Wednesday 3 June 2015

A New Try - Summer Night Light Pt.3

Recovered from the frustrating results of last week I started from the scratch with a new attempt to build that Garden Lantern.

I've tried to recap what went wrong.
Read this week about:
  • Findings and assumptions
  • Overall state so far
  • What's about the Table

After the disastrous result I acted immediately. In retrospect it's easy to say you had anyway another plan.
But I had one. My first idea was to make the lantern from some Meranti boards I had in the shop for a while.
I had bought it as I was at the wood dealer a few month ago and to see how it will be to work with.
I changed my mind and grabbed the Spruce and Pine stuff which was pre-dimensioned already and was laying around.
That said, I had grabbed the Meranti stock the same evening and cut a new top and bottom from it. More on that later.

Analysis and Thoughts

First a little retrospect. The picture will help to analyze it at bit.

Serious crack

My assumption is that the end grain hadn't got enough support. Maybe it would have been better to cut the boards to final length after chopping out the mortises. Giving it 10 mm more material on each side would have reduced the risk of cracking and break out.

Another one

I think that the cracks happened during chopping the mortises and  I didn't recognized it properly.
With inserting the stiles the fibers were compressed and as they started to decompress the weak spots started to break.

The second topic is, that my joint lines are not crisp. I believe that's because I was in a hurry to make progress.

A New Start

With all these findings I have decided to start from the scratch again, even if I wouldn't be ready in time.
If I would give away something, it should fulfill some aspects of quality and good craftsmanship.

First of all I reconsidered my decision about the used wood. Maybe Spruce is not a suitable material for such kind of design. As mentioned above I switched to Red Meranti. 

The top and bottom were cut in the same manner as done before, but I gave a little bit of love to both ends (approx. 10 mm).

The boards are well prepared and ready to use. I've just made some light shavings with a smoother and man it's shinning so bright.
Same procedure as last time - laying out all mortises, a center mark, some knife lines for the final length.

And now started chopping....

Chopping Mortises

Chopping out the mortises went pretty well. Meranti is a middle dense hardwood. It is somehow fibrous but it is is to work with hand tools.

Meranti Shavings

Using the typical working methods provides crisp lines and corners.

Lines and Corners

Making Stiles

In contrast to my last try, this time I haven't got fitting stock for the stiles so I have to glue up them.
Marked out all stiles on a board and ripped all pieces.

Ripping stock for the stiles

All pieces ripped I established one edge for reference and then glued them up in pairs so that I will have a nice thickness.

Gluing up the stiles

After the glue was dried I removed all the clamps and cleaned the glue lines with a cabinet scraper.

Removing the squeeze out

Done! Here are the new stiles. I now have to dimension them (already started with it).

New Stiles

What's Next?

That is pretty much were I am at the moment.

I've already cut material for the lower rails.

Lower rails material
The stock we be treated in the same way. Gluing, cleaning, dimensioning.

I will do that as a filler task during the shop time. But I will concentrate on the stiles first.

Unfortunately I have got a pretty busy business week, so that there is not much shop time this week. And then holidays are near.
I fear I will miss the target date. But anyway.

Stay tuned!



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