…and two steps back, dang it.
I did a little work on my new sconce yesterday, but also screwed up a piece and was so frustrated I had to walk away for a while.
My goal was to do the piercing on the upper rails and cut the rebate for the glass on all of the parts. I didn’t get past the piercing unfortunately.
First, the good news. I need to cut some small, shallow groves in the lower rails for the front and back. While I could do that with a tiny router bit, I don’t have one and didn’t want to spend money on something like that if I could avoid it. I had an idea to use a beading tool to do this, and I have an old Stanley 66 (?) that had a cutter. I ground the cutter to about .080″ wide and sharpened it. It worked really well. Amazingly well. I also have a really narrow (.080″ wide) chisel I made a while back when I made some plane floats, which was perfect for squaring up the ends of the groove.
Now on to the disaster du jour. I made a template for the piercing on the front and back rails by gluing a full scale print out onto a thin piece of MDF, then cut it out with a coping saw. I squared up the edges with a chisel, and a small file. Then I traced this onto the rails, drilled a hole and cut out the slot. I didn’t take a photo of the results, but it wasn’t acceptable. The main problem was that I didn’t hold the saw exactly vertically, so the walls are crooked. I tried to use a thin chisel to pare inside, but ended up splitting the rail. Rats.
So, what went wrong? I probably need to make a few practice cuts to get my technique dialed in. I also think the coping saw is a failed proposition. The pins on the ends are really too big to fit through the slot, and the blade deflects too easily. I have a jeweler’s saw frame that is a bit more stout, I should be able to put a jigsaw blade in that and hopefully make a better cut. I’d like to buy a Knew Concepts saw for this job, but it’s not in the budget this month. I need the finished cut to be pretty close to perfect as there just isn’t much room in it to fit a file to do any shaping. Since I have to re-make this part I’m also going to make all of the rails 1/16″ thinner to get a better shadow line at the joints with the stiles.