Friday, October 30, 2009

Limbert #234 Tabourette, Part 1

My neighbor asked me to make her an end table and a coffee table in the arts and crafts style to go in her bungalow. I showed her some of the completed pieces in my house and she was drawn more to the Limbert style. I did some more research in my books and online and came up with this little tabourette as an end table, I showed her the pictures and described my idea for a coffee table that would compliment the design of the end table. Coffee tables weren't a part of American homes in the 1900's but I took a Limbert cocktail table and lowered it and changed it some to make it a coffee table, more on that in a later post.
In previous posts I have described my method of scaling plans from pictures but luckily I was able to find descriptions of this table along with dimensions, which are 16"x16"x18" tall. These relate to the widest measurements, the top which will be square. From this and the photos I came up with the dimensions in the picture at the left.

Using Google Sketchup I created a model of the table along with dimensioned elevations, I was also able to look at the components and come up with construction details such as how to connect the sides.

After removing the stock from the clamps and trimming it to size I took this template I made up from the plan above and marked out the areas to be cut out. After removing the bulk of the waste with a jigsaw for the cut outs and the bandsaw for the bottom I carefully aligned the template to the inside of each side piece and screwed it in place. Using a template like this for routing is always good, you can attach it with double sided tape or if piece has a hidden side you can just screw the template to the stock. I used a 1/2 inch pattern cutting bit in the router table to give the cutouts the proper radius at the corners. After this I cut a 45 degree miter on each side of the side pieces.

What followed was some sanding and a little hand work on the cutouts then I glued the miters together using the miter cutoffs as glue blocks a little time cooking in the clamps while I sanded the top. A final sanding on everything inside and out and attaching the top with figure 8 table irons, a little more touch up sanding and a cleaning finished up this project for the weekend and now all that is left if finishing. My neighbor looked at the finish samples that I keep and picked the middle range of the five I have so when I start on the finish I just turn over the sample and the "recipe" is written on the back. For more on my arts and crafts finish and a look at the samples see this post.
" Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Music Stand part 3

This weekend I started out by sanding all the flat surfaces of the mahogany ribs and then taking to the edges and curves off everything with a folded piece of sandpaper . There are no pictures of this because I don't like getting dust all over my camera. Once I started to assemble the music stand I didn't think that I would need to clamp the ribs into the stand because the fit was tight enough that the last they took a gentle rap with a deadblow hammer to drive each one that final smidge, but I decided to err on the safe side and clamped each rib in place just in case the glue would piston one of the ribs out as it set up.

After a little more hand sanding and the first two coats of Watco Natural Danish Oil I decided to take the stand out onto the lawn for a better shot. I think it turned out great so far, with many more coats of Danish Oil and a coat of wax this stand will glow.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Music Stand part 2

Having left the back leg on the bending form all week, Saturday morning saw it unclamped and removed from the form. From the side view here you can start to get an idea of what the stand will look like when finished. After trimming the back leg to match the width of the front legs I glues the two sets together and let them sit while I prepped the Mahogany for the cross ribs by resawing stock to 3/8th inch thick and running them through the drum sander to clean off the saw marks.

Once the clamps were removed I trimmed the legs flat by setting the stand on the assembly table and using a block of MDF for a gauge marked a line on each side then trimmed the feet with a handsaw. I then cleaned up the edges with a block plane and a smoothing plane and finally some sandpaper. I used a small router and a 1/4 inch round over bit to ease the edges, where I couldn't get the router I used a strip of 80 grit sandpaper and rounded the edge.

I made a gauge block out of a strip of MDF and a small piece of 1/4 inch plywood so that I could cut a groove across the stand at 2 inch intervals using a dado blade set at 3/4 inch deep. In these grooves will fit 5 Mahogany ribs that will hold the sheet music.

This is the only picture I took of the glued up stand but if you look closely you can tell that there is a taper. Before gluing the back leg to the front I used the jointer to run a 3/8th inch taper along the length where it contacted the front legs. When I dryfitted the legs I wasn't happy with the bulky look of the top of the stand so I decided to add the taper and if I cut if off the back of the back leg the laminates would have been visible, so I cut it from the inside of the back leg, it turned out great and in the final post I'll take more detailed shots of it.
I made two routing templates to cut the inside and outside curves for the ribs. Here you can see the inside curve template, a blank, and a blank with the inside curve rough cut. I ran the "downhill" cut on the router table and then flipped the blank to avoid tear out from the flush trim bit. After running all the ribs I marked out for the cuts that will fit around the stand. Working without a plan and just a rough sketch if freeing in a way as you can make changes along the way. Next weekend will see the ribs completed and sanded and assembled to the stand, then a nice oil finish will make this wood glow. I hope that the finished product lives up to my vision.
"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Friday, October 16, 2009

Music Stand part 1

My newest project is something different for me, I'm making a music stand for a present. It involves bending wood to quite an acute degree, tighter than I've ever done before. After consulting with my friends in The Woodwhisperer chatroom I decided to stick with a technique I'm familiar with, bent lamination. The first thing that i had to do was to create a bending form, I cut a piece of 1/2 inch MDF to 24x12 inches, I used my beam compass and drew a 12 inch radius arc in one end. I rough cut it on the bandsaw and cleaned up the cut using my disc sander and finished it with a flexible sanding strip made from a strip of 1/8th inch thick Baltic birch plywood with a block of wood glued to each end for handles and 80 grit sandpaper glued to it with spray on adhesive. Once the template was true, I marked out three more blanks and rough cut them on the band saw. I glued each blank onto the template using small brads to lock them flush. I clamped the sandwich together and let it sit for a few hours.
After lunch I removed the clamps and used a flush trim bit on the router table to flush up the arc. I then marked a line 1 1/2 inch
along the top and drilled 1 inch holes every few inches to make clamping easier. I applied packing tape to the top to keep any glue from sticking to the form.
The legs of the stand are made from Curly Maple, I ripped 2 pieces 2 inches wide by 50 inches long and using the band saw I resawed it into 3, 5/16th inch thick pieces. To clean up the saw marks I ran each piece through the drum sander to a final thickness of 1/4 inch.
Next comes the hard part, gluing and clamping the laminates to the form. The open time on the glue is limited and there are many clamps that have to be tightened. After covering each layer in glue with a roller I taped them together to keep the laminates from slipping. Starting at the center of the arc I clamped the laminate sandwich to the form tight as possible. I alternated each side of the center to even out the pressure working the clamps as tight as you can and moving to the next, you won't always be able to tighten the clamp completely until you get some leverage from the next clamp in line. To get the last clap in place I had to resort to a long clamp to help lever it in place. You might think that you could start clamping at the top end of the arc and use the long straight end to pull the laminate to the form. You can't do this because the laminates must slip along each other to form to the contour or the arc, by starting in the center of the arc you allow the wood to move equally on each end of the laminate sandwich.
Once the glue has set overnight I removed the clamps and got only about an inch of spring back. I repeated the process of gluing and clamping for the second set of laminates. I scraped the excess glue off of one side and using a number 4 plane, block plane, and finally a low angle finishing plane flattened it. Starting with the arc sitting on the tablesaw table and held to the fence using a featherboard I ripped it down to 2, 3/4 inch thick legs. These are glued back to back to form a Y that makes up the front 2 legs. The second piece will be ripped to 1 1/2 inch wide for the back leg and glued to the front Y to form a tripod, more pictures in the next post will illustrate it better.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams