April 11, 2012

Entryway Storage Bench Part 2

Recently I've been working on surfacing the book-matched panels that will make up the front and back of the bench "box". Due to similar issues with reversing grain and tearout I've been following the same procedure as with the smaller end panels: Glue-up the book-matched panel, rough thickness on the power planer, and then remove the tearout and smooth the surfaces with a smoothing plane. 

The picture below shows one of the panels after rough thicknessing on the power planer. There is quite a bit of tearout and one corner of the panel was thinner than the rest and still shows the rough sawn surface. 

Since some of the tearout was pretty deep I switched to a toothed blade in the smoothing plane which allows a much more aggressive cut without any issues with tearout. This was my first time using a toothed blade and I was completely impressed with how much it sped up the process.

Below is a picture midway through the process showing the texture that the toothed blade leaves. You can also see that I've planed down past much of the tearout and am getting close to the level of the thin corner.

The picture below shows the panel approaching final thickness with just a bit of the corner still just a bit thinner than the rest.

Below the panel is to final thickness and I've take a few swipes with the regular blade in the smoothing plane to take off some of the texture.

After fully smoothing the panels I trimmed them to size to fit into the frame. I trimmed them to width and then used a block plane to bevel the inside edges until they fit snugly into the grooves.I then dropped the panel into the frame and marked the exposed end to the final length. Below you can see the front panel fit and the back panel being marked for length.

And here is the full frame and all 4 panels test fit together.

The next step is to break it down and prefinish the panels while I finish up the frame by putting the bevels on the inside corners of the legs and adding a groove or rabbet to the lower rails to hold the boards that will make up the bottom of the storage area.