Friday, January 13

Dressing the panels

When i came in this morning I trimmed the ribbon panels to their finished width.

The first step in dressing these ribbon panels is to use a flush plane to scrape the glue pips off so they don't nick my planer knives.  If I've done it right, these little pip of hardened glue pop right off with the flush plane.
 Then I run the panels through the planer once on each side, taking light cuts on each pass.  The ribbon strips were cut only 1/16" thicker than the finished panel will be, so doing a good job of getting them even during the gluing process is important: there's not much excess to take off for smoothing.

Note that there is *no* extra room on the sides of these panels: these tables were designed to just fit like this, so when someone said, "Can I have a set 2" wider than normal" and were shocked that the price almost doubled, it's because such changes upset a lot of carefully planned things like this.

Most of the smoothing is done on the drum sander.  After the first pass or two I noticed that the panel was not sanding evenly across it's width, so I had to stop and calibrate the sander's head.  That took an awful long time just because it's not easy to do.

Once I got back to sanding, I spent the rest of the day sanding these down to the finished thickness taking off only 1/128th of an inch on each pass using a fine sanding band.

I closed out the day by gluing the ribbon panels to the backers.  These will sit until next time when I'll trim the completed panels to length and mill the rails.  See you then!

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