Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 8, project completed.

The remaining part of the felt lining was installed and after letting the glue dry for a day, I used a sharp and pointed knife to cut away the felt covering the 50 holes for the individual pieces of ammunition.

The hinges were mounted and so were the latches for keeping the box closed.

Finally I chiseled MMXVIII in the underside of the box marking the completion of the project.

After taking some pictures, I handed the box over to my friend, and he said that he would send me some pictures with the revolver and the ammunition loaded in the box. But off course this will only be after we sign off.

Thoughts about the build:

I like making small box like projects, and this one had a nice manageable size. It ended up being 8" x 16" x 3".
There isn't much wood in a project like this, and the size of the parts make it fairly easy to process out here.

At first I was a bit skeptical to the dovetail lay out, I was afraid that it might look weird. But I am glad that I went along with it, because I actually think that it looks fine. And I especially like the way I managed to split the lid and the base so that after trimming, the divided pin that is very close to the other pins in size.

My experimental finishing is probably the biggest success in this build. The surface feels very smooth, but it is not super shiny. And I really like the look of it.

Mounting the felt lining was a bit harder compared to other projects I have done, due to the partitions in the base of the box. Cutting the holes for the ammunition block felt luckily went as planned, though it took quite some time to carefully nibble away with a really sharp knife.

The latches worked and looked better than I had expected. They are not cast, but made out of some thin stamped brass that has been given a surface treatment to look old. Originally thought that they looked kind of flimsy, but I am glad that I chose those since I think they look very fitting.

I haven't timed the build, but an estimate is that I have roughly 25 hours in it. It isn't a very fast build, but the stock preparation takes a lot of time when you have to do the resawing by hand.

All in all I think this is one of my better builds, and I am even a bit envious that I can't bring the box home with me. I guess that is a fine indication that the project hasn't been a complete disaster.

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case opened.

Two latches for closing.

Close up of front corner.

Ammunition block lower left corner.

Close up of felt termination in angled groove.

Box before cutting 50 holes and mounting hinges and latches.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 7, felt lining.

Yesterday I gave the outside another coat of marine varnish, which I again applied using some steel wool.
I lightly wiped off the excess, and today the surface looked fine and dry.
The surface was not perfect, and I decided that I preferred a slightly more matte look.
So once again I smoothed the surface using the steel wool, and I really like the look of the surface after this treatment. There is still a bit of gloss in the pores of the wood, but the surface is as smooth as a nuns stomach (as my dad would say).

The felt lining is not especially complicated in theory. You measure and cut the size you need. But in real life it is a bit harder than that. suddenly the fabric stretches and when you try to carefully remove a bit, suddenly it was too much and you need to start over again. It can also be an advantage if you start out a fraction too short, then the stretch can save you.

I am using regular white glue for the fastening of the felt, because it is what I have, and it works OK.

The angled groove that I made after has shown to be a very effective way of terminating the felt lining. It gives a very clean look in my opinion, so I will definitely use that next time I am going to make a similar type of box.

Lined lid.

Glue smeared on the ammunition block.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 6, ammunition block and surface treatment.

The ammunition block was ripped close to its final size, and then I planed one of the sides to act as a reference.
I crosscut it to the correct length, and planed the remaining side and the bottom and top of it, testing for a nice fit in the base.

I removed the block again and marked up the locations of the 50 holes for the individual rounds of ammunition.
The location of each of the holes received a small mark made by an awl before being drilled.
While my work holding and worktable etc aren't very good out here, the same thing can not be said about our drill press. It is a "Strands of Sweden", it is similar to Lie Nielsen in hand planes when it comes to drilling machines. It is really accurate and a joy to use. It is actually a stark contrast to the crappy drill press I have at home.

I drilled the 1/2" holes all the way through the block. The bottom of the base will work as a stop, so by doing it this way, I won't have to worry about getting all the holes to the same depth.
Two of the holes turned out less than perfect, the first one was because i didn't hold the piece firmly enough when retracting the drill, so it caught the side and made the hole oval.
The second hole was due to a heavy roll of the ship that caused everything to move. In retrospect I suppose that I should have waited with the drilling until some day with calm weather, but it was just a single time the ship moved that much.

After sanding the surfaces lightly, the ammunition block was finally glued in place.

While the glue dried, I took a cup of tea.

The dust seal wasn't completely level at all corners, so I gave it a few swipes with the plane and rounded the top again with some sandpaper.

At this point even I couldn't ignore the fact any loner, that the time for sanding the outside a bit more was getting awfully close.
I grabbed the sanding block and gave it a good workout on the outside using some grit 80 that we happened to have on board.
All the remaining pencil marks were removed and it started to look really nice. I found some fine emery cloth next. I think that it might be something like a grit 180 or 240, but I am not sure - it wa finer than the 80 which was the important thing.
Another round of that and the box looked downright fine.

The next step ought to be fitting the hardware, but since this is a ship and there is sometimes a lot of grime and oil etc in the workshop, I chose to give the box a coat of varnish instead. This will hopefully protect the surface a bit from grease stains etc.

I don't have any abrasive pads on this ship, but I found an old roll of steel wool. It isn't particularly fine, so I guess it is grade 0.
I poured a bit of varnish into a paper cup and dipped the steel wool into it. It rubbed the varnish into the surface using the steel wool, and once I was done, I grabbed a clean rag and wiped of the entire surface.
So far it looks good, but I am anxious to see what it looks like when the varnish has dried.

Interior of the box.

Bottom finished.

Top finished.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 5, dividing the interior.

The remaining part of the dust seal was glue in place, and while the glue dried, I started on the divider for the interior of the box.

It was made of a similar strip as the dust seal, but it was reduced to 1.5" in height (38 mm), this was also the height of the angled groove above the bottom.

The divider had its top rounded, and I started measuring from my 1:1 scale drawing, to transfer the measurements to the box itself.

A fine thing about adding a layer of felt later on is that you don't have to worry about markings etc. And the interior finish can also be left a bit more coarse.
I chiseled a small dado where the divider would meet the dust seal, so that the end of the divider had some support.
Since the divider is fairly thin, sort of 1/4", I was not sure if it could stand up to the load if it was merely glued together with a butt joint. So I took the extra time and dovetailed the pieces together with a mitered top. I marked the dovetails out by hand and surprisingly they went along really fine. at least the two that were right angle joints did.
The angled joint wasn't very impressive, but it will still hold up better than a butt joint, and in the end it will all be covered with felt.

The completed divider was glued to the bottom of the case, and the ends were glued into the dadoes that I had made.

With that part out of the way, I started on gluing up a block of wood that will receive 50 holes for holding the ammunition to the revolver.

Divided interior, dust seal and lid

First part of the divider.

Eyeballed mitered dovetails.

Gluing the divider in its place.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 4, Splitting the box and making a dust seal.

With the box dry, I first planed the protruding parts of pins and tails and sanded lightly.
I then marked the division line on the remaining two sides. I had marked it out on the ends in connection with the initial marking of the tails.

I have designed the split so that I only needed to remove 3 mm of wood (1/8"). The saw kerf is not that wide, so I tried to saw between the lines and then used a plane for cleaning up the joint.

Once opened, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was very little glue squeeze out on the inside. I used a chisel to remove the little there was.
I planed the mating surfaces of the lid and the base and followed up with a bit of sanding, I was curious if there were any internal stress in the boards, but everything stayed flat and square.

The next step was to make the interior fittings. These consists of some flat strips of wood that are going to be glued to the inside of the base in a way so that they will extend a bit into the lid, acting as a dust seal. There is also going to be some lower strips that will form the division that will create the space for the revolver. Finally there will be a piece of board that will hold 50 rounds of ammunition.

I have seen on a forum where someone discussed decorative presentation cases, that one method of making those dust seal strips includes an angled groove that will sort of conceal the end of the fabric used to line the box with. In my case green felt.

The first task was to plane the strips flat and to the same thickness. With that complete, I clamped them together and made them all the same width.
I marked the inside height of the base on the strips, and planed the top part of them at an angle, with a rounding at the top. That was to become the dust seal, and the reason for the angle is to make it possible to open and close the lid.

I marked out the position of the angled groove, so that it would be at the same height as the base itself without the dust seal. and made it using the combination plane. I just held it at an angle and took a couple of passes.

The strips were then sawed to the correct length aiming at a 45 degree miter in the corner. I suck at sawing miters, so there is a bit of a gap. My hope is that anyone who will look into the box will be so impressed with the revolver inside, that they won't notice those small gaps.
I glued on three of them before calling it a day (night actually).

Sawing the box in two.

The dust seal strips with the angled groove visible on the off cut.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 3, dovetails and assembly.

Laying out dovetails is normally fairly straight forward, but I had to think hard on this set, because of the plan to glue up all at once, and then split the box to form the lid and the base.

I had to incorporate two grooves, and I also wanted the split pin to be the correct size after splitting and planing.
In the end I managed to make a layout that suited me. I also need to take into account that my narrowest chisel is 1/4".
So I can't make those ultra thin pins even if they would look fine on a project like this.
I made a template for laying out the angles of the dovetails, and I settled on 1:8 sine it is hardwood.

Before dovetailing, I did something unusual (to me at least). I used by shooting board to trim the ends to the become square and the pieces to become the exact same length.
I felt that I had to use this approach, since the stock is thin, so I couldn't just plane away to remove inaccuracies later on as I normally do out here.

Since the pieces were comparatively small, I was able to do it tails first, which I prefer. The actual chopping out was done on a piece of wood held in the vice, and then with the work piece clamped on top of that.

Once all the dovetails were completed, and I had dry assembled the case, I made the rabbets on the lid and bottom, to make them fit in the grooves.
I have never had much success with the small nicker when going across the grain, so I tried instead to first score a line with a hobby knife.
Then after every two passes or so with the plane, I would score another line to keep the rabbet looking good. It took a bit longer than if I had just planed the rabbet, but it looked so much better, so it was definitely worth it.

The rabbet along the grain was a walk in the park. A sharp iron does the trick.

Based on Sylvains comment to the last blog post, where he asked if it was possible to change the fence to the other side, I had decided that I could try to make a new set of rods that would allow me to do just that.
The engineer apprentice on board will soon attend his exam, and he needed a bit more routine in using a lathe. So I made a drawing of some rods that would work, even if we didn't have the correct tap and die for making the same thread as what is originally in the plane.
He made two parts, and I made the remaining two, so I could use the plane tonight.
It is not a 100% elegant solution to use the plane the other way, but it works, and the is the most important thing.

So after making the extra set of rods, I planed the rabbet that would have been against the grain, but now wasn't anymore. It worked brilliantly.

Again I made a dry assembly, this time incorporating the two panels. One of the panels needed to have one side trimmed with a single swipe of a plane, to make it slide easier in the groove.

The edges between the rabbets and the top were rounded to soften the look.

Glued up box.

Shooting the ends.
Workholding for chopping out dovetails.

Record No 50 with fence on the "wrong" side

View from underneath. The wooden fence was needed so I could plane with less than the full width of the iron. The depth stop is a fence (I can't remember for what use) that has been flipped 180 degree

Dry assembly of the box.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 2, getting groovy

The build continued today with a bit of work on the sides and and ends of the presentation case.

First I straightened one side of all pieces, and then I marked out for the final height of the box.
I ripped the pieces slightly over sized, so I could plane them to the final dimension. I made sure to keep an eye out for grain orientation which helped a lot.

I marked the individual pieces with some carpenter's triangles, and again I made sure to keep an eye out for grain direction , since I had to make some grooves on the inside of all the pieces.

After looking at the top and bottom, I decided to use the 1/4" grooving iron. It was the same one that I had sharpened last time I was on board, so I knew that it would work.
The iron was installed in the combination plane, and I made a few test swipes on a piece of scrap, to check if was adjusted OK. It might have been sheer luck, or it could be that I I am slowly getting better at setting up the plane - but anyhow the plane took a nice crisp shaving right from the start.

For the first grooves the workholding wasn't a big deal. I clamped a large piece of wood in the vise, and used some clamps to hold the pieces onto that large stick.

The challenge came when I had to make the set of grooves destined to receive the bottom of the case.
I couldn't turn the pieces around and plane from the other end unless I wanted to effectively ruin it all with tear out.
So after a few experiments I made some sort of a sticker board, and planed the bottom grooves from the same side.
I managed to make some really nice and crisp grooves on all pieces, and there was practically no tear out. It is nice to see that a little forward thinking on grain direction actually can help.

The next step will be to cut the sides and ends to their final length and shoot the ends of those pieces, when that is done I am going to lay out some dovetails.

Planing all pieces to the same height.

Workholding for the bottom grooves.

Sides and ends with grooves.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 1, stock preparations and ideas

One of my colleagues has got a S&W 629. He is Norwegian, and apparently it is a bit easier to be a gun collector and user in Norway compared to Denmark.

When I built the pilot ladder cabinet, it once again stuck me that I like building boxes of different types, so I had decided that this time the project had to be a box of some sort.

Most of the time out here I just build something and never really bother about if it is needed or wanted by anybody, but I eyed an opportunity, to make something that would fill a need and be appreciated at the same time, so I asked if he would be interested in me making a presentation case for his revolver.

He was thrilled that I would do that, and I was equally thrilled to have a goal to work towards.

He told me a bit about the gun and had some of his acquaintances take some pictures of a similar model, so I could get a couple of overall measurements.
He would like if possible, that there was room for some ammunition in the box as well, so I have tried to plan ahead for that as well.

He has been on this particular ship for a long period, so he has a special relationship to it. I decided that to honor that, I would use the remaining parts of the pilot ladder as material.

The overall dimensions of the presentation case will be approximately  16" x 8" and 3" tall.
That should give the interior space that I am looking for.

I plan to dovetail the box together, and install floating panels as top and bottom at the same time. Then after the glue has dried I am going to saw the box apart to form the lid and the base. That way I should be fairly sure that the parts will fit together, and the grain will be matching.

The inside will have some sort of partition to define where the revolver will be placed, and it will be lined with felt to make it look nice.

Stock preparation is (as usual out here) a matter of re sawing some old pilot ladder steps, gluing up a couple of panels and planing the boards and panels.

Re sawing a step from the old pilot ladder.

Boards and panels ready.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Investing in the future.

Wow, that title sounds a bit pompous and self righteous..

About a year ago I wrote a post about an idea I had: to make some ready to assemble kits of small ships for the local kindergarten.

I finally got my act together and moved a lot of the scraps from the barn at the summer house back home.

With the Barnsley table complete, I just had time to tackle this small project prior to returning to sea.

The overall design of the ships is inspired by ferries of the 1950'ies-1960'ies. Back when masts were still used for holding the radio antennas and technically also for the booms for cargo handling.

I removed the tongue from the boards and split them to make some 6 cm (2.375") wide strips.
These would form the hull.
All of those were sawed to the same length of 27 cm (10.75").
I made a jig to enable me to make a cut for the bow that would result in something like a 60 degrees angle (eyeballed). It looks better to me than just having two 45 degrees bow portions meet.

A bunch of superstructures were made next. 4 cm (1.6") wide and 11 cm (4.375") long.

I purchased a broom stick and made a run of funnels from that one. Each funnel 2.8 cm (1.125") long.

After thinking a bit, I came to the conclusion, that it was easier for me to buy all the stuff that was needed for the project instead of giving more jobs to the adults at the kindergarten. So I went to the lumberyard and purchased  a box of nails that would be appropriate for the thickness of the wood, and some long pieces of pine dowels  all 8 mm thick (5/16").
All the masts were sawed of at a length of 12 cm (4,75")

I clamped on some pieces of scrap to the table of the drilling machine to work as a jig for boring multiple holes in the same position. Holes were drilled in the hull for the masts, and in the superstructure and the funnel to act as pilot holes for nails.

I didn't sand the pieces since I figured that it would be something the kids could do themselves, and it would give them a greater sense of ownership in the process.

All parts were neatly packed in a small cardboard box, a small roll of sand paper, a handful of nails were put in a small plastic bag and finally a quart filled glue bottle was put in the box with it all.

I assembled one ship out of a damaged hull piece, so that they could use it as a template.
The ship is made out of 5 pieces of wood and uses 3 nails, so it is not the most complicated build that I have ever made.
A total of 36 kits were handed over to the kindergarten, and I asked how many kids they had, so I could have made a couple of more if needed, but they assured me that it was fine.
The remaining pieces of scrap were turned into lengths of strips with various sizes, so that they could make something else from their own design later on.

Regarding the title of this post, I have invested a bit of time, say maybe 2 hours of efficient work in making the kits. The scrap wood would most likely have ended up as fire wood so despite that it originally had a cost, I value it to zero.
the broom stick was 4$, the three long dowels (each 14' long) were a total of 12$.
The package of nails was 9$, so a handful of that is maybe 2$.
Sandpaper and the remains of my old glue bottle is maybe another 5$.
A grand total of 32$, (equivalent to the price of one and a half beer at a Norwegian airport) plus some hours of work was what it cost me.
My hope is that perhaps one day in the future one of those kids will remember that making things out of wood was fun, and will take up woodworking as a hobby. Or perhaps they will bring the ship home with them and show it to their parents, and someone will try to make something similar on their own.

When Gustav was in kindergarten, I helped them one day by casting hammers of Thor (Mjølner) out of molten tin. Approximately half a year ago, Gustav told me that a girl in his class remembered casting those 11 years ago when they were 4 years old. So I reckon that if you can make something a success when you are 4 years old, you might just remember it later on in life, and it might be the start of a good hobby.
Future investment ship template.

Lightly damaged port bow.

ripping the tongue from the board.

Bow making jig. 

The rest of the scrap wood turned into various sizes of strips

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Barnsley hayrake table 4, final assembly.

The breadboard ends were sawed flush to the side of the tabletop, and the top was then flipped over so I could smooth the underside first.
Planing such a large glued up top of larch was something I attempted last time I build the table, and the results were not good at all. So this time I decided to start with what I knew would work: A portable belt sander and some 40 grit bands.

Once the underside was smooth and flat, I sanded the sides and ends and chamfered all the edges on that side with my small Japanese chamfer plane. I flipped the top over again, and the I made some buttons out of elm to attach the table top to the base with.

The tabletop was then mounted in the correct position, and I sanded the top side with grit 40, 60 and finally 80.
The edges on this side were chamfered too, and that as they say - was that.

I tried taking some glamour shots of the completed table, but my photographic skills are as you know not the best. Furthermore the table is so large that it is difficult for me to get a proper distance for taking good pictures without any disturbing things in the picture.

I have logged all the time that I have used on the table, and I was a bit surprised, that it took me longer to build than the first hayrake table a couple of years back. I think that the difference is that I made breadboard ends on this one, and also the classic way to attach the upper cross stretcher.
The time totaled at 49 hours and 10 minutes, efficient work time that is. If I had to go see why Bertha was barking, or to get a cup of tea, the clock was stopped.

Personally I think that this table looks a lot better than the first one, especially since the size of the top fits better to the base. And I also really like the look of the breadboard ends.

While it isn't of great importance how long time it takes to build something, I like to monitor it due to my own bad memory.
In case someone sees the table and thinks that it looks nice, and asks me if I could make one more, then I would like to remember just exactly how long time it took me, so I don't accidentally say that oh, I can make one of those in a long weekend in the shop.

Barnsley hayrake table, 10' x 4'

Longitudinal stretcher to crosspiece in hayrake.

Crosspiece to arms of hayrake.

Hayrake to legs.

Japanese edge nicer (chamfer plane)

2018 (plus sack of garbage behind stretcher)

Breadboard end.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Barnsley hayrake table 3, making the tabletop

With the frame of the table completed, I started making the tabletop.
The top was going to be fairly large, so I figured that it might be a good idea to use the frame as a base for the glue up.

I planed the individual boards to the same thickness and laid them out so that I could mark them according to one another and keep that reference as to when I was going to glue them together.
Last time I made a similar sized tabletop I had the idea that it was going to be easier/better to glue up all of it at the same time. It might have been a bit faster, but the results were far from what I had envisioned when I started doing it. So this time I decided to glue it up piece by piece instead.
The results was better this time, and the glue up was a lot less stressful. But it did take a bit longer time. I told myself to wait minimum one hour before removing the clamps and adding the next board. It worked brilliantly.
To avoid getting glue on the cross stretchers, I had placed some plastic garbage bags over them to so that any glue on the underside of the tabletop would be prevented from reaching the completed frame.

I had toyed with the idea of using loose splines between the individual boards, but I decided not to do it since the one board at the time approach would allow me to get a pretty flat surface from the start anyway.

When the top was glued up I sawed it to the correct width using a hand held circular saw.
I crosscut the ends taking into account how much the breadboard ends would add to the length once mounted.

I laid out the location of the mortises on the breadboard ends and made them using the chain mortiser. I then cleaned up the bottom of each mortise with a chisel. The groove for the stub tenon was made on the table saw. I made sure to allow ample of room for wood movement on the outer mortises, and less for the mortises nearer the center of the breadboard end. The center mortise was made to the "correct" size.

On the table top itself I used a router to remove all the required wood so I ended up with two giant full width tenons - one on each end.
I then marked up from the breadboard end where each of the 7 tenons should be.
The waste between the tenons was removed using a coping saw, and I used a shoulder plane and a jack plane to adjust the final thickness so that I had an appropriate fit.

Holes for the pegs were drilled in the breadboard ends, they were then dry mounted, and the location of holes transferred to the tenons.
Offset holes were drilled, and I made sure to make elongated holes for the outer tenons, so that they would be able to move when the table dries up. The single benefit of working with wood that is usually wetter than a house is that wood movement is always going to be in form of shrinking, so I normally only have one direction of wood movement to worry about.

The center tenon got a bit of glue, and the breadboard ends were attached using some pegs made out of elm.
The top of the peg also received a bit of glue, but only the part that would end up in the breadboard end. Just to make sure that it would't pop out (I don't know how it should do that anyway though..)

Almost there.

Gluing on he final board. I have only two clamps that will span 48"

Routing out for the giant tenon (testing router methods)

Trimming the fit.

Breadboard end in place.

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Barnsley hayrake table 2, completing the frame

Just because I haven't blogged lately doesn't mean that I haven't made any progress on the table. Actually on the contrary.
I really dislike sitting at a computer while at home, so I decided to take a new approach and instead just take some pictures of the project as it went along, and then I could blog about it while out at sea.

After completing the mortises and tenons in the center stretcher and the four diagonal pieces, I lined it all up, and marked the positions of the joints for the end cross pieces.

The mortises on the end cross pieces were made using the chain mortising machine but the angled mortises were made using a chisel after having drilled out a large part of the waste using a spade bit.

Once all the joints were ready, they were all tested, including the joints for the legs. I figured that it might be a smart thing to do because it would be easier to tune the fit now compared to when the stretcher was completely glued up.
The surface of all parts were cleaned up with a smooth plane, since it would be difficult to get access to all parts after assembly.

I drilled some holes for the drawbore pegs, dry assembled the construction, and marked out for the tenon part of the drawbore hole. After disassembling the stretcher and drilling the remaining holes, I made some pegs using my dowel plates. The pegs were made out of ash. I tried to split them at first, but in the end I had more success with sawing them on the table saw following the grain. I made sure to make a couple of extras just in case I would break any of them during installation.
I also sawed out some small wedges of ash for the tenons. 
Finally I sawed a couple of thin kerfs in the ends of the tenons and I was ready for the glue up.

Making a Barnsley Hayrake table is fairly straight forward work except for the glue up part of the frame. That part ranges as a complicated glue up in my world. It is very difficult to attach a clamp to help negotiate a joint in place, so all parts have to fit from the start. 
A good preparation with wedges and pegs ready helps, but I still find it a stressful part of the build.

Once the hayrake stretcher was glued up, I stopped for the day to let the glue dry.

The next day I slid on the legs to be able to determine the exact size of the upper cross stretcher.
When I had made those complete with mortises, I marked out the position of them directly on top of the legs. The legs were then removed and the joints were made. 

I then chamfered the hayrake stretcher and did something unusual: I marked the piece with Roman numerals despite the project not being complete! My reason for this was that I guessed that it was a lot easier to do this when I could turn the parts as I wanted them and keep it on the bench. But it still felt like a criminal act to do it prior to completion..

Next I glued on the legs. I had decided to use elm for the wedges instead of ash, to get a bit more contrast on the wedging part. But apart from that it was straight forward. I again chose to saw a thin kerf to have a starting point for the wedges.

Once the glue had dried, the upper cross stretchers were sawed to length, chamfered and glued in place too.

Finally all the remaining protruding parts of tenons, wedges and pegs were sawed off flush to the surface and cleaned up with a plane.

Gluing up the hayrake stretcher.

The legs temporarily mounted.

Legs ready to be glued onto the stretcher assembly

Making pegs using a dowel plate.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Barnsley hayrake table 1, stock preparation and the frame.

I have started making a Barnsley hayrake table for a friend of mine.
He needed a large table, and I am more than happy to build another table like this. For some reason large tables are pretty popular over here, and my friend said that he would like the top to be 118" x 48". So I am once again ending up with a hefty tabletop that will be difficult to move around. But I am also given the opportunity to make a nice sturdy base to go along with it.

A thing that bothered me a bit about the last hayrake table that I made, was that it didn't have breadboard ends. So this time I am going to make some of those.
Another thing was the fact that suddenly the size requirements for that table changed, so the legs are way too close to the edges of the table - but now I get a second chance for making it look right.

I milled some larch about half a year ago, and while it isn't furniture grade dry, it will be dry enough for me to make a table out of. I can't get the moisture content down to furniture grade anyway, so I'll just be prepared for a bit of wood movement.
It might even ad some character to the finished table.

The stock for the frame was jointed and planed to thickness on the thickness planer. The legs started out as 6x6" timber, and the hayrake part was a 3x5". I removed approximately 5/8" from the legs, and a bit less from the stretcher stock.

I started making the mortises in the center stretcher by drilling and chiseling out the waste. The result was really good. I then decided that it might be fun to test the chain mortiser on the leg mortises. To avoid tear out on the front side of the legs, I didn't plunge the machine all the way through, but stopped maybe 1/8" from going through.
I had marked out the location of the mortise on both sides, but I was curious to see if the machine was going straight in - or if it worked at an angle once loaded. So the first few taps with the mallet on a chisel were really interesting. Much to my surprise, the hole was dead accurate. I know for sure that I could never make such a good looking almost 6" deep mortise by hand.
So already now the machine has earned its keep.

Apart from making a lot of mortises, the stretcher also needs a lot of tenons. I am gradually becoming better and better at making those, though I still find the angled tenons to be a bit difficult to execute.

There is still quite a bit of way to go, but I am enjoying every minute of the building time.
Some parts of the stretcher.

Planing a 6x6

This chain mortiser is amazing!