Sunday, February 3, 2008

Side rails

A router template is made to mortise the end-grain of the rails to accept the hardware. The mortise is not centered on the height of the rail, so it has to go on the "right way" - it's easy to screw this up and wind up with mortises at different locations on each end of the rail.
Since I didn't have a top-bearing pattern bit at the time, I made it to work with a bushing and a 1/2" bit: the window will guide the bushing, and has to be oversized the proper amount to end up with the right sized mortise (5" x 5/8" x 1/8"deep).

A brass bushing guide is installed in the router sub-base. The bushing will follow the template "window", which will limit it's travel. The bit depth is set, and ...
...the mortise is routed, then this bogus picture is posed hours later...

After squaring off the mortise corners by hand, the hardware is fit into the mortise.

This hardware has two little pieces of meat on the backside where the hooks are crimped. It won't sit flat in the mortise, so some shallow reliefs are drilled with a Forstner bit.

The screws which hold the hardware to the end of the rail are going into end grain, which is not very good at holding onto the threads. Some 3/4"d flat-bottomed holes are made with a Forstner bit behind the screw holes. Short pieces of dowel will be glued into these holes - when the screws are driven in from the end, they'll get a good "bite" into the side grain of the dowels. This is supposed to be a much stronger attachment, but I can't see how the rail hardware screws could back out once the whole thing's assembled.
Another easy thing to screw up: you don't want these holes to go all the way thru, and you want them all on the back side of the rail, so they face the inside of the bed frame.

Having no 3/4" dowels, I turned from some scrap, but it's so dark in the lathe corner I couldn't get a good pic of that.

Also not pictured: the rails had to be cut to length with a circular saw and jig, because they're too long to cut on my table saw. It was a simple jig to make, but yet another step.
One of the rails had an end check that wasn't entirely cut away when they were cut to length, so I glued it with poly glue (gap-filling).
I saved myself a bunch of sanding by planing all the edges of the rails, which led to a sharpening diversion.
I started trying out some finishing schedules on scrap. Right now undiluted black ink soaked into the raw wood seems to be the best coverage, but the top coat (shellac is the plan) will HAVE to be sprayed, since the ink is apparently soluble in alcohol (which is also the solvent for shellac). Maybe a water-based lacquer is in order.

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