Wednesday, November 24

Tray Tables -Ribbon Panels

Welcome back!

Once I got my e-mail and administrative chores done this morning I got right to the task of making up ribbon panels for Tina's Folding Tray Table set. 

I take the sets of ribbon strips I cut yesterday and, working with one set at a time, lay the strips down flat on the table and in order.  Most of the time I'll tip them all the same direction so that the wavy pattern in the grain all waves the same direction and "flows" across the panel.  Once in a while I get a really unique pattern that is best  highlighted by flipping every-other strip over giving me arrow like stripes.

So I work one panel at a time, laying in strips.  If one set is not enough to make the needed width, I check to see which other set is closest to this one in grain pattern and continue with that.

When I have enough strips to make the needed width and I'm happy with the pattern I use a framing square to get one end of the strips all evened up and square to a side.  Then I hold them in place by placing 3 strips of wide masking tape across the panel and rubbing it down well to make sure it bonds to all the strips.  Then I fold the panel in half and take it into the assembly room to be glued up.

I built this fixture to hold the panel as I apply glue.  The tape holds the panel together and acts as hinges at each joint, the acute angle at the top opens up the joint so I can get glue into the joint, and the long flat run out the back supports the glued up section and keeps the joints closed up.

When all the joints have been glued I lift the panel off of the fixture and lay it onto the three bar clamps that are set up ready to receive it.  The masking tape is placed where the bar clamps sit to prevent glue-to-metal contact discoloring the wood.  I wipe the excess glue from the back of the panel with a *damp* rag.  Actually I'm not so much concerned with removing the glue as I am removing any ridges of glue.  By just sort of spreading those out, I also seal the wood on the back of the panel and prepare it for being glued to the backer panel later on.  I avoid over-wetting the wood which might affect the glue joints.  The rag need be only damp enough to help move the glue around.  I add two more clamps and make sure all are applying an even, medium pressure.  Going gorilla here will just force the glue out of the small joints and cause problems later.  What is needed is firm, continuous contact between the wood faces in each joint.

With the first one done, I'll go take my lunch break, make a mail run and look in on Mom.  When I get back this panel will be tacked up enough to remove the clamps and glue up another.  While that one sets I'll work on making parts blanks.  Then I can glue up the third.  I have one tray completed, so I only need parts for three more.

I'm going to post these notes now (I'm doing them during my lunch break) because Marie and I have someplace else to be this evening, so if not now, then it would be tomorrow.

Tomorrow, fellow woodworkers, we will... oh, wait... tomorrow is Thanksgiving isn't it?  Well, then I'll see you back in here on Friday.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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