Sunday, March 8, 2009


The last few days have seen much progress in the woodshop. My dilemma creating box joints has mostly been solved. While we won't know for some time if its truly solved, I have a plan and things are progressing well. To make 18 inches of box joints, I cut a template using the jig. Remember, the jig only supported 12 inch wide wood. I then took the template and and a pattern router bit to cut the fingers. After one set of cuts, I shifted the template.

This worked, the backs of the fingers are somewhat rounded, and I will need to square each one by hand. This will be painful. However, I have ordered things to keep my chisels razor sharp and with some luck they will arrive this week.

This weekend saw two new developments too. While waiting for the sharpening tools I cut the bottom to its final size. Unfortunately, I cut it an inch short. A very amateur error, but I am an armadillo. When you use a tape measure, and want precise measurements, you always start from 1, since the end of a tape measure wiggles a little bit. I did this, but didn't add an inch into the final measurement. Oops! We plan to cut the sides one inch shorter later this week.

With much love I managed to cut the rockers for the bottom. The first rocker was cut with a router and a belt sander. After about two hours of work it was where I wanted, I used the pattern bit in the router to duplicate it on a second piece of wood. It came out well, but the router bit jammed up and burned the wood. Some planing and sanding fixed the black marks.

To attach the rockers to the bottom, we needed a sliding dovetail joint. I had never done one before, but after some practice it turned out to be somewhat easy. Hear is Jeannie putting one of the grooves in the bottom. Here is a picture of a sliding dove tail, ours came out picture perfect. By using the sliding dovetail, the rockers and the bottom will be able to expand and contract due to humidity and will not crack the bottom of the cradle. Because the rockers and the bottom expand and contract in different ways, the joints can't be glued. As the rocker expands it will just slide in the track.

Next up, waiting for the sharpening stones. They are in transit from Cambridge Ohio to Cambridge Mass as we speak. Then I can get to work squaring the box joints.... The clock ticks on.

BTW, for those of you who think you saw a typo: Think again. Here I am working with Jim. He does most of the work, I am just comic relief.

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