Monday, March 11, 2013

[Adirondack Chairs] - A Slight Detour

The girls school has their annual basket raffle to raise money for their field trips, so I took some time off from finishing the Schoolbox to build Adirondack Chairs for the raffle. I got a great reaction to the chairs that were built out of Cedar last year, so this year I thought I would take it to the next level and do them in Sapele Mahogany. I've got to be honest. I found working with Cedar much more difficult. It chips and dents just looking at it.  and a lot of time was spent fixing little issues. And it wasn't really that much cheaper than to using sapele.

No pictures of the build progress this time as I was pressed to get these done. I finally tracked the amount of time spent to build each chair from beginning to end and was amazed at how much time it takes. I clocked in at roughly 40 hours each. But that wasn't racing to get them done either.  I tried to work efficiently without sacrificing attention to detail. I'm a firm believer in the "Go slower .... it's faster" mantra. And I still have all of my fingers. I'm sure I could cut down that time with more careful attention to process, but this is for fun anyway.

Here are the details:
- Chairs are made of Sapele Mahogany
- Stainless steel carriage bolts and screws
- Titebond III Waterproof glue
- 2 coats of McCloskey's Man-O-War Marine Spar Varinsh (Satin Finish)

So it's back to finishing the Schoolbox, and another project that I started and never finished.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

[Schoolbox] - The End Is In Sight

Ok. So it has been a while since last post. I'll blame it on the Holiday's. Work has been sporadic on the box. However, I have been able to made progress and have managed to take some pictures along the way. So this will be the condensed version of the progress.

I left off last time with building the small partition which acts like a removable shelf. I cut the partition 1/8" oversize and created a stopped dado with a router plane. 

After fine tuning the partition fit, I also fitted and attached the bottom to the partition with a little glue and some cut nails.

Next was the installation of the butt hinges. I had planned to do an entire post just on installing them. However, that 'll need to wait for another day. 

I chose to mortise the hinges with a router and an exacto knife. Temporary screws are holding the lid on until the good ones can be installed after the finish is applied.

To align the hinge mortises, I positioned the box lid where I wanted it and then carefully created  tick marks on either side of the box mortise with an exacto knife.

Here is a picture of the finished hinges. The screw holes were drilled with a vix bit to ensure they are perfectly centered. They are ready to accept the finish screws after the shellac is applied.


My first try at butt hinges came out fairly well after a lot "hand-wringing". I'm pleased with the effort.

With the hinges out of the way I turned my attention to the decorative molding around the lid. This step was trickier that I thought it would be in order to get nice tight corners. Since the moulding is installed lower than the thickness of the lid, clamping was a challenge. 

Getting the proper length and angle on the molding was tricky with the chop saw. I have to remember to build a 45 degree fixture for my shooting board so it's easier to sneak up on the fit.

The next job was to mortise the latch for the lock in the inside of the lid. I made this job more difficult that it needed to be by not tackling it before installing the lid moulding. I marked out carefully with the exacto knife again and used a combination of small router plane and router. I planed down a piece of would that served as a rail for this operation.

And here are a few pictures of the Schoolbox thus far. 





So on to the final stages. I need to do some file work on the key hole with the escutcheon installed, and then start final sanding prep for the shellac finish.

Thanks for looking. 
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