Friday, December 16

 This morning I continued picking through the ash lumber I brought in from the lumber shed previously and sorting it out so I know which boards I want to use to make what parts.  This has been here for 4½ years, so it is good and dry now.
 I'll make the rocker assembly first, so I take the board earmarked for that and lay out the cuts.  Then I use the chop saw to cut the board into blanks for the two rockers and the spreader.
 The spreader come from an end piece that is kind of wormy, but I can cut away the bad parts to leave a large enough piece down the middle.

The scrap pieces will go into the firewood box.  I'll need to save a piece from which I can make screw hole plugs, but the rest will heat our home
 While jointing the three parts blanks I am reminded that the bed of the jointer has been "draggy" lately, making it harder work than necessary to joint the boards. 

So I break out my can of paste wax and give the jointer bed a good coat, applying the wax with fine steel wool.  Once the wax flashes I take an old towel and buff it off.

Much better!  I joint one face and one edge on each part blank
 Now that the surface planer is fixed it's a simple matter to get the blanks completed.  The boards are all well over 1 inch thick, so I plane off a fair amount of stock to make the 3/4" thick parts, but that's OK, it just insures that even if the board started out a little bowed or crooked I can flatten it. 
 When the blanks are prepared I bundle the two rocker blanks together with masking tape.

Then I line up the top of the rocker template with the jointed edge and trace around it to transfer the shape to the blanks.

Most of the shaping process will be done with these two boards fastened together to insure they are the same shape.  This is especially important for the rocker bottoms so they rock smoothly with no wobble or wiggle.
 I cut them out on the band saw.
 Then smooth away the rough edges and do the final shaping of the outside curves on the stationary belt sander.
 I use a drum in the drill press to dress the inside curves.
 Then pretty up the rockers by rounding over the edges on the router table.  I leave the top edge square of course: this will mate up with the bottom of the cradle.
 Then I lay out the screw holes that will attach the rockers to the spreader.  I drill the pilot holes and counter-bores into the rocker faces then set up the drill press to drill matching pilot holes in the ends of the spreader.
I assemble the rockers to the spreader and check to be sure it all came out square and even.  I'll take it apart again to sand the parts, then reassemble them with glue in the joints.  Then I'll glue in screw hole plugs and sand those smooth.

But this completes the construction of this assembly.

Next time we'll mill out the cradle bottom.

Have a great weekend!

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