Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Work Has Begun!

I began working on the pulpit about the time of my last post, almost 3 weeks ago from the time of this writing. Actually, right after I finished work on the corner cabinet, I had to rebuild my clamp rack, which literally fell apart & off the wall of my shop while I was applying finish to the corner cabinet. The issue with the clamp rack had to do with the fact that I used solid wood for the stiles & had drilled holes in the end grain for home made pivot hinges. The wood split out under the load. Not that I own all that many clamps . . .

At any rate, after remaking the rack, I got started milling up the lumber for the corner posts. There were three 8/4 boards about 2 1/8" thick, give or take, that I needed to be exactly 2" thick after milling, but I didn't have a lot of hope that they would turn out to be that thick. Also, the boards were about 10 1/4" wide, and my jointer is only 6" wide.

The grain in these boards was amazingly straight. There was a little bit of cathedral grain in the middle of the boards, and they all looked like they came from the same board. I had more than enough lumber in these three boards to make the twelve posts I needed, so I just went ahead & ripped the three of them in half.

After that, it was time to face joint the boards, my first time doing this for real on my new jointer. This went very well & a lot faster than I thought it was going to go. Next I edge jointed the boards & that also went a lot faster than I thought it was going to.

When I was finished planing & flattening, the boards turned out to be about 0.005 or 0.010" more than 1 7/8" thick. This was almost a full 1/8" less than I needed. However, the eye really wouldn't pick up the difference in thickness, so I wasn't concerned about it.

After getting the stock milled, I then ripped the boards into posts. I did this by ripping a post about 2 1/32" wide. I then planed the saw marks off of the cut-off before ripping the second post from that piece. Once all of the posts were cut, I then planed the saw marks off of the cut faces of the posts.

Once the posts were cut, I left them alone for a few days, leaning against a wall in my garage. I'm happy to report that these posts have moved less than 1/32" from straight since then. With the changes in humidity we have here in the summer, some movement is inevitable.

I then began laying out all of the joinery I needed to cut. This was complicated by the fact that no two posts were identical, and they weren't symmetrical, so each post's orientation relative to the others mattered. I marked up one post, and then realized that I got one face wrong. I ended up sanding the marks off & trying again. I eventually got the layout correct, but it took a few days working for an hour or two after dinner.

At this point, my two week summer vacation began. I spent part of the 4th of July milling the lumber for the rails & center stile. Then we had to pack for our trip to Hershey, PA.

Next: Cutting joinery


neil said...

Hey Tony..........sorry the camera wasn't running and we missed the clamp rack scene. Got the whole scene vizzed-out....hands covered with rubber gloves, smirred with finish......a sudden CRASH and a loud DOOOHH!!!! coming from inside the puff of saw dust kicked-up.

Really excited for you on this build Tony, yeah we all know it can get frustrating at times and quite aggrivating, but this build is a bit special and more than most; important to enjoy the process.

Who knows Tony, this could be that break-out piece for you. The setting is perfect.


Tony V said...


That's a great scene! And it was very close to what actually happened!

If you've ever seen my posts on WoodNet about the rack, you know it's one frame lag bolted to two studs in the wall, with three more smaller frames stacked in front of it, each one hanging off of home made hinges. The hinges are two pieces of BB ply laminated to each other with a 5/16" t-nut counter bored on the bottom & a 5/16" through hole counter sunk for a 5/16" machine screw. These screws protrude beyond the BB ply & the ends sit in holes drilled in the ends of the frames.

Due to the way the original frames were constructed, these holes were drilled right into the end grain. I should have realized that this wasn't going to work long term when I built them. Live & learn.

The new frames are all ply. The stiles are now sitting in rabbets cut into the rails, and there's a 1/4" ply back on each frame, to help keep the frame from racking from the weight. I was able to reuse the existing BB hinge blocks, and now the holes are drilled through the ply rail into the ply stile. I also hand cut mortices for some aluminum angle that I epoxied into the mortices and held in place with screws.

I don't think these frames will be breaking any time soon. ;)

Of course, now I found that the ply stiles themselves are flexing from the weight. I'm going to have to cut sister pieces to glue & brad to the existing stiles in order to stiffen everything up.

Live & learn.

Regarding this build, I do believe the Almighty Himself is taking a hand. You'll read why in my next post. ;)