Friday, April 9

Beginning The Frilly Bits

Today I’ll get going on the frilly bits by making and installing the waist banding and the cove that transitions the pendulum case to the head case. I start by milling some stock into blanks, routing the profile onto the edge of the board, then ripping the molding off the board – this is much safer than trying to route a profile on a narrow strip of wood. As I cut the moldings, I must be mindful of where they go and the angles that will be involved: sides slope at 2 degrees, front at 4 degrees, label them to be sure the top edge gets on top, then get good tight miters at the corners. Fitting the molding strips is one of those tasks where I wish I had a third arm sticking out of my chest. I need to wiggle the two strips where the first miters meet until they mate up exactly right, then mark the back of the side piece so I know where to cut it. Once it’s cut I’ll test fit it to be sure I got it right, then bore pilot holes for 1½” brads, start the brads through the holes, apply glue to the back of the molding, fit the moldings in place again, and tap the front brad to set it’s proper location. Then I can fiddle a little with the back of the strip to be sure it’s running level and drive the brads home, set them below the surface and fill the holes with wood putty. The other side is similar except I cut the front piece to rough length (1/16” to 3/32” long) then use the fit between the other side strip and the front to home in on a perfect fit of the front piece. When that is achieved I cut the other side strip to length and attach it. This is the transition cove at the top of the pendulum cabinet, it will serve as a fillet between the narrow cabinet and the wider head case. At right is the waist banding after installation. The nail holes have been filled but not sanded yet – have to wait for it to dry first.
Joyce commented that the wood looks funny. Sanded walnut looks almost grey in these photos, unsanded walnut reflects less light and looks darker. All raw wood looks kind of bland, once I apply the finish it wil liven up and darken considerably. Angle of light and whether or not I use flash can affect the way to wood looks -- this is not a photography studio...
While I’m waiting I start on making the templates for the glass. I use some small sheets of poster board, tape them together, cut them to rough size and tape them securely to the face of the panel. Then I rub the edge of the glass rabbet HARD with my thumb to make a crease in the poster board where the edge of the rabbet is. HINT: Do NOT sand the edges of the rabbet before doing this, you want as sharp an edge as possible, rounding it off a bit makes this almost impossible. Once the outline is determined I remove the tape and poster board and use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut out the shape. Bouncing the light off the poster board at an angle helps to make the crease show up. When it’s cut out I lay it in the rabbet and check the fit. If it’s too tight anywhere I mark it with a pencil and cut just a hair more paper off – did I mention this requires a SHARP pair of scissors? When it fits perfectly I label the template so the bevel gets cut on the proper face – the shape may not be perfectly symmetrical and if the glass gets beveled on the wrong face it may not fit (unless I install the glass backward). Now I’ll roll up the templates (no creases that way) and mail them off to Allied Glass in Knoxville to have the beveled glass pieces made. They can be working on that while I complete the case. Now I go back and spend the rest of the day sanding. Sanding the dried wood putty over the nails, sanding the molding strips, sanding the fluted door frame, sanding anything else I see that needs sanding… I’m just a sanding fool this evening! Next up; Golden Rope. I’ll get to that on Monday. I have yard work to do tomorrow (Saturday).

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