Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

Maple & Purpleheart crib – day 7

I ran the lower arch on my CNC yesterday.

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It looked really good when it came out. I laid the purpleheart pieces on it to verify that the curves matched perfectly.

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I need to cut a 3/4″ wide groove, 1/4″ deep into the bottom of the arch. That had me stumped for a while, then I remembered that I had a rabbet bit set for my router. I installed the bearing that would allow for the 1/4″ depth, then set the bit to leave 1/8″ of wood on the top.

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I marked the ends, about 1-1/2″ in from each side, so I knew where to start. It wouldn’t be visible if I cut all the way to the end, but I wanted a bit more surface on the ends for glueing.

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The first pass, with the bit, worked perfectly.

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The second pass ripped a big nasty chunk out of the end. That sucks, because I am almost out of maple and I don’t want to have to make another. Guess I will have to repair it. I saw the chunk fly out somewhere around Adam’s work bench, but it was such a mess that I couldn’t find it. Uggh, now I will have to get creative.

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Before bothering to fix it, I decided to route the 1/8″x1/4″ rabbet on the top side, front and back. That at least went smoothly.

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In this picture you can see where the purpleheart ribbon will rest. I am carving the front and back layers while I am working on this piece. When they are finished, they will glue to the purpleheart, and come down to the bottom of the rabbet on the front and back. I will apply glue to the full rabbet because all three surfaces should be touching wood, saving me from having to screw or nail on the top.

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To repair that nasty tear-out, I need a smooth, flat surface. To achieve this, I clamped a straight piece of wood, just below the damaged area. This gives me a broad shoulder to ride my chisel along. I took my time and pared away the extra wood, being careful to carve with the grain, to avoid any more tear-out.

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I cut a small piece of wood, just slightly larger than the new opening, then glued it in place.

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When it was dry enough, I planed the curve back onto it, then carefully ran the rabbet bit along it to cut the excess away.

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The mess in the groove won’t bother anything, I just needed the face repaired. Everything else will be hidden.

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Like I said, I was running the two remaining top arches on my CNC.

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The maple is very hard, so I have the router making shallow passes, stepping down just under 1/8″ at a time, until it cuts through. The last two carves worked perfectly, so I was letting this one run without paying much attention to it. Bad idea, The tracking roller must be messed up, because it was moving the carve 1/16″ forward every successive pass. I canceled the carve before it got too bad. I can still use this, it did not significantly damage the arch yet, just the ends, and they stick out an inch, so they can be trimmed. I went back to the computer and redid the program. Remember, I am almost out of wood, and I still need two arches from this piece. I deleted the first arch from the program and reloaded the board and ran the program again. This error happens some times and usually reloading it will fix the problem.

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Three hours later, the second arch was completed with no problems. To finish the first arch, I cut away all of the excess on my bandsaw. I kept the blade inside the cut line.

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The bit cut about 1/2 way down, so I have to remove the waste on the other half.

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My solution was to flip the arch over, with the good side down, and trim the waste with a flush trim bit, on my router. I butted the good arch up to the back side to give me a larger surface to rest my router on. My initial test cut worked well, so I went ahead and cut the rest of it.

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I didn’t learn from the last bit of tear-out. As I ran my router around the top of the arch, It ripped off half of the top of the arch. Crap! At least I found this piece. I picked it up and glued it back in place.

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When that was dry, I finished making the edges flush, slowly on the spindle sander.

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With all the pieces finally cut , I did a dry-fit to make sure it all came together correctly.  Look at that, it actually works.

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I am going to be patient with this glue-up and do it one layer at a time. I applied glue to the purpleheart and clamped it to the first maple arch. I used the lower arch to verify that everything got clamped together in the correct spot.

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After that set up, I removed the lower arch, and clamped the other maple piece in place.

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Here is a shot of the dado that was created. This is the glue surface for attaching to the top of the lower arch. The groove I cut into the lower arch will be the glue surface that mounts on top of the plywood that I will hopefully cut out tomorrow.

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When the glue dried sufficiently, I carefully set the arch in the miter saw and trimmed about 3/16″ off of each end to remove the stepped cut from the one arch.

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I used a chisel to scrape away any glue squeeze-out from the dado. Then I sanded the top side on the spindle sander to remove any glue as well as make the surface completely flush.

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I did a dry-fit of the completed assembly. Yeah, it works. While it was sitting there, I got out my orbital sander and did some finish sanding on all of the arch pieces.

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It was a lot of work, and about 12 hours of carving on the CNC, but the top looks just like I wanted.

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I am pretty much done for the day, but I wanted to finish cutting the remaining pieces for the back.

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Two of the side pieces needed to be laminated to make them thicker, like the corner posts, on the front, so I did a bit of re-sawing to take off about 1/2″ from two boards.

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I then glued and clamped them.

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The last thing I did was apply the round-over, then shut down for the day.

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Hopefully tomorrow, I will get the back mostly finished. I still have a few details to figure out…

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