Wednesday, June 25
Monday, June 23
Friday, June 20
Thursday, June 19
Marie and the Legal Beagle have given me permission to proceed with Kathleen's HD TV Tray Tables even though we have not yet received the check for the 2nd progress payment. I hate to delay the other orders too much, and even if Kathleen should skip the country on us we can always sell a set of cherry TV Tables. So, we forge ahead.
I start off by running the rough lumber through the surface planer to just skin off enough of the rough, "tanned" surface to see clearly what the coloring and graining is underneath. Then I take the skinned boards into the assembly room, which will for today serve as a staging area, and lean them up against the wall so they are all where I can see them. The templates then join us and I begin the process of selecting which boards will become which parts.
As I lay out the various parts on the boards, I chunk up the long lumber into billets using the chop saw for cross-cutting and the table saw for ripping. These billets are stacked on a rolling cart (on the left) along with the templates for each part.
That uses up most of the morning. The rest of the day is spent trimming and planing the billets to parts blank dimensions. By the end of the day all of the parts blanks are done and we are ready to begin forming parts... but we'll do that next time.
Wednesday, June 18
Tuesday, June 17
Friday, June 13
Wednesday, June 11
This morning Tim and I made quick work of mummifying the last bench and loading all three on his trailer so he was on his way several hours earlier than we had anticipated – a good thing too since it’s thunder storming here now, as it did yesterday. We were given a window of beautiful weather to load and send Tim & Kat over the mountains.
Unfortunately the storms have prevented me from opening up the lumber piles to extract the maple I need to build three cutting boards. So I decided to use this time to get caught up on my article writing and get some badly needed rest.
So, Long Rails has been updated and completed, and you may step through the rest of the article by clicking the NEXT link at the bottom of each page.
I’m going to do some cleaning up and putting away in here then, as soon as the rain lets up enough to get back to the house safely, I’m going to go take a nap!
Tuesday, June 10
Tim will be up here tomorrow afternoon to load and head out, and he expects to arrive at their destination Thursday afternoon. So… this one is about done.
Next up: more cutting boards.
Monday, June 9
This morning I applied the second coat of oil to the first bench and have been assembling the third bench while that dries. Its frame is completed and in clamps now, I have only to install the seat slats and plug the screw holes and do the finish sanding.
I will continue to alternate between assembling and finishing today. As soon as the first bench is dry enough that it will not act as a dust magnet I’ll roll it out and take the other bench in for its second coat. It takes about an hour and a half to oil and wipe one of these benches. Hopefully this evening I will be able to apply the first coat to the third bench.
This finish requires a minimum of 24 hours of cure time between coats, so I can not apply the second coat to the third bench until Tuesday evening, and the trio of English Garden benches should be ready to hit the road to Vermont Wednesday afternoon.
Once they are on their way, I am going to take a well deserved day off. I’ll use part of that to complete the construction article on these benches. Until then, I’m focusing on getting them completed.
Friday, June 6
Tim has been coming in a couple of times per day to at least keep me company and lend a hand when he can. Tim, a retired trucker will be making this delivery for me because he can get them there in one day where the truck line will take two, and by loading them onto his trailer, wrapped in plastic instead of having to build crates for them I can save another two days of production time. That’s 3 days saved… might be just enough to meet our revised deadline.
The mortising bit that I ordered – and paid extra to place as a RUSH order – finally showed up yesterday. It took a week to get here, then it doesn’t fit! So it’s going back. Fortunately I was NOT sitting around waiting on the bit, but came up with a way to use a 3/8” mortising chisel to cut the ¾” mortises; it just takes four times as many cuts to accomplish, and required rigging an adjustable jig to move the piece being mortised in and out from the fence exactly 3/8” when I was ready to make the second pass. That took a while, but it worked. Good thing too, since things worked out as they did.
At this point in time I have all the end frame joinery cut, the parts fitted and dry-assembled (no glue), the back assembly is fitted and dry-assembled, and the front rail/seat support assembly is fitted and dry assembled. All that remains in the construction phase is to mill out the seat slats, then knock everything apart again, sand to 100 grit and start gluing parts back together.
Once that’s all done we’ll move on to the finishing stage.
We have been snapping photos as we go along, but have not had time to format them and write the accompanying text. We’ve been concentrating on getting the woodworking done since this trio of benches needs to be *Unloading* in Vermont one week from now, and the finishing alone will take 3 days to accomplish. I’ll complete the construction diary as soon as I get some slack in the schedule.
So I’d better get back to work, got to go make seat slats!