Sunday, May 18, 2008

More on sliding dovetails

I finally got around to taking pictures of the two most recent carpentry projects.

The first is the step. The top is made of three planks of four-quarter panga panga, edge glued. The edges are rounded over above and below with a quarter-inch roundover on three sides; the side to the rear has merely had the edges broken. The sides are also cut from panga panga. The underside of the top has a double-blind groove cut to receive the front, which is correspondingly notched to fit into this groove. In addition, sliding dovetail dados are cut in the underside of the top and in the back of the front to receive the sides. To assemble, first the sides are slid in on their sliding dovetails, and then the front slid up on the dovetails cut in the front of the sides until it nestles in the groove in the underside of the top. That's it; the machining is tight enough that no glue is needed. All surfaces are finished by random sanding to 220, and then two coats (sides and front) or four coats (top) of a 50/50 mix of tung oil and citrus solvent. There is no back; however, the entire assembly rests on top of a core made of solid cedar 4x4s endcuts, glued together in a three by ten array. Nonslip shelf covering is above and below the cedar core for cushioning and to reduce slippage (which is nonexistent).

The second is the air conditioner stand, which I wrote about previously. The visible parts are made of standard-quality 12x1 pine planking cutoffs, except for the legs which are 2x2 cedar, and the stretcher at the bottom of the legs, which is panga panga. The table top, which cannot be seen in the photo, is a sheet of four-quarter melamine with a simulated pine finish. As it stands this project is still not entirely finished; the surfaces have only been sanded to 150 and no finish has been applied, the legs have not yet been mechanically attached (although it barely seems to matter), and we plan to put some sort of trim along the top to hide the relatively ugly ship-lap joinery between the sides and the front.

There's also a bunch of flower photos which I've uploaded to Flickr. Feel free to browse and enjoy.