Crossing a hurdle

On every project I seem to include some skill or process that is beyond my experience.  That’s why I like this hobby – I’m always learning and trying new things.  This weekend I had a little time to try one of the tricky operations I had been worrying about.  It went pretty well.

On the sides of the hood, traditionally are small arched windows through which one can see the movement running inside.  The trick is that the windows are cut into the side panel and a profile is formed on the edge to give it some interest.  The glass itself is rectangular but the shape of the opening is similar to the shape of the front of the hood.

Today the usual way of making this would be to cut out the opening, use a router and then clean up the corners where the bit can’t reach.  I suppose one could also make the profile separately and glue it in place.  I’m going with what I assume to be close to a traditional method.

DSC_1155I start by drawing in the outer and inner lines of the shape.  I was careful to line it up with the movement and make it look good on the outside.  That was easy.

DSC_1157Here the opening has been cut and cleaned up.  Now I’m cutting a straight shoulder into the face with a chisel and router plane.  I actually formed the top arch shoulder starting with my Lie-Nielsen inlay compass – it worked like a dream to make a cleanish but very precise curved cut.

DSC_1158Then I cleaned out the back where the glass will eventually be placed.  Again chopping with a chisel and then cleaning it up with a router plane.  This will hopefully be the closest I get to a router with a motor 😉

DSC_1163Making the thumbnail profile was easier than I thought it would be.  I used a carving gouge to just round over the corner of the shoulder a bit, then used a small shop-made profile scraper and faired the curve.  I didn’t even bother with a handle on the scraper it required so little effort.  It was little rough on the end grain which cleaned up with some light sanding.  A quick diagonal cut with a chisel defined the corners nicely.  The parts parallel with the grain were near perfect.  Next time I’ll try to get a better edge on my scraper.  The profile is subtle but it reads OK.

DSC_1164Finally this weekend there was a little time for some glue up.  I added the lid or cover which is just several small pieces of pine across the top. Then it seems that these were covered with canvas glued down, so that’s what I did.  All of this is hidden by the cornice moulding and the fact that this is taller than basketball players.

Next up a door and the top moulding.  I can’t decide which.  I need to sleep on it.

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One Response to Crossing a hurdle

  1. maryanne Zeleznik says:

    You’re so skilled at this I never know what’s supposed to be difficult. It all looks very nice, clean lines and now starting to look familiar!

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