I spent a bit of time yesterday morning tweaking my CAD model to sort out the problems I was still seeing. I fixed the critical issues — the glass rebate, joinery allowances, and the exaggerated cloud lifts. I added the bracket on the top and decided it was close enough to start cutting parts.
I didn’t have any Mahogany wide enough to make the roof, even after a stop a Global Wood Source. They have a ton of Honduras Mahogany, but short of buying a 12′ stick of 8/4 material I didn’t see any that was 10″ wide. I bought one 6″ wide by 8′ long piece of 4/4, although it had more cathedral grain than I wanted. I hope it isn’t too noticeable. I wanted nice, straight grain on this project. For the roof I re-sawed a scrap of 8/4 I had in the shop, bookmatched, and glued it up.
Then I started milling up stock for the rails and stiles. I’m concerned about the cathedral grain in this board, although I like the color a lot. The other mahogany I’ve worked with has been very pale when freshly machined, even the heartwood that was a a bright rust-orange before cutting. The piece I bought has more orange-ish color even when freshly machined, and had nice dark flecks in the grain. I think it’s going to be pretty when finished, although I think I’ll likely use a darker dye on it rather than just oil as I did on the Blacker Sconces.
Since I was able to print out full scale drawings for the parts I could transfer the location for the joinery directly from my drawings to the stiles. I left the stiles long at the top as that mortise comes to within 1/8″ of the top edge. This way I can make the mortises (I’m routing them, then squaring then ends with a chisel) without worrying about breaking the end out. I *should* have done this at both ends., although I didn’t have a problem with the mortise blowing out I did need to clean up a bit of damage to the end of one stile and then all ended up a tiny bit shorter than I wanted. Rats.
With the stiles done, it was time to blank out the rails and cut the tenons. Pretty straightforward stuff. I damaged the blade in my table saw recently. Twice. Don’t ask… Anyway, it leaves a rough edge that I need to clean up after cutting. Gotta replace that soon.
I cut the tenons and test fit a front and a side. I’m not happy with the way the grain runs in these pieces, and I wish I had a bit more set-back from the stile to the rails. 1/16″ isn’t enough. Maybe I can plane the faces a bit and get a little more shadow line at that joint. But the joinery fits wall and the tenons are all snug in the mortises. That’s a good thing.
I rough cut the cloud lift detail in the front and back rails, then used a small rasp and sandpaper to shape it. I could do this with a router, but I’m trying to match the slightly uneven, slightly organic shape of the original.
Today I need to cut the rebates for the glass and the pierced detail on the top rails. I’m nervous about both of those. The recess for the glass isn’t just a rebate along the edges, on the top rails it has to extend behind the pierced detail. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that detail yet. I guess I’ll make a pattern to lay out the shape, then cut it out with a coping saw. Although I have *terrible* luck cutting anything with those. Maybe because mine is stamped out of pot metal in a third world country. I also need to decide what to do about the inlay bars in the lower front rail. I have a 1/8″ router bit, but that is too big for that. I need something smaller. Sounds like I need to buy a few little tools, maybe a Knew Concepts saw and some tiny router bits?