Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

Church Altar and tabernacle stand – day 24

Ok, I did work on the columns for a few hours yesterday, but I didn’t feel like posting just this one picture. It took nearly two hours to finish the trim on the last three columns. It probably could have gone faster, but my head cold was in full swing. I think I finished and went upstairs and crashed for an hour or two. The rest of the day was a bit fuzzy…

All seven columns trimmed

All seven columns trimmed

With the columns done, the tabernacle stand is complete and ready for finishing, so I crammed it into an unused corner, and got to work on the frames for the panels.

Tabernacle stand finished and tucked off to the side

Tabernacle stand finished and tucked off to the side

Bottom of the groove is slightly uneven

Bottom of the groove is slightly uneven

I noticed part of the groove in the base was a bit uneven. This will raise the panel slightly on one side. Since I have a locating pin now installed at the corner, I can’t use the router to clean it up. I decided to use the chisel plane I made a few months ago. This is a perfect job for it. I installed a 3/4″ chisel, and set the depth. Before I start scraping, I used my nail set to drive the heads of the brads a bit further down. No point dinging up my chisel blade.

Setting the nails in the groove

Setting the nails in the groove

Flattening the groove with my chisel plane

Flattening the groove with my chisel plane

I don’t care for the shape of the body on this plane, but it is perfectly sized for this job. Also the angle of the chisel makes it a bit difficult with harder woods. I don’t use this tool much, but I do take note of what I want to change because I will eventually redesign it, so it is good to have small projects like this to point out the flaws…

The plane did effectively clear out the high side of the groove, so I checked the rest of the grooves. I also checked the columns for square. If they are out of square, my dimensions will be off and installing the panels may cause things to be shifted in an undesirable way. It all seems to be nearly square. One column is nearly 1/8″ off, but I think I can accommodate that without any problems. One reason for the grooves, on the columns, is to hide gaps if they occur.

Checking the columns for square

Checking the columns for square

Ripping boards for the raised panel frames

Ripping boards for the raised panel frames

With the columns located, I verified my dimensions for the frames and started ripping down the boards required. My rail and stile bits are primarily set up for a 3/4″ thick board, so I plane all of the boards down to 3/4″.

Planing down the frame boards to 3/4"

Planing down the frame boards to 3/4″

Cutting the verticals to the exact same height

Cutting the verticals to the exact same height

I clamp together any of the verticals that will be in the same frame. This ensures that the verticals will all be the exact same length after they are trimmed down on the miter saw. Hopefully that means the frames will be square…

Setting up the routers

Setting up the routers

I set up my two big routers to cut with the two rail and stile bits. I used my set-up block to set the heights.

Setting up to cut the ends

Setting up to cut the ends

I need to cut the ends of the verticals first, so I clamped three together at a time so I could run them along the fence. If I ran them one at a time, I would have needed a sled or a miter gauge. I prefer this method because each board prevents tear-out on the one clamped before it. I only need to add a small piece of scrap at the end to prevent tear-out on the last piece. I set up my feather board and feather-bows to hold the boards down as I ran them through. I discovered that the gap cut into the top was only slightly smaller than the feather-bows, so I switched them to the in-feed side so they wouldn’t cause the board to kick out after it passed the cutter.

Cutting the ends

Cutting the ends

When all the ends were cut, I switched routers and ran all of the long cuts that created the groove that receives the panels.

Cutting the sides

Cutting the sides

Frame installed!

Frame installed!

I dry-fit the frame together and installed it between the columns. It fit perfectly! Yeah, right… It fit great, side to side, but it was 3/4″ too short. (Insert several polite expletives here!!!) I forgot to calculate for the 3/8″ cut at each end of the verticals. Do you think anyone will notice?

3/4" too short!

3/4″ too short!

Rapid re-design...

Rapid re-design…

This is not a problem, It is a design opportunity. You know, an extra piece of trim would look nice right there. I grabbed a scrap piece that was about 3″ wide and cut tabs on each end to fit into the column grooves.

New design element

New design element

When attached to the top of the frame, It will give me a nice area on the inside to attach to the top. The overhang on the outside goes fairly well with the column caps. I think it will look like it was intended from the beginning. This mistake actually saves me some work. I originally intended to mark the top and cut a groove, like the base has, to receive the panels. The top weighs about 200 pounds, that would have been a pain. Now, I will just locate it in the field and run a few screws in to hold the top down.

Just like I planned it all along...

Just like I planned it all along…

I will find some time tomorrow to cut the rest of the new frame top pieces, and maybe start carving the panels. It’s after midnight though, so I am going to bed.

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