Small Projects #41: Crosses -- More Easter Gifts -- Rosewood, Zebrawood, Cherry, Yellowheart, Purpleheart

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Blog entry by Madmark2 posted 03-08-2021 03:09 AM 976 reads 2 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 40: Easter Shrine Part 41 of Small Projects series Part 42: Indoor Car Stereos (two) »

This was an Easter gift for a nice little old Italian widow I know. It came out so well I had to make another one for SWMBO. Then another for a neighbor and another … six so far!

Rosewood and zebrawood

The “standard” proportions are that the cross bar is half the height, centered 1/4 of the way down.

The material was ripped to 1-1/2”, resawn on the TS to 3/4” thick and then cut to length, 15” and 7-1/2”. This used over 22-3/4” of a 24” stick.

The center of both pieces was half lapped on the saw. There is a trick to it. Both pieces can be cut with the same setting. First cut the short side of the half lap at the computed position, in this case 3”, and cut in from one end of both pieces. Move the stop block to a little shy of the ending position an just nick the edge. Use the end of the 2nd piece to check the spacing. Tweak as needed. Once the stop is set nibble the middle away. Since the stop is set you can just cut away without worry.

The ridges from the combo blade were quickly removed with a mouse detail sander with an extended nose. This got the glue surfaces much flatter for a better bond.

The four corners of both pieces were 1/4” chamfered on the saw. I mark 1/4” in from the side on the end. Then I align the mark with the edge of the ZCI kerf and set the stop block to match. This made the chamfer cuts fast & easy.

Before gluing the surfaces were lightly sanded to remove any burrs. Sanding was primarily the sides that will be impossible to sand after gluing. Since everything is made to measure with the Incra no layout lines are needed. This saves sanding.

The glue was spread with an acid brush and the lap clamped with minimal squeezeout.

Here are four more. It took an hour apiece to get to this point for the first two built one at a time. Making four only took two hours to get to this same point. The more you make the faster you get.

Four crosses, two yellow heart, one each variegated cherry and purpleheart.

Zebrawood is very porous and takes glue well. The rosewood is slightly oily but still bonded well. Yellow heart, cherry and purpleheart all glue well..

After an hour under clamp (only the one) it was ready for more light sanding.

In process waiting for sanding and routing.

The worst fit of the four crosses was selected to receive a purpleheart inlay. I routed a 1/4” by 1/2” wide dado down the middle of both the main body and the cross bar. Cutting some purpleheart scraps gave the 1/4” inlay. I wanted the inlay thicker than the bead. The beading bit is 1/8” and I generally leave ~1/16” reveal for a total rout depth of 3/16” or so.

Routing the inlay groove had to be done on the assembled cross. Guiding the piece was easier that I had initially thought. I used a piece of scrap between the work piece that is wider than the crossbar extension (3” or less). I put the spacer against the fence and put the cross tight in. I moved the fence until it just touched the edge of the 1/2” straight router bit. I note the measure and move the fence half the stock width (3/4”) plus half the bit width (1/4”) or 1” closer. Running the piece with the same spacer left a perfect dado in both directions.

Here you can see the inlays before sanding.

Inlays intentionally proud.

1/4” purpleheart inlay is deeper than planned bead.

Once the face was smoothed the edges of the cross were beaded on the router. Since the beading cutter radius limits how tight the inside corners are routed, the innermost portions aren’t routed. I’m calling it an “architectural detail” — that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Router can’t get all the way into inside corners.

Side Note:
  • Last time I made one of these (two shops ago) I used a NEW HSS beading bit with a guide bearing and it burned the H-E-double hockysticks out of the inside corners that was a @#$%& to sand out. On this one the cutter was carbide and didn’t leave char anywhere. Carbide rulz!

To hang the cross a mounting hole is needed. On the drill press I drilled a 1/4” dia x 3/8” deep hole, at a slight upward angle (~1/12), about 1” down, centered on the back. The angle wasn’t critical, I set it by propping one end up a bit. The depth was limited to prevent drill thru with the Forstner bit. This should insure easy mounting and prevent casual jarring from knocking it down. I also installed a couple felt feet in the bottom corners. This prevents the crucifix from marking the wall.

Back showing felt feet, production stamps and hanger hole.

The object was stamped and dated and slathered with two coats of Johnson’s Paste Wax. Later units are finished with clear glossy poly cut 50%-50% with mineral spirits.

Three crosses ready to hang.

The rosewood cross took a little less time because I’d not torn down the router and drill press setups so things went a bit faster. The next four went even faster.

Mat’l: 1/4 bf
  • zebrawood — $19/bf = $4.75
  • Bolivian rosewood — $20.50/bf = $5.12
  • variegated cherry — $7.00 = $1.75
  • purpleheart — $12.00 = $3.00
  • yellowheart — $14.00 = $3.50
  • Shop fee — glue, glue brush, sandpaper, poly etc. = $2
    Matl total: ~$7 ea
  • Qty 1: 1.5 hr ea @ $20/hr = $30
  • Qty 4: 1.0 hr ea @ $20/hr = $20 ea
  • COGS X2 @ 1st unit — $74.99 ea MSRP
  • COGS X2 @ 6th unit — $54.99 ea MSRP

Empirical proof of the production rule that 10x the qty should cut costs by half.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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