Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cross banding Veneer tutorial part two

Since my table tops were already the right size, I decided to cut the thickness of the veneer of the sides, using the drill press made shaving off little bits at a time easy. I also set my depth so that a thin piece of the veneer that is glued to the top would be left, like in 0.3mm.

Trying to photograph what is left of the top veneer layer proved to be very difficult, in the end I put a piece of yellow wood on top, hoping that the contrast in color would help, of course now there still is a shadow that is bigger than the veneer, hope you can see it.

Here I am cutting the very thin and narrow strips off cross banding on my table saw using a sliding table.

Since the veneer is so thin it just wanted to curl away from the base while gluing, so I pushed it hard against the side of my glue box and clamped  it down to make sure there wouldn't be any gaps at the top.

After all the sides were glued on I just sanded it nice and smooth and rounded the edges a bit, now you can see no thick veneer edges that looks out of scale in miniature. I will show you later how I made the bottom drawer.

A close-up of the caster wheels my husband made, aren't they just gorgeous. Remember you can click on the photos to see them bigger.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cross banding Veneer tutorial part one

Today I want to show you how to do cross banding on a table top together with a small inlay strip. In the photo my top is all ready for work to start, I routed out the edge with a straight cutter on my drill press. The woods that I will be using for the inlay are just under 1/32" thick, if you can't make your own wood sells Basswood, Mahogany and Cherry in 1/32' thick strips. I cut all mine on the table saw, you can also cut it by hand with a sharp knife and ruler, just go slow and careful as it breaks easy. On the thin strips I used the thickness of the wood as my width and cut them a bit taller than needed, the excess can be sanded away later, it just makes it slightly easier to use, otherwise you have nothing to hold on to.

I first do the thin yellow strip, it is possible to cut miters on such thin wood, I first cut a miter on a scrap piece of wood, I then used this scrap piece to push the thin wood strip against the side of my miter box and then slowly and carefully cut the miter.

Here the first two strips are laid in place and marked for the second cut, remember you can always trim a piece that is just a bit too long with a knife or by sanding, but a too short piece will have to be discarded.

Here the first two strips are being glued, always use wood glue and in this case don't be shy with the glue, you do need glue everywhere, I use a brush and water to get rid of all the extra glue that oozes out.

The third strip has been added, you probably can't see it in the photo but the yellow wood is higher than the table top at this stage.

All the strips has been glued on, now I just ran a flat file all around to make sure the edges are nice and sharp, I left the two small back pieces over long while gluing, otherwise, once again there is nothing to hold on to, I will trim them later. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, my table top has a cut-out in the back, that is where the sliding screen will fit in.

Cutting the cross banding is tricky because of your grain not running lengthwise like normal. I find it the easiest to push hard with my finger right close to the blade while cutting. If your piece is a bit too long support it against a piece of scrap wood while sanding to fit, it snaps off very easily under pressure.

The first two pieces being glued in place.

And the glue is dry.

The last few pieces are glued in place.

Now it needs a good sanding to get everything flush, I use a nice piece of square wood for sanding, I attach sanding paper to it with double-sided tape.

I used instructions from John Davenport's book to get this far, but now I hit a problem, no real furniture  has this double layer of wood showing and although you can see in the photos in this book that the front edges was also done in cross banding there was no explanation on how to do this and I couldn't find info anywhere. I knew I couldn't just add a strip around the front, it would make the table top too big and a 1/32" thick edge showing would look out of scale too, as that is about the thickness of veneer in full scale furniture. I did find a solution all by myself, stay tuned for part two, soon to follow.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Working Furniture!!!

Yesterday I started working on doing the inlay and cross banding on the table tops, gluing the top strip on wasn't too bad, but how to put veneer around the edge was something I wasn't sure of, never having done it before and I pondered for a while on it. I was so eager to try my idea once the light bulb went on that I forgot to take photos, I will when I do the next lot and post a how to on it later this week. On the left is a finished top and on the right one in progress. I used South African Yellow-wood for the thin strip and Palissandre from Madagascar for the cross banding.

I love working furniture, since the original table top rises for a writing surface I just had to make it like that in mini too,  I glued the first riser together today.

At the moment everything is just taped together but I had loads of fun trying it out, I need to make tiny hinges and cut out a recess in the bottom of the table top for the riser to sink into for the flat position of the top. The riser parts are less than 1/8" wide and 0.6mm thick and lap jointed.

I have never made anything so complex before, so I am pretty pleased at how everything is turning out, believe me it is a lot of work, but fun too!!!!


Friday, January 13, 2012

I love Tools!!!!!!

I came to a place in the construction of the sewing table where I really needed 100% accuracy, I don't have a milling machine yet, but I remembered that Proxxon sells a compound table for my drill press so I bought one and it works fantastic!!! I cut a piece of MDF to the size of the table, screwed it on and used a cutter to cut grooves as far as the table can move to all four sides and put wood pieces in the grooves to give me 90 degree corners to push my work piece against. I also wrote down the directions to turn the handles because I sometimes forget and then it goes the wrong direction!!!!

Here I am busy cutting mortises in the  top for the raising support of the table top which will look something like this when it is finished. The piece of wood is only 1/32" thick so I am keeping it in place with double-sided tape.

The Proxxon drill press can't be locked at a certain height for constant cutting at a certain depth, so my clever husband modified the handle so that you can do just that.

On hot summer days I take my tools outside to what we call a "stoep" in South Africa, how nice to work outside in a gentle breeze with bird song and some bathing in the fountain which you can't see because it is behind the drill press in the garden.

Here the top is in the table, on the left you can see the caster parts that my husband is busy making for the tables next to the Housework caster on the right that we all probably have seen. My husband has never done anything like this before and this small so I am very proud of him and grateful because there is just nothing like this out there that I know of.

The drawer knobs in place.

The candle slide just peeking out.

Have a great day!!!!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Turning Tiny Drawer Knobs

The start of a drawer knob.

I do most of my turning with a duplicator mounted to the lathe.

The cutter has been moved to the side so that you can see the brass template that the duplicator follows to make the turning.

The finished turning, the little point will be removed by hand.

A drawer knob ready in a pin vise for the point to be removed, the one on the right is already nice and smooth and the one on the left is next in line.

With a no. 11 blade to show size, need to go turn a few more as half of them suddenly snaps off while turning, they are so small.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Camel Finished!!!!

I managed to finish my camel on the Twelfth day of Christmas, I plan to make it into a wall hanging for the planned Christmas room box. The camel was stitched on 75 count silk gauze with Pipers Silk, there are a total of 21 672 stitches.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012!!!!!, It is going to be BUSY!!!!!

Just over a month ago I wondered what I am going to make when I am finished with the 5 sewing tables, well I decided to indulge myself and make my long planned dining room chairs and offered them for sale as well. The response was wonderful and one thing lead to another, some people thought a round table would be nice to go with the chairs and I am going to make this Tilt-top table together with the chairs, so I have more than enough to keep me busy until end May and then two more projects are already lined up for the second half of the year when I return from Guild School.

Here are few a photos of the sewing tables, work is slow because I ruined my table saw blade in experimenting with the African Blackwood, I think it wasn't the right blade to begin with, but this isn't the right time of the year for fast international post, so at the moment I can't cut any new pieces of wood. The candle slides have a stop which will prevent them from being pulled out all the way once the top is glued in, you can see the stop on the upside down candle slide at the left back. The little silver violin player on the scrap piece of wood is just preventing the candle slide to topple over, it will be okay once the  top is glued in.

Tomorrow I am going to start turning the little knobs for the drawers, I really need to have this project finished by the end of January.

I am also busy making this wing chair from the Metropolitan museum of art in New York, two from Rosewood and two from Blackwood, and yes I plan to upholster it with Bargello like the original, do check out the back of the chair, it is stunning.