Taking the first components off to the next stage of the process involves the router table, and the rail & stile plus raised panel bits.
Cutting the interior profile
After some test cuts, the router table was set up to run the rails and stiles through the first router bit. I use MagSwitch featherboards to hold the timber against the router table fence. They are so easy to position, and hold fast to the cast iron top of my router table. Make you think it fortunate my router table is cast iron, but it came about in the reverse order. I made the router table out of cast iron so that I could use MagSwitches on it.
Woodpeckers Coping Sled
After changing to the complementary router bit, it was time to cut the end grain of the rails. If you ever wonder how to remember which is which, think about rails being horizontal. They certainly are for trains! The stile is the other one.
The Woodpeckers Coping Sled is awesome for this task. It holds the rails perfectly, and perpendicular to the direction of travel. If I had taken more care, I would have used a sacrificial backing. Probably should have – hardwood tears out a bit too easily. I’ll make sure I do when cutting the doors for the sink unit.
I just checked – the coping sled is still available from Professional Woodworkers Supplies. They now have a mini one as well, but given the full sized one is on special, I’d still go with that one (the one pictured above). There is so much more with this one, it is worth the difference.
Sanding the panels
After removing the panels being glued up in the Frontline clamps, I used the Festool belt sander to do a final flattening (including removing any glue squeezeout). The large sander weights 7kg, and when coupled with the sled means you can hold the handle, and, well, hang on – letting the tool do all the work. The work is clamped up using brass dogs on the vice, and dogs in holes in the table.
Once sanded (not the final sand – more a sizing sand than a finishing one), it was back to the router table, this time with a raised panel bit. I don’t have a raised panel bit with a cutter for the back yet, so have to adjust it manually. This is not the final pass, but an intermediate one to check fit. Best to do the crossgrain first, then the longgrain.
This is a monster bit – pretty much at the limit that a router can (or rather should) drive. The run at the slowest speed still gets a decent tip speed.
A quick test fit showed I was close, but still needs another pass to get it there. Looking good though. Will look even better when I do the 3D routing into each panel! Once that routing is done (next session), then I can glue the panels up.
Thicknessing undersized stock
One thing I have been surprised with so far, is the lack of waste. I’d always try to use timber to maximise yield, but there is always waste. So far I’d not have enough offcuts to fill a 10L bucket – the yield is exceptional.
Even these thin panels that were ripped off the 19-20mm thick boards. They will be perfect for the back of the units. I wanted to run them through the thicknesser, but it just doesn’t go thin enough. To solve that problem, I clamped on a sled. The boards would not feed initially, but with a quick rubdown with Sibergleit, the boards fed through smoothly and easily. I wouldn’t do this with any timber, or to go too thin, but it will get you out of trouble.
So a good session. Progress seems slow, but this is always the slow part of any project. Once the items are cut, and some preliminary joinery done, it usually flies together.
Some good news and bad news. The good news is that I am documenting sessions on video. Bad news is I am not planning on releasing the video until the project is complete!
Filed under: Manufactures and Suppliers, Techniques, Timber, Wooden Toys | Tagged: Cast Iron, Festool, Frame and panel, Frontline, Lumber, MagSwitch, panel bits, Professional Woodworkers Supplies, Router, Router Table, router table fence, Table Saw, woodworkers supplies | 3 Comments »