Before applying the second coat of paint, I sanded everything down with 400 grit paper. the water-based paint raises the grain just like water-based polyurethane. Sanding smooths out the surface and leaves small scratches that the next coat of paint will stick to.
I took my time and carefully applied the second coat of semi-gloss paint.
Once the paint had set, it was time to start on the Marian symbol. I am picking out the crown in gold and the “M” in blue.
I painted the white first so that any over-painting of the colors could be easily wiped away with a damp paper towel.
Its not perfect, but I think it looks pretty good.
Now that the arch is complete, I can install it on the bier and keep it out of the way.
The next thing to do is line the socket with dense foam. I have some 3/8″ thick stuff that I bought online. I trim it with a razor knife and a straight-edge.
After testing the fit, I mask off the entire area.
The spray glue, that I have for foam, wants to go everywhere and it is very sticky. It is better to be safe and mask off everything.
I sprayed the entire socket as well as the back of the bottom piece of foam.
When it is all dry, I can press them together for a permanent attachment.
I measured and cut the sides in the same fashion. This foam gets a little rough even though it is a new blade.
I tried cleaning up the edges on my belt sander. It worked really well and cleaned out the sanding belt as too.
I sprayed glue onto the backs of those pieces and installed them as well.
Then I masked off a small section on the bottom of the doors for a strip of foam that will hold down the statue base. I peeled the tape off while it was still wet. It gets really stretchy when it is dry and I didn’t want a mess.
I added a small strip of foam in that area and had to trim a small bevel along the back so it would still close properly.
With the foam done, the last thing to do is make the two small crosses that will sit on the front corner posts. To do this, I cut down a 1-3/4″ square chunk of sapele to turn the bases.
I marked the centers while it was still square, then set my table saw blade to a 45° angle and cut off the corners.
This step saves me a lot of time on the lathe, and avoids a bit of mess roughing the spindle down to a round shape.
I set the blank into the lathe and start roughing it out.
My bases are going to be 1-1/2″ in diameter so I made the entire spindle that size to start.
After I marked out the location of the two bases and a 2″ long post below, I started cutting the rest of the spindle down to size.
I turned the posts, below the bases, to just below 1/2″ in diameter. This will slip into the hole in the corner posts.
Next, I rounded over the bases and squared off the top and bottom so that everything would sit flat.
Then I did a bit of sanding, verified all of my dimensions and put a slight taper on the bottom of the posts.
I used a razor saw to cut apart the two bases and their posts.
Then I did a test fit.
Once I was happy with the fit, I sanded the tops of the bases.
To make the crosses, I grabbed two small pieces of sapele that were left over from cutting the ends of the rails.
I want to cut a groove halfway through the post and beam of the cross so that they press together. That would be very difficult and unsafe with a 1/4″ wide stick so I decided to cut the grooves in the plates and then cut them down to final size later.
I used a very small push block to safely cut the groove as well as the final dimensions of the pieces.
The test fit worked well, but the arms are too long.
Using a sacrificial block against the gap in the fence of my miter saw, I safely cut down the arms.
Now the crosses are a bit more proportional.
A drop of glue and a clamp, and the crosses are left to dry.
I placed the bases in my vise at the end of my bench, then marked their centers.
After placing a pilot hole with an awl, I drilled some 1/4″ holes, about 1/4″ deep.
Next, I used my chisel to square off the holes to match the size of my crosses.
I mixed up some quick-setting 2-part epoxy and put it in the holes, then pressed the crosses in place and made sure they were straight.
After they had dried, I test-fit them in the front corners then pulled them back out to apply stain.
These crosses are supposed to be removable so that they don’t get damaged while in storage. While the stain was drying, I was wondering how to keep them from spinning around by accident. I decided that a few more magnets would help.
I marked and drilled a couple of 1/4″ diameter pockets in the corners and the bottom of the bases.
I marked the magnets so that I would not install them wrong, then added a bit of epoxy to each hole and pressed in a magnet.
Then, all that was left was to apply two coats of polyurethane.
With a bit of sanding in between coats.
I decided to add one more thing since I had my magnets out. I used CA glue to attach two small magnets to the bottom of the front rail.
This gives me a very subtle location to store my wrench for tightening the bolts on the base socket.
With that, the project is complete.
It easily comes apart and can be stacked for storage when not in use.
I am sure that I will receive photos of the bier decorated and used in it’s first procession, around the streets of Baltimore, in October.