Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bench top

As I mentioned it was bench top time. I got this "slab" of laminated maple (oriented quarter-sawn) 2nd or 3rd hand quite cheap. It had a thick finish on it that just sounded terrible as I scraped it off. As it turns out this just did not want to plane... the random quarter sawn lamination although good for stability is not so good for working. Thus I continued with the scraper.

Here the top is pretty clean of finish and had a little work on flattening... You can see how much work there is to go especially with a cabinet scraper! I spent over 2 days getting it flat enough to move on and boy are my shoulders, arms, and legs sore! Half that time was spent sharpening though. The point of operation with scrapers is typically a bur or hook on the edge. This doesn't last very long at all... a bit longer than it takes to create that bur... at least when taking relatively heavy shavings for a scraper.

After all that I went on to the "bread board" ends. Here is a big tongue awaiting a groove.

Jimmy rigged set up for edge jointing. This is defiantly the biggest edge joint I've done. Also the "dog strip" at this point is 5 1/2" thick of laminated maple so there is little to no give in it. I thought it was going to take me longer but it only took about an hour and a half to do.

Doweling jig on a large scale! Only five 3/8" dowels, more for location than strength. I drilled the dowel holes so that the dog strip would sit a bit higher than the rest of the top. I'd much rather bring the 6" strip down to the bench than the twenty something inch top to the strip!

And here is the glue up that just happened. I used epoxy here for some extra insurance. Now I have to think about scraping some more. It's getting closer every day but I might take a break from the bench to work on getting the to-be bench room ready to put the bench in.
I don't know we'll see.



Is that a ping pong table in the background?

jbreau said...

ian... always getting to the important points in life.


You're the guy with the eagle eyes Jacques. You spotted the glued together saw blades I was passing off as a custom one.

Hey the word activation I have to type in to post this comment is


na.nelson said...

Ha yes, it is a ping pong table, my dad's. I haven't played in years though... not that I was any good.

Mike said...


First I would to say that you have built some amazing pieces, and I am jealous of all of you that have had the chance to study at what seems to be such an amazing school. I have just been reading through all of the past posts on your blog, and I was hoping you would be kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Concerning baked-in edge banding, I am curious how thick you guys at the inside passage tend to make it. Obviously it is the same width as your substrate, but I am wondering if there is a common thickness or if there are some variables that would cause this to vary from situation to situation, also I am wondering what thickness you tend to make your applied edge banding. Is there any concern about the joint between the baked-in banding and the substrate telecasting through the veneer sometime down the line?

thank you!!!

na.nelson said...

Hey Mike! What's your story? Yes going to IP was a great experience I'm very glad I had the chance to go and go when I did.
I can try to address your questions... Bake-ins... We typically make bake-ins about 1/4" thick. This way there is little room for movement and enough "breathing room" to work with, with a sensitive hand ;) as far as the joint goes, the bake-in is of course "baked" into the veneer meaning that the veneer sandwiches it. for the small dimensions that we have worked with I have heard no stories of bulging joints or anything. But I'd try to stay away from flat sawn bake ins just in case.
Applied edges... there's really no rule, it all depends on situation. In the Elm Cabinet I have some edges that were 1/8" thick and some that were a whole inch! well maybe 3/4" to make rebates to accept the 1/2" door and panels.
Maybe that helped and maybe it didn't either way enjoy some calculated freedom :)

mike said...

thank you for your response! my story is... i worked as a carpenter for about 7 years after i finished high school. just over a year ago i took a job working in a small cabinet shop with a friend of mine who is a grad of college of the redwoods program. i have learned a lot from him, but we mainly build kitchens so the skill set is a long way from the kind of work you are doing. he introduced me to the writings of krenov and after reading his books i have become passionate about becoming a much more sensitive craftsman. last winter i took the 12 week intensive program at the center for furniture craftsmanship in maine. it was an incredible experience and i was lucky to have have adrian ferrazzutti as one of my instuctors. i hope to some day make a humble living building furniture by myself but for now i am forced to keep a day job.

thank you for taking the time to respond and for keeping a blog full of interesting information!

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