To save myself a lot of tedious detail sanding later, I decided to sand down all of the base cap trim, before installing it.
I cut all of my trim down to about 1″ oversized, and put a miter on one side. This makes the pieces more manageable with the mop sander than keeping them 4′-8′ long. It also makes it easier to mark and cut each piece as I install them. The mop sander is basically a stack of sand paper, bolted together, that has the edges cut into 1/4″ wide strips. Then you spin it very fast, it spreads over the surface of whatever you press into it, and gently sands away the rough edges. I have discovered that the mops last a lot longer when you spin them at a higher velocity. This one is running at about 1500 rpms, and it does a nice job of smoothing out any chatter marks from the router bit.
Once sanded, I went ahead and quickly installed the rest of the base cap on the bases.
Before adding tops to these boxes, I want to make sure that the tops are completely flat. The trim on two sides is about 1/16″ too tall, so I used my jack plane to bring the edges down flush. I plan on glueing the tops and they need to be dead flat for there to be a good glue bond.
I gave the boxes a final sanding to smooth down the surfaces and prep them for finishing.
The final phase of this project is making the top. I saved a couple pieces of oak plywood, that I now cut down to size.
To create an edge banding, for the plywood, I once again cull through my off-cut pile. The scraps are getting thinner and thinner. When this project is done, I will cut the thin strips into kindling for the wood stove. nothing goes to waste…
I am going with super simple for the edge banding. I am cutting and planing strips down to 1/2″ wide and 3/4″ tall, and simply glueing and nailing them on.
I am even going with simple butt joints instead of miters. A couple of reasons for the simple tops. If you scroll down to the last picture, you will see the old tops from the last set of bases that I made. The bases are sitting on them. I made them from solid, kiln dried red oak. They each had additional stiffeners glued and screwed to their bottoms, and they each had a 200 pound statue standing on them. When the seasons changed, humidity found its way in (or out?) and the tops curled up at least 1/2″ on the front and the back, lifting the statues. You could push the statues and they would rock. I pulled the old solid tops off and replaced them with plywood ones like these and I haven’t had a problem since. The simple edge banding has worked well on the other two bases, so I am sticking with it. If I mitered the corners of the banding, I am afraid that one side or the other will expand and leave a sharp edge sticking out. Also, if there is a problem, These would be easier to repair, in place, with a 1000 pound statue sitting on top of them…
To finish off the tops, I used my 1/4″ round-over bit to round the top and bottom, then I used my orbital finish sander to smooth it all down.
Final step is to spread wood glue liberally across the tops and shoot a couple of brad nails in to hold the tops in place while the glue dries.
Construction of both bases is now complete. Hopefully I will have time this week to stain and finish them with a couple of coats of polyurethane.
In case you were wondering, when I recovered the old base tops, I left them sitting in my shop for several months. They eventually uncurled most of the way and I repurposed them as floating work tops for my knock-down workstation.