LumberJocks

Techniques #2: Making a herringbone board

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 06-03-2020 09:47 PM 501 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Cutting 135 degree dovetails Part 2 of Techniques series no next part

I wanted to do something different for a box lid (a sliding lid for a gift box for a bottle of wine, probably), and I recently bought a Bridge City Tools JointMaker Pro (a review will be along one of these days), so I figured I would use it to cut a bunch of (nearly) identical pieces.

I started by crosscutting 3/4” cherry and butternut boards into 5” long pieces. Then I set up the JMP to rip pieces about 1/4” wide off those. The butternut went fine, taking about 15 push-pulls per cut, but the cherry caused me more problems. Took 55-60 strokes per rip cut, and I spent almost two days building new parts for the JMP and repairing things that weren’t quite right.

Anyway, once I got past all the new tool issues, I had a bunch of pieces.

I built a gluing jig using some 1/4” MDF and plywood, plus a couple pieces of molding I had.

And I glued up the first test piece, adding some clamps and nailing down the molding to hold it tight.

Then it was time to call it a day. I came back to it today, and my glue-up held, so it was time to trim the sides. I also planed the surfaces flat, and used the belt-sander with 60 grit to get the surfaces nice.

I built another jig, basically a bench-hook, to hold the board while I cut off the sides.

With the sides cut, I cut off one end, glued it to the other end, and called it a day.

Tomorrow, I’ll hand-sand at 120, 180, 240 and 320 before oiling and shellacking the board, and I’ll have most of the sliding lid for my box done. I’ll probably fill the gaps in the middle with glue and sawdust while sanding, but I’m pretty happy with this for a first attempt.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



10 comments so far

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7194 posts in 2974 days


#1 posted 06-03-2020 10:15 PM

Looks like the makings of a beaut looking fishing box!!

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5373 posts in 1352 days


#2 posted 06-03-2020 10:30 PM

It’ll probably be the sliding lid for a gift box for a bottle of wine, Rob. A couple of our neighbors have been really helpful since we moved in, and we want to give them a present, and folks seem to like when I make a custom box for them.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2955 posts in 2961 days


#3 posted 06-03-2020 11:48 PM

Did you try using a shooting board on the ends of each piece, to get square corners for the glue-up?

-- "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 LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4673 posts in 1591 days


#4 posted 06-03-2020 11:52 PM


Looks like the makings of a beaut looking fishing box!!

- robscastle

phishing? You having a go at DP’s concern about LJ response?

Go DP, tackle the problem!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5373 posts in 1352 days


#5 posted 06-04-2020 03:12 AM

Tom, I squared up the board before cutting the pieces. Seemed a lot easier to do it really well once than to do each piece and get bored. They were pretty darned square, and the gaps in the glue-up were due to me not being able to figure out how to clamp things better.

The other problem was that the cherry board had a knot in it, and some of the pieces near that knot went boomerang-shaped as they came off the saw. But that was in the thickness direction of the final board, so I planed that away fairly easily.

Final thing about this that I thought of is that if you’re going to make some pieces thicker than others, it’s a lot better to do that with the softer wood (in this case butternut), so it’s easier to plane them down to the thickness of the harder wood. But the planing lengthwise on this board is hitting the grain at a 45 degree angle, so it’s as if you’re skewing the plane and actually pretty easy to get good results. I only had a little bit of tear out while planing, and I didn’t even think about grain direction on the individual pieces.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5373 posts in 1352 days


#6 posted 06-04-2020 03:13 AM

Oh, Rob and Ducky, there is trout fishing here in New Mexico, but being a high desert, I didn’t even think of a fishing box. Maybe next time around,

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3777 posts in 1993 days


#7 posted 06-05-2020 04:36 PM

I had similar gap issues with a herringbone type glue up and actually made jigs very similar to what you are using.

Sorry, no advice but just had to say “I feel your pain” 8^)

Those will be some attractive lids!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5373 posts in 1352 days


#8 posted 06-05-2020 06:10 PM

The first one got the gaps filled with sawdust (from sanding it smooth on the belt sander with 60 grit) packed into the gaps and then solidified with CA glue. Looks like it’ll look decent once I hand-sand things smooth and finish it.

Got smaller gaps in the second board. Just took more time putting it together and made sure each new piece added to the pattern was tight before moving to the next. If you get one off, everything after that’s a little off. So the second one looks a little better. And the third will get glued up this afternoon. Hoping that’ll be the best of the bunch.

My hopes of getting additional boards from the offcuts might not happen. I’m trying to jigsaw-puzzle the pieces together, but I may have to do more trimming than it would take to just make more from scratch. We’ll see.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7194 posts in 2974 days


#9 posted 06-08-2020 02:35 AM

Dave you could try using Box Guys modified ratchet straps it may work for you
Best $5 I ever spent!

https://www.lumberjocks.com/Boxguy/blog/31969

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5373 posts in 1352 days


#10 posted 06-08-2020 03:12 AM

Well, I’ve made four of them, and two turned out pretty dang good with my clamp. The others flexed up a little when I clamped them, so it took a lot more planing to get them level, and I still have a few gaps to fill, but if I decide to make another batch, I’ve now got all my jigs, and I just need to put another piece of plywood with packing tape on top of the glue-up to keep things from flexing up, and all should be well.

Did gap-filling on the last three of them today (along with cutting the sides for the first box), and I’ll hand-sand tomorrow and then hit them with oil and shellac and have some photos.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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