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!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Appropriate comments are welcome. All comments are reviewed before being posted. Spam messages (anything not a direct discussion of this message) and all profanity will be deleted. Don't waste your time or mine by posting trash here.