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ShopCam HiLites for 11/13/00
Close Shave

I didn't get in the shop until 2:00 this afternoon - just too much running around to do and stuff to round up. Where were we? Oh yeah...

As mentioned before, the edging was glued onto the plywood about two thicknesses of paper high. Before the upper units can be assembled, the edges need to be flush. At 1 1/4" wide, this is tricky to do with a flush-trim bit.

Never fear, in comes the scraper. It doesn't do the end pieces that well. For the long edges, it's the perfect tool!

Here's a photo of scraped walnut with a curl in the grain; it has a shimmer, it's so smooth!

The problem with scraping the end pieces has to do with the plywood. The veneer doesn't react well to the change in grain direction and sometimes, if you aren't careful, you can do lots of damage scraping across the plywood grain.

I do take a few swipes, however, with the scraper at an angle (skewed) to the grain. I get it as close as I can and finish flattening the joint with 120 grit sandpaper wrapped around a hard block. Cross-grained scratches I can get out with the ROS. Torn chunks of veneer are a different story.

After flushing the joints, it's time to clean everything up with the ROS and some 150 grit.

When all the scratches are removed and everything is smooth, the whole top has it's grain raised with a wet sponge. I usually let waterborne finishes raise the grain for the first time. Then I sand it and it raises again - not as much - when I apply the next coat of finish.

I'm thinking if I pre-raise it now, I can save an extra sanding step later and inprove the finish. I don't know how it will work or whether there is any advantage, but part of the fun of woodworking is trying new techniques - epecially when you aren't sure what you're doing! :)

While the tops dry, I re-sand the verticals which were grain-raised on Friday. This sanding step takes only a few minutes and I'm starting to think I can start assembling this afternoon, inspite of the late start.

Silly me! On one of the panels, I found a defect under the veneer. Somehow something ended up in the assembly to create a bulge in the surface. It's hard to see and easy to feel, and when the ROS went over it, the already-thin veneer sanded through.

Fortunately, I have the shelf stock handy and already ripped to the same width. It doesn't take too long to cut out a new vertical.

To make this set-back a lot more tolerable, the shelf pin bit is still set up in the plunge router and the jig hasn't changed either. These serendipitous happenings seem to occur more frequently as my router collection grows. Maybe I should buy a few more! ;)
Anyway, an hour later I'm back on track and the wetted tops are dry and ready for final sanding - again at 150 grit. This mitered corner came out OK!
This is a picture of the next step in the operation. Since it's quitting time, we'll pick up on the description tomorrow. Can you tell what's going to happen next? :)

If you have any questions or comments about Mr. D's Walnut Wall Unit, please post them at the Info Exchange.

Jim Mattson

 Onward to the Next Installment

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