Friday, April 4


This will be a short day in the woodshop because it’s Friday. We used to do our weekly bookkeeping chores every Monday morning, but that has been causing come scheduling problems so we’ve decided that I should prepare everything Friday afternoon then Marie can go over it, sign checks and do he bossly stuff over the weekend. So I’ll be cleaning up shop mid-afternoon.

Today I am preparing the Nanny Rockers posts for installation. But first I must mount the base plate on the base assembly that was completed yesterday.

Two pieces of prep work must be done before installing the plate. Because the base plate is a solid chunk of natural wood, not plywood or particle board, it will need to expand and contract with atmospheric humidity. Not a lot; it’s not very wide so the movement will be minimal, but it will move a little. And since there are fasteners around the outer edges, if the wood contracts but can’t draw in, the wood will split. Pocket screws come up from the inside faces of the aprons and into the base plate to hold the base plate securely against the aprons to prevent the plate from curling. To allow some movement at the edges of the plate I wallow out the round holes where the pocket screws emerge in the top edge of the aprons turning them into ovals or small slots. The screws themselves will remain stationary, but can now flex a bit because of the extra room around their shanks.

The dowel rods that join the upper and lower sections of the corner posts also need some attention. It has been pretty wet lately; raining on and off almost every day this week, so the plate should be pretty much at it maximum width. To allow for contraction around the dowels that pass through the plate I cut and sand away some of the material that will be inside the plate removing it only from the outside faces of the dowels. The plate still presses firmly against the inside faces so the plate does not move about at all, but now it can shrink up about 3/16” of an inch before it snugs up against the outside edges of the dowels. That should be enough for a 17” wide board that has air dried for two years. It will be just the seasonal movement we need to be concerned with.

Once the base plate is in place I move on to other tasks.

Namely fitting the posts. On the far left is the chair portion of the Nanny Rocker, the tall posts are the back supports, the short ones in front support the arms. The short posts on the right are the cradle headboard posts. Because I’ve made modifications to the design to accommodate a different mattress I take careful measurements between the posts after they are in place to determine the precise lengths needed for head hoard and it’s lower rail, upper and lower side rails, and the lower rail under the inside chair arm.

Armed with this information I can confidently mill out the stock needed for those parts as well as the arms and the upper back piece. As usual, these were milled from 4/4 rough sawn lumber. By the time I needed to quit I managed to get all the needed parts blanks planed to thickness and trimmed to finished width and length. Next week I’ll cut them to shape and install them.

I hope you have a great weekend, see you on Monday.


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