Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Emma's Picture Frame Part II

Well after letting the glue dry for a good 24 hours I took the claps off.  The first order of business was to square out the rounded corners of the rabbit in the back.  With all these power tools the best tool maybe the oldest a good shape chisel.  Well in my case it is not the oldest of my tools and by no means the best but it is fairly shape and should do the trick.  .

Not being able to put it off any longer, it is time to sand.  What I quickly realized was that I drew a lot of lines on the face of this project.  No big deal I figured I'd just sand them away.  So sanding was the order of evening.  

Ya gotta love electricity!  Only corse sanding for now.  The next step is sure to leave some scratches on the face so at this point I just want to get the lines off and smooth out the tool marks left by some not so sharp router bits.    

This is a feature I envisioned from the beginning,  contrasting plugs tying in the tenons.  Our neighbor lost a lim from their black walnut tree a few years back.  It fell onto our side of the line so I was there when they started clearing it they were cutting it up for fire wood.   I volunteered to finish cleaning it up for them.  This block is from that effort.

I used a plug cutter from Dad's shop and made these plugs.  I had to take the cutter and block into work to cut them, but hey what's a little government at work?  I then made this drilling template to be able to set the spacing on the frame.  You can see the all important forstner bit I had to by to be able to drill the quality of hole needed.  

After drilling the dozen holes I doped up the black walnut plug with glue and set them in place.  The fit was perfect, I had to drive them home with a mallet.  When I got back up stairs I was told that Toby went a bit nuts every time the mallet was a malleting - sorry Toby.  After the plugs were in place I placed a board across half of the frame and clamped it in the middle.  The next night it was time to trim them.  I then hit them with the block plane, bring them level with the rest of the frame.

Then it was time to sand and sand and sand.  

I remember telling this story about Dad.  Dad was a teacher by training and while he spent must of his career as an engineer, but for me and my brothers and sister he never stopped teaching.  I recall once Dad and I were down in the shop.  I was working on a project and had gotten to that point where I was sanding.  To be truthful, sanding is not my favorite thing.  I ask Dad if I was done sanding.  He responded "is it smooth",  kept sanding.  After a bit I asked again, and again he responded, "is it smooth", I went back sanding.  Again I asked and again Dad responded "is it smooth", this time however I said yes.  Dad then said "well then I guess your done".  Dad often taught this way, by bring out of us what was there all along, to coach, to let us see that we could succeed.  Thanks Dad!

So I sanded.  I went from 60 grit, to 100 grit, to 150 grit, then finally to 220 grit.  I used the power sander, I used towel backing,  I used hard backing,  I sanded until I could say "yes it's ready, it's smooth".  

Then I cleaned, yep that's right I cleaned.  With all the dust I just made I had to get as much of it picked up as I could so it wouldn't fall back on the frame as I started finishing.  

Finishing:  I stood in front of the finishes this afternoon for what must have been an hour, (OK maybe 5 or 10 minutes).  What I decided on was a spray glossy polyurethane.  Let's hope I get the results I want.  Coat one done.


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