Saturday, February 9, 2013

Absent but not idle

It has been some time since I have made a blog post, but that is not due to lack of shop time!  I have been on a rampage lately with several projects.  Mostly some overdue shop projects in preparation for some bigger projects later this year.  More on that another time.

This is a quick project I did for my sister who just had a birthday a week ago.  Yes I know I am late!  I had some scraps leftover from a butcher block island counter top project that a good friend wanted me to help him on (I'll blog that one when we are done, you can see it in the background of this first pic.)  Why not make a quick end grain cutting board for my sis as a gift?

Since I had odd sized scraps leftover, I wanted to make an appealing pattern with the woods, but couldn't visualize it with end grain up and "swapped".  To test the "swap" part of the design without gluing up the board, I wrapped packaging tape around the mocked up board, very tightly, to simulate the glue up and then cut thin strips off one taped up end.  Since the sticks were all taped together and I cut through the taped ends, the small pieces of these thin strips stayed together, thus I could use them to mock up the pattern.  Once I turned the end grain up and then swapped one end over end, I was then able to see what the pattern looked like and adjust it as needed.  It was a little tricky, but I finally got a pattern I was happy with.

With the design in place, time to glue up!  Never enough clamps....

Once the glue dried, I cleaned up the glue and ran it through the planer.  I used my crosscut sled with a stop block and cut it into strips for the next glue up.  Did the swapperoo to get the final pattern and ready for final glue up.  Again, the glue dried (it was exciting to watch) and I ran it through the planer on very very VERY light passes to clean up both faces.  Ya, there was some blow out on the end, but I planned for it and fixed it with the final dimensioning.

Here is the final product.  Sanded into submission and the finish is an easy one.  I just soaked it in mineral oil until the absorption slowed way down.  Then I heated up some MO with a half and half mixture of beeswax and carnuba wax melted in.  Wiped the oil/wax mixture on the board until I got a decent luster and let it dry.

Oh, one more thing....In order to keep water from getting accidentally trapped under the board and causing a disaster, I decided to try and create some built in feet for the board.  I basically just used my dado stack to clean out the majority of the waste and then used a rasp, round files and sanding to complete the profiles.  I like the look, I just hope my intentions are successful.

Hopefully I will get this out to my sis tomorrow.  Haven't seen her and the fam since xmas, so I am looking forward to it.

I've got some exciting projects coming up soon.  I'll try to be a little more consistent with my posting.  maybe I will do a multi-part series on the entertainment center I will be starting soon.  Until then, cheers!
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