Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stickley Coat Rack, Part 2

This weekend's post starts with a little therapeutic planing Friday afternoon. I didn't have a lot of time but I really wanted to get in the shop and do something. I don't have any pictures but I planed the tapers on the uprights. The neat thing is that the best plane for this ended up being a wooden plane that I've been working on. My block plane is a little too narrow and my Stanley No. 4 wasn't holding a setting for some reason, so I pulled out my wooden smoothing plane, set the blade with a few taps on the wedge and went too it, next thing I know I'm ankle deep in shavings and the tapers are done. I'm really excited about this as this is the very first plane that I've tried to make. I've been playing with it, trying to decide the best shape for my hands. This was a great test and showed me some places on the plane where I want to adjust the shape.

Today I started with shaping the ends of the tenons, I mark a line around the tenon where it pokes out of the through mortise. I hold the pencil up a little about 1/16th of an inch and mark the line all the way around. After disassembly I mark a line down the center of the end of the tenon and a line on each end 1/2 the width of the tenon.

I use these lines as guides as I block plane the pyramid shape on the end of the tenon. I cut the ends first to avoid blowout. I then ran the block plane set a very thin shaving over the sides several times until I reached both lines. I turned the piece around in the vise and repeated the procedure. Repeating this for both sides of both cross pieces.

The next step is the joinery to attach the feet to the uprights of the coatrack. This operation is done on the routertable, I used a 1/2 inch mortising bit to remove the bulk of the material, testing the setting of the fence and checking using a scrap piece. The router bit is trapped inside the stock so stock control is very important. I used a stop block screwed to the fence of the router table to stop at proper spot and a feather board to hold the stock against the fence.
I then switched to a 14 degree 3/4 inch wide dovetail bit. After setting the depth and the fence and reinstalling the featherboard I ran the uprights past the bit easily. Here you have to remember that you can't lift the stock off the bit, you have to pull the stock back along the route it traveled.

Leaving the bit in place and at the same depth I pull the fence back and attack a sacrificial piece of 1/2 inch MDF to be used as a zero clearance fence. I then sneak up on the correct setting buy eye, run a scrap piece through cutting both sides and checking it, making the adjustment I need, again by eye, and re-running the scrap. Using this method I can usually get dead on in two or three adjustments, and its much easier then trying to measure and subtrack then adjusting the fence while measuring off the bit.

After the sliding dovetails are cut on the stock I cut the pattern that I had marked on the feet last weekend on the bandsaw. I then cut the excess dovetail from the top of the foot with a handsaw then shape the end to match the round end of the socket.

First I round the end with a sharp chisel, usually I just have to pare the endgrain off and remove the waste.

Next I undercut the end to match the angle of the dovetail while keeping the round shape of the socket

When you are done you should be able to slide the tenon into the socket and run it home with a few blows of a deadblow hammer. If you can't get the sliding dovetail at least half way in by hand its too tight and you need to trim the tenon some. If you slide it all the way in by hand its too loose and you can either start over, or you can fix it by gluing a strip of veneer to each side. I check and double check the tenon fit before I cut the final stock so I won't run into these problems at this step.
What you should end up with is a tight joint and a snug fit with no slop or play in the joint. Once you coat the sliding dovetail in glue it will slide in much easier.

After a final dryfit everyting was pulled apart and sanded at 100-120-150 grit. The feet were cleaned up on the oscillating spindle sander to remove the saw marks from the bandsaw and sanded with the rest of the parts. After a much needed break, its hot in Charleston in July, I glued the cross pieces to the uprights, then the feet to the uprights. The only clamps that were needed were to hold the uprights tight to the cross members.

The final assembly, sanded and glued. Tommorow I'll handsand the whole piece and start the finishing process. Or maybe I'll go to the beach, who knows.

"The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." -Steven Wright

1 comment:

Shannon said...

This is a great post full of information. I hope that you will show us all your plane. I haven't jumped into that realm yet, but am tempted. Thanks for the step by step on the sliding dovetail. Nice photos too. Have fun at the beach!