesterday, we needed to get the truck in to a repair shop for maintenance. Once I got going, I started by setting up the bandsaw with a ¼” 10 TPI band and cutting Don’s over the sink cutting board to shape. You may recall that my final task last night was to trace around the pattern Don had sent to transfer the shape into the board blank. I cut a hair outside of the lines so I could sand down to the line and remove the saw marks. I did this with a stationary belt sander.

I use a marking gauge to make another line ¾” in from the edge along the under side of the outside edges. This is how far I need to cut a set-back or relief that will hug the two sides of the sink, allowing it to sit over the sink without falling in.

Next I set up the router table with a bowl bit to cut this relief. The long, third side: the hypotenuse of the triangle, for the mathematically inclined, remains square on the under side to encourage liquids to drip down instead of running along under the board. I form the relief by making multiple passes and setting the fence back a little on each pass until I reach the line I drew.

Finally I sand the entire board with 150, 180 & 220 grit paper then take it into the finishing room and apply a heavy coat of mineral oil, work it in with a cloth for 5 minutes making sure no dry spots develop, then wipe the excess oil off with another rag and buff the board to a soft luster.

That finishes up Don’s cutting board. Tomorrow I’ll package it up and ship it to him.

Now; back to Ellen’s tray tables. Today I will glue up two halves of a ribbon panel. To do this I take one of the panels I arranged and taped together yesterday and snip the tape along the mid-line. The full panel is about 15” wide, our surface planer will accommodate 13” widths, so I have to make them in halves, then join the halves. But we’ll get to all that later. For today, I apply glue to the joints between the ribbon strips using a fixture I built the lay the panel in a set of clamps. I carefully check the alignment of the ribbons as I snug up the clamps. I have only 1/16” extra wood to remove in smoothing the panels so they have to be pretty close to start with.

These will sit in their clamps over night. The rest of the afternoon is spent tending to some upkeep and cleaning chores.