Midnight Woodworking


Marian procession bier – part 6

Today’s project is to create the cover plate that will hold the statue base in place.

I start by cutting down two more pieces of Spanish cedar to the approximate size. My new brake for the table saw hasn’t arrived yet but I was able to install a single dado blade with the dado brake, and it cuts surprisingly well. It is a smaller blade, but more than enough for what I need to finish up this project.

After the panels are cut and planed, I laid out the opening that will close around the statue base. The four rounded corners were traced around a roll of tape that was closest to the radius I needed.

Since cedar is lightweight, I am going to put a cross-grained backer of sapele in the areas that will be screwed down to hold the statue in place. This should prevent any splitting if strain is applied to the panels.

I cut the sapele to be half the width of the panel, then cut a matching rabbet to receive it.

I cut all of the cross pieces together on the miter saw to insure they are all the same length.

Then I applied a little glue and clamped them to dry.

When they were dry enough to keep working, I cut the openings on the band saw.

I lined both pieces up and sanded them on the spindle sander so they would match.

They fit well in the socket, but will not hinge open without hitting eachother.

I set the table on my belt sander to about 3° and applied a slight bevel to the bottom edge.

This enables the panels to swing freely.

I decided that it would be best to attach hinges, rather than leave the panels removable.

I carefully pre-drilled and installed the tiny screws by hand.

Once the hinged panels were firmly in place, it was time to install the threaded inserts that would be used to clamp the panels shut.

I drilled a through hole for my bolts, into the poplar frame below, then I used a slightly larger bit to expand the hole in the poplar to receive the insert.

The insert is installed with a 6mm hex wrench, and is tightened until it sets just below the surface of the wood.


With the holes and inserts aligned, I can insert the screws. Once the statue is in place, these doors will hold it there even if the bier gets tipped on it’s side.

The top is now almost complete. I also need to top the rails so I found a pretty piece of ribbon-striped sapele and cut it down to fit on top. I made a new push block and used a feather board this time. I figured there was no point in repeating the mishap that cost me a blade and a brake yesterday…

I cut the strips individually to length, then added a small bevel along the top edges so it would not be too sharp.

I think that looks pretty good. Everything will stand out a lot better with all of the sapele and cedar stained, and all of the rest painted white.

Before that can happen though, I need to mark everything’s location and take it apart.

Then it is time to start masking.

This project will definitely need to be pre-finished in separate pieces.

But that is tomorrow’s project…

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