Charles Mackintosh Inspired Computer Desk #3: Gridlocked and Broke Down

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 09-02-2017 01:37 PM 983 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Getting started takes longer than you think Part 3 of Charles Mackintosh Inspired Computer Desk series Part 4: Time for some Leg Work »

It’s been a while longer than I intended since I added to the build write up (sorry I’m old school and can’t call it a blog). Since I have drawings of all of the pieces from Sketch-Up I decided the best way to keep track of things was to hang them on the wall above my work area.

Before I started cutting all of the various mortises in the leg pieces I pre-finished the grids.

Since the grids have 2” openings, getting a good smooth finish inside them would be difficult and time consuming. Iron acetate is used to ebonize the wood by turning the tannins in the wood black.

After a light sanding, I followed up by wiping on a couple of coats of Arm-R-Seal blended 5 to 1 with ebony stain. I added the stain to the finish since the intermediate sanding was exposing un-ebonized wood, especially on the corners.

I will be using this approach with most of the pieces since it makes the final finish work much easier and the sanding less tedious.

Here are the grid pieces after ebonizing and 2 coats of Arm-R-Seal:

From there, I glued up the grids:

After the grids were glued up I needed to level off the outside faces. I started by using a random orbit sander and quickly demolished a couple of the sanding disks because they kept catching on the edges and ripping the paper. I needed a better plan.

Since the grids are 13” wide I thought I might be able to run them through the Dewalt 735 planer using the finish cut setting (175 cuts/in) and get them cleaned up. I flipped one of the grids over to the back in case things didn’t turn out like I wanted. First pass went well with no tear out. I eased the depth down by 1/4 turn (1/64”) and started the second cut. I heard a loud CLUNK as the back end was exiting the planer. The maple piece that was glued into the grid came u-glued and was still in the planer. Maybe this approach wasn’t the best idea???

After quickly raising the cutter head and shutting it off I pulled the piece out. It was undamaged. However, when I turned the planer back on the infeed and out feed rollers would not turn. After several hours of looking on the internet I was able to piece together enough different Youtube videos and commentary to find out the likely problem and where to look.

The outfeed roller has a sprocket that is connected to the main drive shaft.

The infeed roller is driven by the outfeed roller via sprockets and a chain on the other side of the planer.

The outfeed roller sprocket key appears to have sheared off.

Parts are on order and fortunately, I don’t need the planer to conitnue work on the desk.

Meanwhile, I decided to try the 4×24 belt sander to sand everything flush. It worked quite well without ripping any belts. While I was at it, I sanded the legs and drawer frame pieces.

Next up – Mortises and Tenons

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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