16 March 2008

The Wood Bent

Having got hold of some decent elm for the back panel of my Elm Cabinet II I merrily proceeded to hack into a couple of chunks and it was only at the third attempt did I finally succeed in getting a half reasonable bookmatched pair. The timber seemed pretty dry but there was a little bit off cupping after conversion so I left it for a few days and then yesterday planed both bits flat and then edged jointed them with Long Woody, which I have to say, was quite good to use. Having got both bits shot in I glued them and left everything to set overnight, thinking that all would be good in the morning.
Think again....the wood warped! The shape across the end grain resembled a very shallow 'S' which was a real pain as I had to machine a rebate all round. After a lot of head scratching and making various unsuccessful jigs I finally concocted a set up that let me cramp the panel to the bench top and at the same time allowed me to run the router against the wooden batten so that I was able to sort out the rebate. After a bit of scraping with the Veritas No 80 and some initial sanding the panel now looks quite good and should fit in very well when finally fitted into the cabinet. The rebate still has to be tided up a bit with the big LN shoulder plane but it's essentially there as the difficult bit has been done.
From the same bits of elm I've also sorted out some new door rails having made such a cock-up of the last pair when I put a set of mortices on the wrong side. Again I've bookmatched the vertical rails to match in the pattern and these two look quite good, probably better than the original ones I butchered last weekend.
The next couple of things to do then will be to finish of the panel and then chop some more mortises, hopefully in the right place this time.

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