Saturday, January 12

Making the Sides

Today we made the side pieces for both cradles. I started with the hard part: the upper sides. This is the section that supports the roof and forms a hood. Lots of angles here. I was fortunate enough to find a really wide flat board of walnut, wide enough to get the upper sides out of a single board. Not so in the oak, I will cross-cut the oak boards, flip the part on the left side over on top of the other and glue them together. That way the grain will match well and the joint will be nearly invisible.

The walnut parts can be nested together and cut from the single plank. Once again I use masking tape to help me see where the lay-out lines are. I trace around the template, but don’t cut it out yet. I start my cutting the flat square edge on the lower edge that will join to the upper edge of the lower side piece. Then, using my miter gauge I cut the 8° angle on the back edge. Then I set up to cut the slope of the roof support. But this also has a 23° bevel to match the slope of the roof. I set up to cut the right side pieces easily enough, but how to get the mirror image for the left side? The blade in the saw does not tilt the other direction. My rather unorthodox solution is to leave the blade and the miter gauge set as they are and flip the gauge around backwards and install it on the other side of the blade. I clamp the piece to the gauge and cut the bevels. Problem solved.

Now I have matched pairs of upper side pieces. I cut the curvy lines on the band saw and fair the cuts to the lay-out lines with a drum sander. The upper sides are now done.

The lower sides are a bit easier because the upper and lower edges are parallel, so trimming them means running the plank along the fence of the saw. An 8° bevel is cut on the lower edge to lean the sides outward a bit. I just have to be sure I cut the bevel going the right way! Then I set up the miter gauge again to cut the end slopes. This time I can cut both ends with one set-up by just flipping the board over.

Now it’s time to put the two together. I start by laying out the locations for dowel pins and drilling the holes for them in upper and lower parts. Then into the assembly room I go with them, apply glue, insert the pins and draw them together snugly with clamps. The only worry here is that I have to be careful not to damage the bevels on the upper and lower edges by cranking the clamps down on them. Clamp pads help with this,

I’ll let the glue set up well before doing more. Beside, it’s time to quit anyway.

Have a great Sunday!


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