Wednesday, October 26

Making ribbon panels will occupy most of today's woodworking time, but first I assemble the table bases by attaching the spreaders I made yesterday to the leg pair sub-assemblies made earlier.  This is done with screws alone - no glue as I may have to take them apart and adjust the width.  I won't know that until I get the trays done.

I prepped some parts blanks previously, I pull those out now and slice the boards into 5/16" thick ribbon strips.  I am careful to keep the strips in order as I cut them off so the grain pattern flows effortlessly across the panel when I'm done.
I make the panels by laying the ribbon strips down flat and arranging them for the most pleasing look possible.  Once they are edge-glued into a panel all the seams will disappear and the panel will look like a single wide piece of wood.

Sometimes I like to include a special feature as a center stripe in the panel, but i do this only if I can get the grain to match up - no sudden pattern changes allowed.  I cut more than enough strips to make the two panels and will make up as many panels as I can.  The extra will get set aside for next time.
I use a square to even up one end of the panel then use three strips of wide masking tape to bind the strips together into a panel.  this then can be sort of "rolled up" and put on a special gluing fixture I made that opens up one joint for gluing then supports the glued section keeping those joints closed up.

When all the joints are glued I move the panel over to a set of clamps.  As I apply pressure I check to be sure the strips are aligned well: I only have 1/16" of wood I can remove in the smoothing process, so it has to be pretty close to perfect before I start.

These panels will be allowed to sit in their clamps overnight to achieve maximum glue hold before I work with them further.

The rest of the afternoon will be spent roughing out stand parts.  Then I'm off to help Marie with a brush-pile burning project as part of our fall clean-up process.  It's supposed to rain again tomorrow, so this needs to be done today.  Burning a wet brush pile does not work so well!

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