Sunday, July 24, 2011

Aurora Nightstand - The Ebony Arrives

Hooray! The ebony finally arrived yesterday, and I had some time over the weekend to jump in and make the decorative splines for the nightstand top. The pictures show one of them. As luck would have it, the other three look about the same.

The ebony came in six pieces, each about an inch and a half square and about ten inches long. It was rough cut and covered with wax.

To make the splines, I used the jointer to get two edges on one of the ebony blocks flat and perpendicular to each other. Then I used the bandsaw to slice off a couple of 3/8 x 1-1/2 inch slabs, which I then cut down the middle to make the blanks for the four splines. Next, I routed the profile using the little jig I made the other day. Then I rounded off all the corners with files and sandpaper. I sanded the splines to 600 grit and then polished them up using white rouge (is that an oxymoron?) on a buffing wheel.

The ebony behaved itself with the jointer, the bandsaw, and the router. I got some tearout, though, when I tried to remove the bandsaw marks with a vintage Stanley 60-1/2 block plane. I'm guessing that a higher bevel angle on the plane iron would work better with the ebony. But at the moment I didn't want to get sidetracked into investigating that, so I switched to a disk sander for smoothing out the bandsaw cuts and adjusting the fit of the splines into their respective slots.

I'm starting to see how some people come to own a jillion hand planes.  Not that it could ever happen to me.

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