The Big Ooze

It’s supposed to be blistering here today, close to 90.  Regular readers will know that means it will be 100+ in the shop even with the doors and windows open and the fan running, for some reason the garage I use for my wood shop seems to suck up the heat.  To beat the heat I got an early start, I was sanding parts at 6:30 am.  It took almost three more hours of hand sanding to get everything in good shape for finishing.  I had to scrape a few areas where there was some tear out from the plane, and then lots of hand work to blend the contours.  I think this approach makes Greene & Greene objects look more authentic, but after hours of sanding I’m thinking of working on developing a taste for flat, square furniture that I can power sand into submission.

The “waterfall” detail on the bottoms of the legs, including the domed end that is on the bottom received a lot of attention, getting the inside radius smooth was all hand work.  Once the table is done they will end up being a subtle detail as they are on the bottom of the legs, on the inside faces.

The waterfall leg detail, detail sanded

The waterfall leg detail, detail sanded

After all the parts were sanded to 320 grit I flew the dust out of the pores and wet them down to raise the grain.  Then I lightly sanded them again with worn 320 grit paper.

Parts sanded and ready for the "grain raising" step

Parts sanded and ready for the “grain raising” step

I did a final check of everything, double checked my assembly numbers to make sure they were legible (nothing like trying to cram the wrong tenon into a mortise while glue is running up your arm).  Finally I took a deep breath and decided to glue up the base.  I laid out all the parts so they were positioned for the glue up.  I set up my clamps, heated up a glass of water to warm the hide glue and said a prayer to the patron saints of sawdust.

Parts laid out for gluing - and double checked for fit and orientation

Parts laid out for gluing – and double checked for fit and orientation

I don’t know why glue ups cause me so much stress, but I do know I’m not alone.  I read somewhere that even James Krenov stressed over glue ups.  Since I’d test fit everything I was pretty sure I’d be ok.  I thought about doing the table base glue up in two stages — do two sides, let them cure, then assemble the two sides together.  I’m not that patient though, I want to get further along  before the weekend is gone.

So, somewhere in this picture, hiding under the clamps is a Greene & Greene table.  It looks like I got all of the stretchers in the right orientation this time.

Can you find the table in this picture?

Can you find the table in this picture?

I also got the top for the table roughed out.  Last weekend I glued up a panel for the top and cut it to size.  I got the joinery for the breadboard ends done this morning too.  Before I can assemble this part I need to make an of the mortises for the eight (!) ebony pegs the go around the perimeter of the top.  I also need to sand and shape the parts.  Hopefully I can get the done today too, and get it assembled.  If so, then tomorrow is ebony peg time — and I’ll switch back to the Greene & Greene cabinet.

Joinery for the breadboard top

Joinery for the breadboard top

Top dry fit, a few minor adjustments, a bunch of ebony pegs and some detailing and this will be done too

Top dry fit, a few minor adjustments, a bunch of ebony pegs and some detailing and this will be done too

On the cabinet I need to make the copper frame to hold the stained glass, and take care of a few final details on the door.  I doubt I’ll get both projects to the “finishing” stage this weekend, but it should be close.  I also have to run a couple of errands, including picking up the screws I need to assemble the top and some stained glass supplies.

Back to it…

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The Big Ooze

  1. The heat from the east must of went west. It didn’t even hit 80 in my part of the world.

  2. I’ve been finding that liquid hide glue makes glue-ups less stressful for me. Compared to yellow glue it lubricates the joints rather than swelling them (at least for the first few critical minutes), and it has a longer open time. Oh, and less stress about clean up afterwards. Leaves my brain free to worry about other things.

    • John, I agree about hide glue. I haven’t had parts “grab”, and squeeze outs are much less concerning. Especially since I’ve already raised the grain on the part. I still find glue ups of complex assemblies stressful. I probably should have done this in two stages if I wanted to avoid the stress.

      After I get some coffee I’m going to go unclamp it and see what I can do about completing the construction today.

  3. you are doing a outstanding

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