Thursday, November 5, 2009

Work has been progressing slowly but surely on the coffee table. I was running into a problem with my planer – my dust collection could not keep up with my new machine (previously referred to as the beast). Having been an engineer in a past life, I should be able to check out the SCFM rating on the fan and see what the rating requirement is on the planer, but I’m way too lazy to do that. I take off the suction nozzle and put my hand over it to feel if it’s sucking a little or a lot, and it didn’t have much ‘ooomph’. It was definitely not “golf ball through a garden hose” type of suction. Well, this weekend I took off the exhaust “fines” bag and presto, that was it. I guess the bag is completely clogged. The only problem is that I didn’t have a replacement. After doing some online searching, I couldn’t find an off-the-shelf bag, so I turned to Lumberjocks, but didn’t get a decent response. So I went all old-school on it and slapped an old pillow case on there so that dust wouldn’t spray out everywhere. Seems to do the trick…. Even with the new and improved suction, I was still having problems with the planer backing up, so it’s not really a ‘solved’ problem but it’s much better….

After planing up the material I needed to put a groove (well, technically a dado) into the support piece. This was the first time that I used my “used” dado set. It worked pretty well – I have no complaints other than I don’t have a zero clearance throat plate for my table saw for the dado, so it was just sitting in this big hole in the saw. Felt a little unsafe, but even if I had the insert I think it would still feel unsafe as a dado represents a LOT of cutting potential. I will need to get some zero clearance material for the next time I do that.

For the runner on the bottom, I needed to make a short tenon. I did that, for the first time might I add, using only a hand saw. No setups on the tablesaw or going to the bandsaw. It was quick & easy so I think I’m going to be doing that more often in the future.

The last piece I was able to start on was the crucial middle piece that’s going to hold the 2 top pieces together. It needed to look like a cross, with 2 tenons sticking out on either side. I spent a while at the router table coming up with this, but it eventually came out roughly how I want it. Now I have to apply a shoulder plane to it to clean it up a bit.

The last steps are to create the M&T’s for the legs and do some final tweaking before glue-up.

I love working with walnut, but I hate the fact that I can’t compost the shavings… ;o(

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