Thursday, December 17

Home Stretch

I start the day by taking the completed trays for Ann’s Tray Tables out of clamps and do the finish sanding along the outer sides of the rails. Then I use the router table to round over the upper and lower outside edges of the tray rails. Why didn’t I do this before sanding? Because I wanted to be sure any glue bumps or slight miss-matches at the corners were evened out so they would not be repeated in the cut the router makes. Once routed I sand the round-overs and the trays are done. A while back I said that we had one final thing to fit before I could permanently assemble the leg sets, now we will look at that. I need to be sure the mounting blocks fit properly between the side rails; this is perfect! No adjustments needed so we can make the legs permanent. That done, I go ahead and glue the leg mounting blocks to the backer panel. There is no way to use screws to reinforce this joint, so the glue-job must be done right; good smooth mating surfaces, just the right amount of glue, and the right amount of clamping pressure to hold them in place while the glue tacks up. While the glue tacks up I make up a batch of walnut screw hole plugs using cut-offs from this project so the wood is the same color. I also finish making the latch block assemblies and glue those in place on the backer panel. Pictures? Well, I *could* show you how we make those, but then I’d have to kill you – it’s a closely guarded secret. Then I install the screw hole plugs and set the tables aside to let the glue set up. While the glue is setting I make a box for Dianne’s Cutting Board and package it using our eco-friendly packing. Then I weigh the carton, run the balance payment, print a shipping label and affix it to the box. That will now be set aside until I see the UPS man. By that time the plugs are ready to be trimmed off, then I do the final sanding by hand. Then I vacuum off the dust and shoot both tables with the first coat of lacquer. Once it is dry I’ll shoot the second coat. When that is dry I’ll scuff sand the tables to smooth the finish and shoot them with a third and final coat of satin lacquer. Once that is dry I’ll apply a skim coat of satin polyurethane to just the tray tops to help protect them from water rings and stains from spills; lacquer is a beautiful finish, but it needs a little more care than most people these days are willing to give it to keep it beautiful, so we skim coat the tops to help them remain unblemished. The polyurethane requires at least eight hours to cure before we can attempt to package the tables – more when it’s cold and/or damp (and it’s both tonight) and we need to have both of these orders on the road this weekend to be sure they get to the west coast before Christmas. So this will be another very late night – probably close to midnight – so I wrote this after shooting the first coat and I’m posting while waiting for the second coat to dry. I’ll do some cleaning up around the shop while waiting on the third coat and just go home once the Poly is on. See you here again tomorrow.

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