Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Spearhead Desk


The article by Reed Hansuld in Canadian Woodworking was a good reference. Soap flakes, water and a mixer borrowed from the kitchen is all that's required. The benefits of soap finish: it's likely the most environmental finish available; and it doesn't yellow the wood over time like an oil finish.

My soap froth was a little more concentrated than Reed's. I threw a couple handfuls of flakes into about a 1/4" of water, Reed uses one handful. I came to a nice finish after 2 coats, Reed says he normally does four minimum. With the amount of sanding between coats and soap dust I was happy with two coats.

I sanded between each coat, 220 on the first, 320 on the second, then buffed all surfaces with a white 3m pad.

The table top after a couple coats:

Making table top clips:

All clips mortised and installed. The four outside visible clips were mortised to give a snug fit. For the others underneath the top, I sped things up with a pattern and template cutter on the plunge router.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Desk Adventures; The Full Post-Mortem

Finding the rift sawn material in the plank:

Double mortises throughout:

Shaving down closer to final dimension, pre-glue-up. I've never had an edge try start an argument with Big Willy, my dad's record #7. 'Big Willy' because my dad's uncle Willy gave this behemoth to my dad when he started his boat building apprenticeship, love pulling it off the rack:

Pre glue-up clean up and joint fitting:

Always take a moment to savour the shavings in the bench room:

First apron/leg glue up using the bench vise. Yes, I've taken to using two part epoxy glue for some glue ups. Wish there was a less toxic solution for a longer open time. But as the glue ups become more complicated it's wonderful to have that extra time and the joints come together in a well lubricated fashion with very little pressure.

Second side, with a stretcher thrown in:

Post glue-up flushing the aprons with the top of the legs.

This is what we're aiming for:

Final glue-up (20 mortise and tenons) bring it all together:

 Pull out the planks for the table top. I flattened the faces on the jointer and also prepared the edges on the jointer. Then Big Willy stepped in for clean up and edge joint fitting.

Table top glue-up:

Flushing the rails with the aprons post glue-up:

Table top clean up:

Table top shaping:

Time to make some table top clips and mortise them in. Also have some soap flakes in hand. It's going to be the first soap finish at the bunkhaus.