This morning I took the MDF glue-up out of the press that was left over night and began marking out the curvature for the infill sections. This was a bit of an experiment to see if this design concept would work, so there was a lot of anticipation and relief when the components came together snugly. The MDF is slightly over thickness for the angled groove, so it was out with the spokeshave - good practice for the actual maple laminates which will be of similar thickness!
Here my pedestal table is coming together. Now on to making the maple infill sections of the 'horn'; I'll make a template first which I will use as a pattern to mark the eight parts off from, then I'll start laminating up the constructional maple veneer.
About to cut the constructional maple veneer to length for my current dining table project titled 'His Masters Table', inspired by old gramophones.
Now that the beads have been applied to the plywood cores, it was time to form the bullnose and cut the angled groove using the laminate trimmer. This trimmer has an angled base which I used in conjunction with the former used earlier in the glue-up of the beads. I made a sub-base for the trimmer, with an offset measured exactly to set the groove in the necessary place on the work.
Here the beads have been cut to size on the table saw and grooved on the spindle moulder with pressure shoes to ensure the groove is consistent. I formed a tongue on the ply core using a rebate cutter in a router, which fitted the groove in the bead. This was then pressed using a two part mould to ensure good clamping pressure.
Today was spent putting the finishing touches to the former around which the solid ash laminates are pressed. I decided a quicker way of producing the multiple curved beads was to glue up over width and re-saw into smaller components on the table saw.
Before laminating in the bagpress, the ash was sawn into 6mm strips and passed through the thicknesser to 5mm, making sure to keep them in the same order as they were sawn - this will give me very good grain matching. I hope tomorrow to finish the laminating and form the groove in the curved beads and route the tongue in the frame, jointing them together.
So I'm back in Wales for a couple of weeks after fitting the wardrobes for Philip Koomen, and I'd thought I'd make a start on a new speculative piece I've been designing. The concept is a pedestal table, using a core construction, similar to my 'Spires Dreaming' table, however this idea is inspired by the sweeping horn of an old wooden gramophone.
I began the week by making a 1:5 scale model to get a feel for the table's proportion. I then made a working drawing full scale both in plan and front elevation. I want the piece to have subtle contrasts in timbers, so I've decided on using maple for the curved pieces that span the ribs and ash for the beads on the outside of the pedestal.
The inner core is made form birch faced ply laminated together and I've sourced the ash for the beads from my local saw mill. Today I machined the sweeping curves of the ply core and started building the former for the beads and curved laminated maple components. Back in the workshop tomorrow, I hope to start moulding the beads in the bag press!
So for the past three days I've been fitting the wardrobes on site with my colleague James in Forest Row, Sussex, south of London. The job went very well with all the measurements fitting to the millimeter. We started by fitting the plinth, levelling it off with the pre-fitted adjustable feet we fitted earlier in the workshop and fixed it securely to the walls. The cabinet carcasses were then assembled with the aid of a jig we made to ensure they went together square. We placed the cabinets on the plinth and fitted the doors, fine tuning the levels before fixing securely to the plinth and wall.
The final wardrobe slid into place with a satisfying friction fit, aligning the front edge to the plinth. With all the cabinets in place and the doors on we moved onto fitting the hardware and drawer units. On the final day we fixed the skirting to the front of the plinth, the profile of which I machined in the workshop earlier on in the week and scribed it to the existing skirting. We then fitted the coving at the top of the wardrobes again scribing it in to match at either end.
It was pretty full-on three days work, but we were feeling good about finishing the job to a high standard. We had positive feedback from the clients, who were delighted with their new wardrobes and were excited to move their clothes in! The next stage on this project is to have the doors and outside of the carcasses painted, revealing the oiled oak interior upon opening the doors. This is the first stage of the project and we will be back again to fit a pair of smaller units in several months time.
Over the past eight weeks or so I've been immersed in a large wardrobe project that is due to be fitted next week. Although the design was fairly straight forward, the particular challenge for me when working on this project was it's scale!
Now this project is coming to an end, I have time to reflect on what has been achieved and what I would do differently in the future. This has been a great learning experience and over the next couple of weeks I will analyse the job, looking at my strengths and needs, applying this to future projects.
In the studio getting my latest project packaged up ready for delivery - a pair of cabinets in walnut to house AV equipment, part of a media entertainment system.
Now the makers mark has been fitted, the next step is to sand the two cabinets and stands ready for finishing.
The holes for the supports are drilled and the shelf is fitted.
I'm applying the heat resistant film to the underside of the cabinets. This is to protect the wood in case the Av receiver and other equipment gets hot during use.
Here I'm using a jig to route the cove handle pulls on the top of the doors - it's important to make sure the jig is clamped down well before machining. Next I'll be setting in the makers mark and fitting the shelf supports.
Here the 6mm wide ebony fits into the shallow 5mm rebate formed with a router. I found it best to 'shoot' the mitres in with a shooting board set to 45 degrees, creeping up to the gauge line carefully by hand. I then used Titebond original adhesive and masking tape to pull tight and clamp it in place for an hour. The ebony protrudes the edge of the doors by 1mm allowing for flushing back, again with the router. The cabinets are taking shape now and I'm really pleased with how they look. Can't wait to get some finish on them to make the grain really pop!
Using my Robinson lathe with pin jaws in the chuck to polish the brass feet for the cabinets. The two sticks were used as spacers to reference the gap evenly, allowing the polish to be applied without touching the chuck jaws.
Glue-up of the shelf is underway. Here I'm applying the solid lipping to the substrate which will be flushed off before being pressed with a walnut veneer on both sides.