Wednesday, November 18

Floor Boards

Today we will make the floor boards for our two steamer trunks. We start by cross-cutting rough sawn boards to rough length. We cut a set in walnut and one in oak.

Then we joint one wide face and one edge smooth, flat and straight.

The jointed edges are marked with triagles, each pointing to the edge they share. At this point is is easily to see which faces have been jointed because the other two are still rough, but in a while it will not be so easy.

Next the blanks are run through the surface planer, jointed side down so the planer knives smooth the upper face and make them parallel to the jointed face. Oh, and we keep doing this until the blanks are reduced to the finished thickness. That takes quite a few passes.

Once that's done I trim the floor boards to width on the table saw - jointed edge to the rip fence so the rough edge gets cut away. Then mount a 45° chamfering bit in the router table to cut small angles on the upper edges then use the table saw to cut slots in the edges of each floor board into which splines will be fitted to lock the floor boards together, yet allow them to expand and contract with humidity changes.

Finally I mill out a mess of splines and set the completed parts aside for sanding. I have 6 wide planks and one narrow center plank for each trunk. I won't cut them to finished size until I get the trunk case parts glued up so I can take precise measurements directly from the trunks themselves. That comes next.

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