Monday, December 10

Rails & Ribbons

Today I made the edge rails and some of the ribbon strips needed to build the tray panels.

The edge rails have a groove in the inside face to house the tray panel, so making these was a matter of lopping rough boards to rough length, cutting them into trips, resawing the strips then surface planning them to the proper thickness. Then I set up the dado head and ran the grooves. When done I have rails for 16 tray tables in three different woods.

Next I set up to make ribbon panels. Making these is very much like making the rails. Here I’m preparing to plane the rough blanks so the large faces are flat and parallel. Once this is done I cut the blanks into 5/16” thick strips and keep them in the same order I cut them off so grain matching will be easier.

These get no groove, but instead will be laid flat and edge glued together to form a solid wood panel which will be the top of the tray. I use a special jig I made to get the glue in between the strips, then take the half-panels to the next room and clamp them together.

I work with half panels because the full panel is 16” wide and my planer will handle only 12½” widths. One day I’ll have a wide belt drum sander and we can make full panels and sand them in one piece. But for now, we do it this way.

I made up as many panels as I have clamps for, then cut some more strips, then cleaned up.

See you next time,

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