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Building a brace till #6: Cleanup and test fitting

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 05-13-2020 09:15 PM 408 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Reinforcement, part 1 Part 6 of Building a brace till series Part 7: Reinforcement part ii »

I started my shop time today cleaning up the walnut I glued to the pine rack for the braces. I used a spokeshave to get the lengths consistent and round over the ends, as well as to surface plane the walnut. If I skew it enough, nearly 45 degrees in some cases, I could plane even against the grain and get it fairly smooth.

With those smoothed, I wanted to clean up a few spots of tear-out, plus remove the pencil lines that were still on the pine. I cut a card scraper to make a narrow tip, filed the edge square, and scraped things pretty.

I also used a knife and my new scraper to clean up the edges of the slots.

With that done, it was time to test fit things. All of my sliding dovetails were a little fat, so I tested each one, then adjusted it either with the dovetail plane or a chisel. The dovetail plane earned its keep here, since I still had the fence set to the right depth, so in most cases it was just a matter of making a pass or two and then everything fit.

The one down side of the dovetail plane is that it’s apparently easy to rock it a little, leading to sliding dovetails that are thick in the middle and thinner on the ends. Nearly all of my dovetails were fat in the middle. Oops!

With the three horizontal pieces in, it was time to test the fit of the carcass. I popped one end of the top on, and it fit well. Then I looked at the other end, and the board was 1/2” too long.

Crap.

I figured out what I did wrong. I had bad math at some point, and the inner shelves that are dovetailed into the sides are 38” long. The dovetails are a half inch on either end, so the outsides of the sides are 38 1/2” apart (everything is 3/4” thick). I cut the top and bottom to 39” initially, thinking I’d trim them back once I’d tested the sliding dovetails for the shelves, but then I cut the dovetails on the carcass because I was eager to try the mitered dovetail corners.

So now I’m cutting a half-inch off the end of the tail boards and re-cutting the dovetails. At least it’s pine, and I’ve got a lot of scraps, so when I need small pieces to patch up the old dovetails, I can do so.

And that’s today. I got one corner re-cut, and I’ll finish the other tomorrow, then I can test the five uprights that divide the areas between the drawers. It looked to me like I managed to line everything up, but if I have to move a sliding dovetail socket a quarter inch or so to one side, I think I’ll be able to do that without weakening things too much.

Plus my veneer gets here this evening, so I’ll be able to finish the top shelf too. First time veneering! Wish me luck!

-- Dave - Santa Fe



11 comments so far

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5205 posts in 2122 days


#1 posted 05-13-2020 09:58 PM

What technique are you going to use to apply the veneer? I learned to “hammer” with hot hide glue and it is a great way to go IMO. There is something very gratifying about the crackle sound as you hammer it down.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5165 posts in 1317 days


#2 posted 05-13-2020 10:45 PM

I’ve got a veneer hammer and a glue pot, Nathan, so I was thinking hot hide glue and the hammer. But it’s also 1/16” veneer I’m going to use, so I could just lay it on, set another board on top, and pile bricks on it or something, too. Figured I’d be reading up on that tonight.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2934 posts in 2925 days


#3 posted 05-14-2020 12:06 AM

Only a half inch off, not too bad, and besides, at least the top wasn’t a half inch short. That would have been harder to recover from.
As I look at the last photo, it appears that the top is 3/4” too long, which would be good as you could then cut the entire set of tails off. But, maybe it’s the camera angle.
Anyway, better luck tomorrow.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5165 posts in 1317 days


#4 posted 05-14-2020 02:05 AM

Yeah, Tom. When I first looked at it, I thought I might be 3/4 off, but it’s a half. Just the camera angle. But yeah, I have a saw. Don’t have a board stretcher.

Nathan, the veneer arrived. It’s heavy 1/16, so I’m just going to glue it like I would “real wood.” Probably use another board as a caul and either a bunch of clamps or some bricks.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5205 posts in 2122 days


#5 posted 05-14-2020 02:52 AM

LJ Shipwright has some good blogs about hammer veneering. He prefers veneer of about 1/16”. Look for the one that has a link to a YouTube video of him applying some veneer to a cabin door or something (I can’t remember the boat term). It really is as easy as that video makes it look, though the odd shape could make it more challenging I suppose.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5165 posts in 1317 days


#6 posted 05-14-2020 11:26 AM

Thanks, Nathan. Probably just going to veneer it as if it’s a flat board and then trim afterwards. Seems simplest, since I’m not sure which of the three or four remaining boxes has my glue pot, and I don’t feel like digging through boxes today.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View sras's profile

sras

5422 posts in 3864 days


#7 posted 05-14-2020 02:35 PM

That’s going to look great!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

4108 posts in 2059 days


#8 posted 05-15-2020 02:00 AM

I have no worries that you will finish a great project Dave :-)

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5165 posts in 1317 days


#9 posted 05-15-2020 02:42 AM

Thanks, Steve and Duck. Probably going to have to re-make the bottom board of the carcass tomorrow. I’ll blog about it once I figure out the solution. But yeah, it’s looking good and I’ve got about 20 extra pine boards (they’re supposed to become bookcases, but were bought before things got locked down) should things go wrong.

Tomorrow we start the day clearing away a half dozen chamisa, and hauling them to the dump, and then I’m planting some grass and blue flax in the ditch, and then hopefully I can get back to making sawdust and will have something to blog.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Brit's profile

Brit

8041 posts in 3577 days


#10 posted 05-15-2020 07:32 PM

Nearly there now Dave. I think it is going to look great when you’re done. Can’t wait to see the braces hanging there ready to be put to task.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5165 posts in 1317 days


#11 posted 05-15-2020 10:53 PM

Still got work to do, Andy. I’m going to need to re-cut the bottom board of the carcass tomorrow, then some final fitting, and maybe a glue-up on Monday (I generally stay out of the shop on Sundays, either to work in the yard or nap). But I might finish some of the parts before gluing them together. Trying to decide that now.

Plus once the carcass is together, I’m going to start figuring out the doors. Oh, and I need to cut rabbets for the back yet, and notches for the cleat so I can hang it on the wall… it’s getting close, but there’s still that second 90% of the work…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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