Saturday, August 28

Tray Tables: Building Bases

It is Saturday and I’m sneaking in some shop time even though Saturday is supposed to be reserved for working around the homestead – although I did stop on my way over here and pick a bowl full of yellow beans, zucchini, tomatoes and carrots.

All the parts I’ll need today have been made, so I start by hand sanding the spreaders. A word about sanding. I’ve taught woodworking to people young and old, and I’ve never met anyone who could honestly say that sanding was their favorite part of woodworking. No one just loved stroking the wood with grit covered paper watching the scratches and nicks disappear as the soft smooth patina of well sanded wood emerged. No, most times teaching people to sand is one of the hardest lessons for people to “get”. Just as getting your hands wet does not mean they’re clean enough to eat with, just having touched the wood with sandpaper does not mean the wood is properly sanded.

This step takes some time and due diligence. Rushing through it will yield poor results later on.

To avoid wearing my triceps out, I sand one pair of spreaders, then apply glue to the ends, and fasten assemble the leg pairs and spreaders into a table base. Then I go sand another pair of spreaders and repeat the process.

By early afternoon I have all four table bases assembled and they join the four trays on the completed assemblies stack. I will need to make and install screw hole plugs over the screws but otherwise the bases are done. I’ll do the screw hole plugs after lunch so they can set up well tomorrow and be ready for trimming Monday.

The late part of the afternoon will be spent mowing our “upper yard” which is not at all like an urban yard, more like a meadow. We’ve got gazelles moving in up there, it really needs mowing before the rain moves in again.

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