Thursday, October 27

Completing the tray panels will be my primary task for today.  I start by removing the clamps and the tape that held the panels together during the gluing and clamping process.
Then I use the surface planer to smooth both faces of the panels, removing any glue ridges that may have snuck past my damp rag yesterday and bringing the panel to the finished thickness of 1/4".
Then I cut the backer panels I need from a chunk of Baltic birch plywood.  This material is solid birch, no voids and is expensive stuff made for use in furniture and high end cabinets. 

At this point I cut the panels to finished width and rough length.  You'll see why in just a bit.

Then I center the ribbon panels on the backer panels and glue the two together.  The backers are needed as a stable surface to which to glue the tray rails.  The ribbon panels, being solid wood, will expand and contract a little across their width, making them a poor foundation for the rails. This assembly leaves just a scosh of expansion room inside the rail assembly yet allows me to glue the rails solidly to the backer.

While the glue on those tries I make the parts blanks I'll need for the tray stand, pieces.  Rail stock has already been milled, I'll cut it to length later.
I apply masking tape to the walnut where I will need to make pencil lines so they are easy to see.  The templates give the the shape and the centers for the various holes I'll need to bore to make the stand.

I cut out the curves on the band saw and finish them off on the big belt sander.
When the glue in the tray panels assemblies is dry I mount the big crosscut sled and trim the panels to finished length by trimming both ends so they are square and the ribbon panel is exactly flush with the backer panels.  The ribbons will not expand along their length, so I want the ends flush for maximum strength.

I also got the stand parts made and the sub-assemblies put together.  I'll let the glue dry overnight because I 'm out of time for today.  Time to pack up and head for home: Marie will be arriving soon with a truck-load of groceries and I'll need to help carry then in the house. Tomorrow I should complete assembly of the tables and possibly the stand as well.  All that will be left then will be the finish sanding and applying the finish.

I'm running a little behind on the scheduled completion time because I was sick as a dog for a week, but even with that I'm only a couple of days late now.  And we are no longer promising delivery dates, because we are no longer doing custom work.

See you tomorrow!

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