Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Some Unexpected Time in the Shop

Monday started like any normal Monday. From the time I got out of bed until about 10:30 AM, everything was completely normal. And then . . . not so normal. I'll spare everyone the morbid details, but I came down with a stomach bug of some sort. I left work at about 11:45 am and spent most of Monday dozing on one of our two couches. I was freezing cold & had a headache. To realize how unusual this is, I rarely get headaches, and only when I'm ill.

I felt better in the evening before I went to bed, but woke up at about 4:00 AM Tuesday and, well, we won't discuss it. So I called in sick on Tuesday & slept in a little later.

In the afternoon, I was feeling well enough to run out to the hardware store & pick up some Krazy Glue. I figured I'd take it easy & fix the splinter that was coming loose from the one side board that I screwed up while cutting the birds mouth on it, then fill in the kerf & finally glue up that joint.

Let me digress for a moment. This is the first time I've worked with white oak. I know from my reading on WoodNet that it's a pretty splintery wood. I know from first hand experience just how splintery red oak is, but I was hoping that white oak wasn't that bad. Well, it's not as splintery as red oak, but only slightly less so.

When you cut the birds mouth joint, you bevel cut at 45° along one corner This leaves you with a nice sharp corner. This corner, it turns out, is a prime place for splinters to form. And sure enough, while I was sanding the finished birds mouth with some 80 grit paper on a sanding block, the paper got caught on a splinter & the wood started to split down & into the field of the board. What stopped it is that the further in it goes, the thicker the wood gets.

I wanted to glue that splinter back on because the corner would have looked horrible if I didn't. I figured the best way to do that would be with a cyanoacrylate glue. My hardware store basically only had a couple of brands, but I noticed they had a package of Krazy Glue marked "Woodworking", so I decided to give it a shot.

Donning a pair of latex gloves, I gingerly moved the splinter so I could get the glue in the right place, then I put the splinter back where it needed to be & waited a few seconds. Suffice it to say, it eventually took & that was fixed. Sorry, no pictures.

Next, I mixed up some Bondo & spread it into the kerf, then waited for that to harden. Once again, I had at it with some 80 grit paper. No more splinters & while not perfect, I just wanted to reinforce the area. I figure gluing it to another piece of wood will provide more strength to the joint than filling the kerf would have.

Before I glued the boards together, I decided to drill the holes for the adjustable shelf pins in the sides. Two sets of pin holes will go into the hardwood sides that have the birds mouth cut in them, the other sets will go into the large backs (which I've yet to cut to finished size).

I bought a jig from WoodCraft for drilling the shelf pin holes. I set up my plunge router with a 3/8" guide bushing and a 1/4" up-spiral solid carbide bit. In the past, I've had the vibrations from cutting cause the guide bushings loosen up. I had read about a trick to keep this from happening, so I gave it a try: I wrapped the threads on the guide bushing with Teflon plumber's thread tape. The bushing is still mounted to the router & it hasn't come loose yet, even after drilling over 4 dozen holes.

Here's what the shelf pin holes look like in the one of the side boards. Next I glued the remaining side & face frame stile boards together using the same set-up I used on Sunday. This went well, as did the others.

That's enough for this post. I'll bring everybody fully up to date in my next post, probably tomorrow night.

Oh, and before I forget, I've reached a decision on the question of buying a jointer. I'm not buying one, now. When I do, I will probably follow the majority vote & get the Grizzly. For now, if I need to straighten any boards again, I'll just head on back to WoodCraft.

See you soon!

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