Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Day Two on the Desk

I’ve probably said this before but, it really never seizes to amaze me just how long even a ‘simple’ pine project can take to make! You visualise all the basic things but, in spite of the training I’ve had in making furniture, I easily forget some of the necessary practices – like sanding to remove machining marks. I do sometimes wish I had a drum sander to simply send boards through as I seem to be going through 120g 4in wide sanding belts at an alarming rate. Pine is sticky stuff with all the resins and that doesn’t help. Really, I should be looking to use 80g for all the donkey work (that would explain why I haven’t so many 80g belts left but, I’m now down to my final 120g belt in the box…).

Plenty has been going over the weekend and, if I were to update it all in this single post, you’d still be reading it by the time I leave for work tomorrow morning (once I’d finished writing it!). So, in this post, I’ll just update you on Saturday’s events, with Sunday’s efforts to follow tomorrow (I’m secretly hoping to have this finished-or-very-close by next weekend…!).

It’s easy, when you’re working with a number of near-identically sized components, to get yourself in a muddle. That’s why I like to label individual parts (above) with a soft pencil.

To cut two cleats to sit on the underside of the top, I made two rip cuts down a length of 3x1in, threw away the middle strip and finished them at 25x16mm. Yep, you can see splashes of rust on the bandsaw table again (damn the recent weather!). These will fit almost flush with the ends of the top and there’ll be another 25mm gap before the legs and stiles. Ideally, this’ll provide a finger grip for lifting and, although they’re not too thick, I’m hoping they’ll help to keep the top flat once fixed (at the very least, they’ll increase its visual thickness from certain angles).

All the gluing up for the top panel was complete and, to save on clamps and space, I cramped both ‘legs’ together in the same cramps. There is plenty of excess running out of the joins, as you can see. Normally, I would never apply glue to both surfaces but, as I’ve started catching up with the New Yankee Workshop again recently, I think this is all of Norm’s doing!! πŸ˜€

You’ll notice above that there was a definite discrepancy between two of the boards used for one of the ‘legs’. So, even when you buy PAR timber, it’s important to be aware that dimensions can vary from one to the next (for this reason, I sent all my leg-frame components through the thicknesser, finishing at 19mm).

As I mentioned at the top of this post, my belt sander’s been getting a thorough workout on this job! Pencil marks help to show where I have and haven’t been, in order to keep things as flat as possible.

I decided I would join the back legs in to the fixed top with a bare-face-tongue and groove joint and I used my router with a 3/8in cutter (and a pine straight-edge, double-sided-taped in place) to cut two housings to a depth of 8mm.

They came out a bit ‘fluffy’ around the edges but, that can happy with many timbers using only a twin-flute cutter, not only pine. Using a spiral-fluted bit may improve things.

There were several other methods I could’ve used to form a tongue on the top end of each leg but, I stuck with my hand-held router and fitted the side fence; simply because I couldn’t be bothered to clear-off and setup my router table, even though it had the best bit for the job fitted! πŸ˜›

A quick dry-fit and I was very nearly ready for bed – after a good start in the morning with all the gluing up, I’d lost my motivation by lunchtime and so, spent a very lazy, down-beat afternoon away out of the workshop… πŸ˜›

One final point for today that I consider to be worth noting…

Is my mitre saw’s blade dull?

Whenever I cross-cut materials on my sliding mitre saw, I like to make a shallow scoring cut first (on the pull-stroke), before plunging down and pushing the blade back through the material, towards the fence and completing the cut. This scoring-action helps to minimise breakout and chipping on the upper face [I did a video on this somewhere]. But, I noticed a few months ago that it’s leaving a very fine rebate on the ends of my timber – does this suggest that my saw blade needs sharpening?

That’s all I got done in a few hours on a long, hot Saturday – and, yes, I did spend a lot of that time sanding this pine. More to follow tomorrow evening! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading.

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