Friday, March 21, 2014

How to hide mistakes

I started off today by laying out all the mortise and tenon joinery for the base and apron of my nightstand. I was lucky enough to have found my rough sketch for the nightstand I made for Nadine, so I just followed those measurements since I'm pretty much making a duplicate of that one. Everything was going okay -- I had to sacrifice some pieces of wood that were so severely twisted I couldn't fix them without making some kind of trick sled for my planer to correct it, but I got enough good pieces to make all the sides and front rails. Then I somehow fell off the rails.

I thought that I would be able to just knock out those mortises and get on with the project. I did all the right things. I set my router table fence properly. I set up the bit height and marked the start and stop points. Everything was going okay until I started to cut the short rail mortises. I don't know what I was thinking, but I cut to the wrong line. Needless to say, I was slightly grouchy. I made a dutchman to fix the original cut and glued it in. Once it dried, I sanded it flush and went back to work cutting the mortises. The rest went without incident.

I should mention that the plunge cutting bits from Eagle America are quite good. I got one a while back to take care of the mortises on Nadine's nightstand, but I never really got a chance to use them because I was impatient and just used a straight bit. This one definitely cut better and I didn't stress out my router. I would have gotten a 3/8" spiral bit, but those are plenty expensive. The plunge cutting bit was way cheaper and seems to work just as well.

I think that will disappear under the finish....
The dry fit was good and so I got on to doing some assembly. Last time I made a nightstand, I used up almost all my clamps to get it all squared up. This time it took a lot less, which means I'm either getting better at this or I've figured out some kind of decent procedure to get it assembled quicker.

I have the top to size up and then I need to make the drawer. I might have to make some modifications to my crosscut sled since the humidity is making the runner catch in the miter slot. I'm really thinking about building a new one that has a plastic or metal runner so that I don't have to fight the humidity. I'll have to figure that out some time in the future.

I'm just hoping that I can get this done tomorrow. I have a concert on Sunday, so I won't have any time to do anything woodworking related then. Once I finish the woodworking, I can sand and finish the project after school during the upcoming week. I'm glad there's Kuhio Day in the middle of the week. I'm guessing that could give me a chance to either go fishing or get started on another project. I still have those bookcases to build...