Wednesday, December 19

Home Stretch

Today we round third and head for home plate.

I started the day by surfacing and jointing the two half panels I made last night, then gluing them up into a full panel. I came in at 6:00 am to do this so that full panel will be ready to use when I get started after breakfast.

Because there is no tension in this last joint, I was able to remove the clamps after the glue set up for a couple of hours, sand the joint smooth, trim the panel to finished size and attach the backer board. Now it has caught up with it’s cousins.

Back on track, round over the upper inside corner of the rails on the router then set up the table saw for mitering the rails. I’ll round over the outside corners after the trays are assembled so they match up exactly, but because the trays are too shallow to accommodate the pilot bearing on the router bit this edge must be done now.

Setting up the cuts for the rails is tricky and takes a bit of time, but once I get it dead on, I cut all the rails for all four tables and stack them on a parts cart so they will move easily to the assembly room.

Now it’s time attach the rails to the panels. Before I commit the parts to this I dry fit them to be sure no irregularities have crept in that would throw things out of whack. It’s much easier to fix something before glue is involved. Once I’m sure it will fit properly I very carefully apply glue to the inside, lower edge of the rail grooves with a small artists brush. The glue can not be allowed to get on the ribbon panel, for that must be free to expand and contract, only the backer panel gets glued to the rails. This is precise work and it takes some time; can’t just slop some glue in the slot and slap it together.

I hold the rails in position with a band clamp, then attach the latch block and leg mount blocks with glue and clamps. This assembly then gets set aside to set up while I repeat the process on another table.

Later I remove the clamps and install screw hole plugs (wooden ones) with glue and check the joints to be sure everything went well.

And that completes construction of 8 Walnut TV Tray tables. I have parts for 4 cherry tables and 4 oak tables made also, and will assemble them in the same manner once the walnut tables are out the door.

Tomorrow I’ll begin finish sanding. One set gets a lacquer finish, so it may be ready to ship tomorrow. The other gets a hand rubbed oil finish, so it won’t be ready to ship until Monday (UPS doesn’t pick up on Saturday).

I’ll post again once there is something worth showing, sanding isn’t much fun to watch.


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