Friday, November 13

Finishing assembly of lid

Today we will complete assembly of the walnut trunk lid. We start by clamping the end caps in place, making sure they fit properly and laying out where the screws will go that hold the caps to the rest of the frame. I bore and counter bore teh screw holes, apply glue and install the screws. We will be making an arch from a bunch of flat pieces. Since the panels between the rails do not bend, I want to ease the stress in the joints were teh panels fit into the rails. This will help prevent anything from splitting and will make getting it all to go together a bit easier. I do that by planing a shallow chamfer along both edges of the top surface of the filler panels. This allows for a little "play" in the joint. Not so much that the panels will rattle, just enough to help things along. Then I slip the outer panles in place, pop the middle rails onto them and slip the center panel between the rails from the end and drive it in with a mallet and softwood block. Then I can insert the screws in the top rail. I make my own screw hole plugs from scraps cut off of this project using a plug cutter in the drill press. This allows for a better match between plugs and project, especially since most commercially bought plugs are end-grain (think short pieces of dowel rod) and the plugs I make are face grain, same as the wood they will go into. All that remains is to apply glue to the inside of the counterbores and tap plugs into them. I'll let the glue set up hard before I attempt to cut off the excess length and sand them smooth.

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