Tuesday, December 4

Completing Spreaders

Today I completed making the spreaders for 4 TV Tray Table sets. This started off by setting up a drum sander on the drill press and refining the arches that were cut on the bandsaw yesterday. I cut just a hair outside the lines then, today I sanded the arches down to those lines to remove saw marks and fair the curve to it’s finished shape.

In doing this I had one of those “finger of God” experiences where things just sort of happen. Normally I will sand for a couple of minutes, just long enough for the drum to load up with sanding dust, then I have to lay aside the work piece and use a crepe rubber abrasive cleaning stick (affectionately known as a ‘booger bar” to some of us) to remove the dust before it clogs the abrasive and burns. This cleaning step tends to slow things down, so I try to keep the booger bar close by, but I can’t keep it on the work table because it tends to vibrate off and bounce away under something making me have to stop entirely and crawl around to search it out before I can proceed. But today I forgot about this and accidentally left it laying on the work table while I sanded. This time, instead of “walking” off the edge of the table, it walked over to the drum and lay next to it, held in place by the raised work pad and just riding against the sanding drum. I paid it no mind until it occurred to me that I had gone quite a while between cleanings. When I looked closer, the bar was rubbing just hard enough to clean the drum as I worked, but not so hard as to be getting all chewed up. A self-cleaning drum sander had just invented itself! So I made the most of it and got the work done in record time.

After the arches were all dressed up, I installed a ¼” round over bit in the router table and rounded over all of the long edges and the latch holes. This is entirely an appearance thing… except for the latch hole. I could easily leave the corners square but I think they look and feel much better this way, so I take the added trouble.

When that was all done I set up the drill press with a jig I made to hold the spreaders in just the right position to drill the 4 pilot holes in the ends. Screws coming through the legs will go into these pilot holes, so the pilot holes and the screw holes – which have already been drilled – need to match up well.

And that pretty much does it for today. I cleaned the place up and am skipping out a bit early because I need to pick up our truck from the mechanic (it broke a motor mount) then Marie, Joy, Pat and I will all go out to dinner and attend the Christmas Musical at church. This means I’ll be putting in a late night later in the week to make up the time, but it will be worth it.

See you tomorrow,

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