Tag Archives: egerton

Door Frame Fix

When I began building the Egerton tall clock, I built one base, waist and door before deciding to build a second clock. As I completed the door on the second clock, I moved to the hoods without fitting the door to its opening. Mistake. Big mistake.

Nearing completion of the two clocks, the time arrived to fit the door. No worries. I setup my router with a rabbeting bit, IMG_1501ran the bottom, left side and top, leaving the right side for the hinges – that side has only an 1/8″ rabbet. I carried the door to the case, but it didn’t fit. The arch at the door’s top wouldn’t fit into the opening when the balance of the door was in place. I remembered that the arch pattern I used was off center – a design feature specifically chosen to keep the arch centered in the waist when rabbeted to fit. If I would have made the rabbet cuts so the door hinged on the left side instead of the right, my work would have been done. Crap.

After thinking about possible fixes for the week, yesterday I headed to the shop with a plan: Cut away the current piece from the door frame, then install a new section that was cut to fit and laid out using the door itself. To attach the new piece, I had a long-grain connection at the top edge. The ends, however, needed something for hold. I decided a half-lap at each end would be perfect.

To make this happen, I setup my router and grabbed a piece of plywood scrap that IMG_1502had a perfect 90° corner intact. The distance from the edge of the router’s base and the far edge of the straight bit I loaded was found. I then added another 1/2″ to allow for the half-lapped ledge. I positioned the makeshift, plywood fence that distance from where the rail and stile met on the door frame and was ready to cut.

I set the depth of cut to just remove the entire thickness of the rail, and made the cut. IMG_1505The fence was then reversed to work on the other side where I followed the same process. With those two cuts made, I adjusted the depth of cut so half the total thickness of the rail was removed, positioned the fence so the router bit cut exactly at the rail/stile intersection and trimmed away the material as shown in the left-hand photo. The center section was simply free-hand cut once the fence was removed. All that was left to waste away was the top edge.

I set the fence in place to work the same magic along the top edge, then made a shallow test cut so I could dial-in the exact setting. IMG_1506It took a couple of tweaks because I wanted to remove the rail without cutting away any of the tri-colored stringing just above. Once I had the fence just where I wanted it, I adjusted the bit depth and made the last pass. As I reached the end of the cut, the old rail fell away. Perfect. I grabbed a chisel to clean up the corners and square any rounded portions left from the router bit. Time to fit a replacement.

I spent a little time getting the new rail sized and tightly fit to the existing framework. The ends of the new rail were easily rabbeted using my table saw. IMG_1509With the replacement in position, I put the door in place then drew a pencil line around the rabbeted arch of the door. The rail was pulled from the clock waist, a cut at the pencil line was made using my band saw, the raw edge was sanded at my spindle sander and the replacement was then glued into position. The long-grain edges mated up and the half-laps worked great. When the glue was dry, I sanded the surfaces flush and called it done. Everything went according to plan and much quicker than expected. I call that a great day in the shop.

Build Something Great!

Glen

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Filed under Jigs, Power Tools, Routers, Tall Clock

Reeded Column Round-up

IMG_1455I’ve reached the ends of the reeded columns for my tall clock. Literally. The last step is to round the ends of each reed. I thought I might be able to speed this process along using a lathe to round the ends in one fell swoop, then just touch them with my carving gouge. That, however, was a waste of time – and one good column. Spinning the column at the lathe again meant that I needed to locate the centers, load the workpiece accurately and have it spin dead-on. Looking back, I should have known it wasn’t going to work. But sometimes I’m pig-headed and have to prove myself wrong before I turn to other methods. Boy was I proved wrong.

I then turned to my carving tools. There are eight column, each with 12 reeds. That’s a whopping 192 reeds that needed round ends. (That’s why I was looking for a speedier solution.) I matched the reed shape to my closest-sized carving gouge, which turned out to be a #9, 5mm tool.

The process is easy once you get started. The gouge is inverted on a reed, set close to the end then pivoted upward as the cut is made. It takes a couple of passes to get the end shaped as needed, and to keep the ends aligned with one another. The series of photos below show the actual movement. The opening photo shows three completed reeds.

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Of course, there was more work to do. Each of the reeds needed to be worked a little for a better rounded shape. (I should have set the scratch beader a bit deeper, but hindsight is, well you know.) Each end was shaped and each reed has been sanded smooth. I should wrap up the hood work this week. A few inlaid blocks is all that’s left. We’ll see.

Build Something Great!
Glen

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Filed under Hand Tools, Methods of Work, Tall Clock

Goose-neck Mouldings

Kasper Bonnet TopGoose-neck mouldings are, in my opinion, the great equalizer in any discussion of moulding planes or power tools for curved designs. Sure straight runs of moulding can be made using hollows and rounds, but the curved mouldings are a completely different animal. With goose-necks, you better be thinking kindly about a router, router table or shaper. And, you probably should have a selection of carving tools if your design has a rosette and doesn’t return on itself (as shown in the above photo).

#5024-01Of course, the Egerton clock has rosettes. This translates into more hand work using carving chisel. But the bulk of the waste is removed with power tools. You just need to find the correct profile, and that can be tricky as you flip and turn the profile looking for a match, especially if you’re using bearing mounted router bits. (I’m tossing out shaper work, because most woodworkers are not working with a shaper – router tables have all but replaced the shaper in home shops.)

The best way to run these profiles using a router is with the face of the goose-neck moulding facing up. To do that you need an over-arm pin router setup, or you need to create a method to hold your router above the workpiece as you guide the cut, as shown to the left. Router_JigThis setup uses the guide-fence holes and scrap pieces to raise the router cut abilities. The setup is easy to duplicate, but using the arrangement is not that simple. You need to accurately guide the router along the curved lines of the goose-neck while holding things at 90° to the workpiece. Slow and steady wins the race, but even then you have clean-up work to do. It is much better if you can use bearing-mounted router bits. To do that in this scenario, I had to run at my router table, keeping the face of the mouldings against the table.

The problem with bearing-mounted router bits is reach. On wide goose-neck mouldings, you often cannot reach back into the profile enough to make things work. IMG_1399On the Egerton moulding, though, that’s not a problem because it’s only 7/8″ wide. I was able to use the bearings on my router bits of choice to get the job done, so the first bit used was a cove design for raised panels. That router bit allowed me to reach back 3/4″ of the 7/8″ needed – that left an 1/8″ of flat at the top edge of my profile. On the straight runs, cut from end to end. On the curved work, you need to stop just short of the rosette area.

The second profile I used was a simple 1/4″ round-over bit, but I switched out the normal bearing to use one that was a 1/8″ smaller in diameter. IMG_1401That change moved the round-over profile in slightly on the workpiece. Height adjustments need to be accurate. Because I was looking to flow the second profile into the larger cove cut, I found it best to sneak up on the final setting. I could have stopped at this point, but the square edge left after the second router cut was smaller than what I saw on the original clock profile. I wanted more.

Deciding to make the last router-bit cut added the needed square-edge to my profile, but it also caused more work after routing work was complete. IMG_1403To achieve an additional 1/16″ of square edge for an 1/8″ total, I used a rabbet bit to push the design up into the moulding. That cut removed a lot of the round-over profile, but that would be easy to replace with carving tools, and the extra square edge made the design of my goose-neck more in line with the original.

To complete the mouldings, both the curved and straight pieces, I use a couple carving gouges to re-round the profile. Work on the straight pieces was easy. I found and carved with the grain direction. On the curved pieces, carving required that I move in different directions due to the grain changing as the curves undulated. Even with that need, the work was not difficult.

Next week I’ll show the completed and installed goose-neck moulding with the carved rosettes in place. I’m getting close to finished.

Build Something Great!
Glen

 

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Filed under Hand Tools, Jigs, Methods of Work, Power Tools, Routers, Tall Clock

Dressing-up the Keystone

IMG_1394With the moulding installed around the arched opening for the dial, there’s one last detail on the hood before moving on to the goose-neck mouldings of the broken-arch pediment. The Egerton tall clock has a small keystone that separates the two pieces of the arched moulding. The keystone is made from solid mahogany, but the face of the piece is a small assembly of veneer. And by small I mean 5/8″ wide at the bottom, 1-1/4″ wide at the top and about 1-1/4″ from top to bottom. That’s not a lot of inlay, so I can easily get that from scrap pieces already on hand. (Check out the photo. You can see a picture of the original clock between the hoods of the two clocks I’m building.)

To get things started, I thought it best to lay out the design to better get a feel for the pieces and steps. That also made it easy to get the sizes of the maple veneer just right, IMG_1381and that made the work go much quicker. After I had the design, I snapped off pieces of the ebony stringing and cut the small pieces of maple from a leftover sheet of shop-made veneer – I’m tired of sanding through the 1/40″- or 1/64″-thick commercial veneer and vow to never purchase it again. To make sure things went as planned, I stuck the pieces to a piece of tape, then checked the size against the actual keystone.

I was now ready to stick the pieces to the keystone. With a thin layer of glue on the keystone, I positioned the veneer and stringing. IMG_1382(Again, I really like the Titebond No-Run, No-Drip Wood Glue.) A neat technique was to lock one leg of my spring clamp into my bench vise, leaving the other leg operable. This allowed me to easily move or reposition the keystone in any way necessary. At this time, I wasn’t concerned about the length of the pieces applied to the workpiece. I didn’t want them to run past the top and bottom, but I also didn’t need them to be perfectly aligned. After everything was placed and slide to its final position (moving the veneer pieces up or down influenced the overall width of the assembly so I could easily match the keystone face), I set the piece aside to allow the glue to dry.

The next step after the glue dried – about 10 minutes – was to saw the top and bottom edges to add the last pieces of ebony stringing. IMG_1384A marking gauge is perfect to scribe lines to which to saw, and I particularly like a Japanese saw for these types of cuts. With the assembly locked in the spring-clamp vise, I sawed the two lines then peeled the waste parts easily off the keystone. A little more glue was added before I position the two last parts to the face of the workpiece. After the glue dried I used a rasp to level and smooth the inlay, then sanded everything smooth with #180-grit Abranet.

The finished keystone is shown in the opening photo. It’s a small piece that adds significantly to the overall look of the clock. And that’s what inlay does, at least to my eye. Also, if you look at the opening photo you can see the first carved rosette that fits at the end of the goose-neck moulding. I ran through three alliterations before arriving at what I think will work. To get a quick look, I stuck the half-finished rosette in place, then stood back to make a decision. So far, so good. But there is more work to be done.

Build Something Great!

Glen

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Filed under Design, Inlay, Tall Clock, Veneer

Egerton Hood

After preparation for Woodworking in America and building a lowboy for the February 2014 issue of the magazine, I finally had the chance to get back to the tall clock. IMG_1363Inlay, both banding and pictorial, were fit to the hood, then I got started on the mouldings. I had a couple of snafus with which to deal, but otherwise things went as planned.

You would think that the bandings – straight pieces of layered ebony and maple – would be the easy work. That, however, is where I had a snafu. One side of the hood went like clockwork. The second edge was laid out just as the first, but somewhere along the line I made the decision to cut away my line instead of leaving it. As a result, I routed a bit wider than necessary. Because the banding is striped, I couldn’t just cut it wider. I had to slice off a couple of the lines then glue back slightly wider lines to make it work. In the end, it was wasted time, but nothing else.

IMG_1360The center inlay was easy. (Read how I made “My Night Cap,” in an earlier post.) Being guided as to position by the design of the hood, I simply clamped the straightedge in place, set the router base tight to that edge and plunged the cut. (No need for a plunge-cut router here; it was easy to tilt the base into the cut to get started.) After establishing one edge, I set the inlay tight to that routed edge and drew the opposite edge onto the hood using a sharp pencil. I then set up the straightedge to just cut inside that second-edge line. I routed the second edge then free-handed the router to waste out all the remaining unwanted material.

IMG_1361With everything ready to go, I added glue to the center inlay recess, and positioned the pictorial piece to the hood, making sure I had a little glue along both edges. A layer of wax paper was slipped over the inlay before I installed two clamps. (After the clamps were in place, I tore off the wax paper to better aid in evaporation to help the glue dry quicker.) The banding at the edges is too easy. And I get to use one of my favorite clamping strategies – blue tape. After spreading glue into the recess – my fingertip sported a heavy layer of glue by the time I was finished  – I slipped the banding into position then added a few pieces of tape to hold everything in place. (Note: I used Titebond No Run, No Drip glue and continue to be impressed with this product.)

Next week I’ll discuss the installation of the bottom-edge mouldings and the center keystone which has to have a small amount of inlay work done before I can stick in place.

Build Something Great!

Glen

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Filed under Inlay, Methods of Work, Power Tools, Routers, Shop Tips, Tall Clock

My Night Cap

#5024-01There are times when I need to get into the shop just to have fun. That time generally rejuvenates me so I can get back to my projects with a renewed vigor. If that fun time also happens to be something I need for one of my projects, I consider that a bonus. This week was a bonus. I needed to make a piece of inlay for the tall clocks. In the photo you can see, on the original Egerton clock, the piece of inlay I needed to make, the Night Cap perched on the post. This post is more pictorial that text filled, but you know what is said about a photo.

Step one was to develop a pattern for the inlay. I could have drawn the design free-hand, but it’s easier to pull the image into SketchUp and trace over the lines. After I had the plan, I spray-glued the images onto a piece of scrap holly and cut the pieces at my band saw.

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When I had the pieces cut out, I smoothed the edges as best I could using a disc sander and fine rasp before moving on. I also made sure the two pieces fit together nicely. I wasn’t worried about a super-tight fit because the separation would better show the delineation between the two pieces.

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Using a bench hook, I sawed the pieces into thin, usable slices. I like my Japanese saw for this cut. It’s thinner kerf saves material, and the small, finer teeth make the task easier.

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Sand-shading is great. There are few techniques as simple as this. And the results add a crap-load to the overall look of your work. The only pieces in this design that get shading are the small ovals.

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To inlay the pieces into my stock, I have to excavate the waste. This is really where a router becomes valuable. I positioned the pieces to my backer, then carefully traced around each piece with a sharp pencil. With a 1/16″ straight bit loaded into the tool, I set the depth of cut then hogged out as close to the lines as possible.

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Afterward, I used a small carving gouge to tweak the inlay area to my layout lines. I tested the fit of my inlay to the excavated hole, then trimmed any needed spots. (I want a tight fit, but not so tight as to break my inlay.)

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With the areas cut away and trimmed to an exacting fit, I added glue into the recess and hammered the inlay pieces into place.

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The rod for the Night Cap holder couldn’t be easier. I used the same 1/16″-diameter bit, set the workpiece flush with the edge of my bench then used a guide fence on the router to cut the line. The rounded ends from the router bit worked great against the small ovals to complete the design. A piece of string was cut to fit, a small amount of glue was injected then I hammered into the recess.

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At my table saw, I set the fence and raised the blade to trim the edges for more string banding. The pieces were cut to size and I mitered the corners using the reflection in the back of my chisel to set the angle – too easy. Glue to hold and blue tape as a clamp, then let it dry.

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With the glue dry, I sanded each face – I built two of the pieces – then cleaned up the edges with my block plane. Before I install these on the clock hood, I’ll thin the assembly somewhat. The two pieces are a bit different. So, are the results perfect? No way, I wouldn’t expect that. Was it fun to do? Hell yes. Every once in  while you need to get into the shop to just have fun.

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Build Something Great!

Glen

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Filed under Design, Hand Tools, Inlay, Methods of Work, Power Tools, Routers, Shop Tips, Tall Clock

Shop Tips (or We All Make Mistakes)

IMG_1084A few weeks ago, I posted about drawing full-size plans (here’s a link if you need to catch up). As I wrote then, I seldom spend the time to make full-size drawings of a project, but the Egerton tall clock is one of those times I think it’s important.

Yesterday I worked on the hood door. The design, as it is on many clocks, has two stiles and a lower rail that are straight. The upper or top rail is arched to follow the design of the dial. The door for the Egerton clock has a small molded edge on the inside. Because I’m using traditional joinery – mortises and tenons – I have to assemble the door parts with mitered sticking. There are quite a few extra steps on your parts if you’re working this way. Add to that the rabbeted area for the door glass and there’s a lot on your plate. That’s why I took the time to draw it full-size.

As you can see in the opening photo, I got the joinery complete and had my door frame assembled. I located the top rail center then with my compass in hand, I marked the interior arch. IMG_1085That arch needs to be cut out, the inside edge is molded to match the rest of the frame and it’s rabbeted, too. Before I did that work, and while I had the door parts assembled, I reset my compass and drew in the outside arch. That’s when I knew I had a problem.

If you look at the right-hand photo, you can see my problem. (The pencil lines are a bit hard to see, but if click on the photo the image get bigger.) The outer arch hit in no man’s land. My stiles were not long enough. After 15 minutes of self cursing and trying to figure out a way correct the problem, I did exactly what should have been done. Make new stiles.

New stiles meant that I had to re-create the entire setup again. Shop tip #1 is to leave your tools setup until you’ve completed the work. IMG_1088My router was not changed, so I easily routed the profile onto my new pieces. Also, my mortiser was not changed making those cuts a breeze. Everything else had to be re-set. Sucks for me.

Part of my 15 minutes was spent trying to decide why I had missed this minute-but-huge point as I studied my full-size plans – that’s why you draw them, right. That is Shop tip #2. Study the plans. I had the information right in front of me, but didn’t pay attention. In the left-hand photo, you can see that I should have picked up the small detail. In fact, the line drawn that extends from the inside edge of the door stile to the arch above was not drawn in. Bad move. It was only afterward that I penciled in the line.Lesson learned.

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As you can see in the photo below, I finished the new stiles and now my arch hits into wood instead of open air. I lost about 1 1/2 hours of time, but as it is when we screw up in the shop, I learned a valuable lesson. Mistakes make us better woodworkers. I just hope I remember it the next time.

Build Something Great!

Glen

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