Midnight Woodworking


Erin’s Fireplace bar – day 5

Erin is back in town, so we were able to get back to work on the fireplace bar today. Over the last couple of days, I have been working on applying polyurethane to the wine/whiskey storage cabinet.

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We had screwed on the top and sides so they could be removed. When I removed them, I marked the location of the shelves so I could urethane around them. This will leave me an unfinished location to apply glue when we reassemble the outside.

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The sides and top had to be removed so that we could polyurethane inside the pigeon holes. It would be very messy to try it with the sides still attached. I left the cabinet lying on it’s back so any drips would pool up at the back of the holes where they wouldn’t be visible.

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After the first coat was dry, I sanded down all of the finished surfaces with 400 grit paper to smooth it out and remove any dust or raised grain.

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Then I applied the second coat.

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After that was dry, I applied a thin bead of glue to each of my marked locations, then re-attached the sides and top with screws.

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With the cabinet done, I can start worrying about how it will attach to the face. I placed all three of the face pieces together, then taped the joints to keep them there temporarily. Next, I laid the cabinet on it, face down, and centered it. Then I marked a line all the way around. I intend for it to only overlap the front by 5/8″ so I now have a mark 5/8″ away from where I want to cut. I will get into more details on this another time. I just wanted to get it marked while I had space on the bench.

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When Erin got here, we got to work cutting out the 1″ thick boards for the fluted columns. She ripped them down on the table saw, then cut them a few inches too long, on the miter saw.

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I set up a simple program for the CNC to cut the flutes with a 1/2″ ballnose cutter. I could have made up a jig to cut them, but the CNC took 20 minutes each, to cut three straight lines. It would have taken me longer to build the jig…

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While the columns were running, we got started on the rosettes. I will be honest, my friend Dave’s rosette cutter scares me a bit. It has the ability to grab the piece of wood and throw it across the room. To avoid this, I just screwed the board to the drill press table. The first rosette was cut successfully, so I pulled the screws and moved it over to create a few more.

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The rest, were not nearly so successful. The grain was a little swirly and the cutter did not agree with it… I think I created six to get two good ones.

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Erin sanded the two good ones down smooth, then she ran the edges across a 45 degree chamfer bit, in the router table, to finish off the edges.

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Our goal is to recess them 1/4″ down into the face of the corbel. The best way that I can think to do this is to use my little trim router with a spiral cutter bit. I trimmed along the outline, staying just inside the line, then I let Erin hog out the rest inside the square, to create the pocket.

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I used a sharp chisel to clean up the edges.

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A little sanding, and the pocket was done.

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It pressed in perfectly. Once we get the other one cut, we can apply a bit of wood glue, then clamp it in place.

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All the details are starting to come together. I just received two new router bits, in the mail, that will be needed for the plinth, at the bottom of the column, and the coved plate at the top. Hopefully, the next time Erin comes over, we will be able to complete all of the column parts.

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