Wednesday, January 16

Roof, Roof!

Today we built the final pieces of these cradles; the roofs. This consists of a front support member and three roof panels. The panels need to be cut from a 24” long and 11” wide board. For the walnut cradle, I have a board wide enough to do this. For the oak cradle I’ll need to glue this up. For that purpose I selected a couple of quarter sawn cut-offs that show some beautiful ray flecking and have graining and color similar enough that the joint between them will not be especially noticeable.

So I make my first task that of surfacing, jointing and gluing up the blank I will need for the oak roof panels. That way it will be ready this afternoon when I get to that step.

While I’m at it I go ahead and plane out the pieces for the roof aprons as well.

It’s pretty cold out this morning and our Chief of Security; Dolly, who takes her job very seriously, has decided to fulfill her duties as watch dog by watching from *inside*. Nice big windows make that duty much easier.

Shaping the roof apron is not as difficult as it might look for there are no beveled edges, lots of angles but all made at a blade setting of 90°. If we make the cuts in the right order they are simple enough to do. I start with a rather unorthodox cut for the miter saw by cutting the long angle on the roof top. No sneaking up on this cut; have to get it right the first time because most of the end of the board that sits against the fence will be cut away. Because the miter saw swings both directions I simply swing it over to the other side to make the cut on the opposite side.

Then I make the 8° end cut that will match up with the little arms on the side panel. This is done in a more conventional manner with the long edge against the fence. Swing the blade around to 8° on the other side and slide the piece down to do the other side. I could have done these cuts with a miter gauge on the table saw but that would mean having to lay out the cut for one end on the back side of the piece so I could flip the work piece over end for end to make the second cut. This is easier and faster.

The remaining cut; the scrolled edge is again done on the bandsaw with a narrow blade. But before I do that I test fit the piece into it place on the cradle and eyeball the way it will fit. As you can see, this corner would have been off by 1/16” had I cut it as laid out. I’m not sure where the error came in, but I can adjust for it and cut the apron for a perfect fit. Because it’s a square cut, not beveled, I can smooth and fair the edge of this piece with a drum sander. At least most of it. The little notch in the middle has to be done by hand, but that’s not bad.

Lunch time.

Now I grab the board I glued up this morning and the walnut plank I had set aside and plane them both down for use as roof panels, then rip them to width, and make the
cross-cuts. Then I tilt the blade to 15° to cut the miters where the three panels meet up. Once those are done I set the pieces in place, hold them together with masking tape and check the fit. Very good.

That completes the parts making stage. Now we have some decorative routing to do along the edges before I take it all apart again and sand everything smooth and ready for final assembly. And that uses up another day.

See you tomorrow,


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