Yesterday was a snow day at the shop. It made for a cozy go, sipping coffee and working quietly at my bench while the snow was piling up outside my window, ok, so it was only about an inch or two, still was nice.  And opposed to what my american homies down south might think, Vancouver rarely gets a measurable snowfall, so yesterday was fun.

Lets just get to it, and I’ll explain the last few steps in the pics below.

The first pic shows the poplar core planed to final shape with the cross-banding all ready applied. So now is probably a good time to explain why go to so much trouble, ………Oh hold on, the sun just peaked out of the clouds while I was typing, that makes me smile. I haven’t seen much of that this winter up here so I’ll take even little slivers of sun that wanna peek through the clouds every now and again.  Anyway, crossbanding, I’ll explain this fast to try not to bore everyone. Wood expands width wise, not in length, in the poplar core the grain is running vertical, then the crossbanding is running horizontal and the last layer of the “show wood” aka uero cherry, is running back, vertical. Opposing the grain direction like this locks the wood together and eliminates any movement!

So let’s run it

First pic, cross-banded. Second pic, you have to cover up all that end grain with piece of the cherry, you wont see it from the front it will get covered by the last step and only the top wil be visible. Third pic, just going through the veneers, cutting out the defects, edge jointing and glueing them back for the final width veneer. If you are able to cut veneers out of a wider plank, step three can be avoided, I just had a limited amount of good wood in that plank. The last pic is the veneers grain-matched and glued back together ready to be applied onto the doors. 

 Now it’s to the vacuum press where everything gets all sucked tight.

 All that’s left when they get out is applying an edge of solid cherry(which was cut off the edges of the plank before the veneers are cut) then applied back to the finished product for hopefully, seemless look;)

Here below is the applied edges, which will get cut down a bit, and shaped to the curve as well.

Finally, the doors, minus surface prep and finish!


doors part-1

Okay, Haley scored a four week job in Spokane which is only good because it’s her last job she will have to do while we are up here in Canada. But,  since it’s only a four week job she’ll be staying there the whole time:( no visits!  It’s just been Elliot(dog) and myself holding down the house.

Well…onto the doors

Here at IP we are taught when making a curved or “coopered” door, or any door for that matter, that is good to make the door(s) first, then fit the cabinet to the door. It’s easier to plane a bit off the sides of the cabinet than try to take any wind out of the door. Also when you want a curved front to your project, after the doors are made we can finalize the curve for the front cabinet from what the doors end up being (hopefully just like or real close to the template). So with that being said I did pick the wood to be sawn for the veneers for the outside at the same time. Another fun thing was using the existing curve in the grain for the shape of the front of the cabinet, I think that will be nice;)

 Here you can see the beginnings of the lumber core being milled into strips, flat and square, then edge jointed with a jointing plane with just a slight bevel (you can see that in the pic with the little square and the light passing through). And that’s how you get your curve! More bevel, more curve. The last step in the pic above is the strips glued together and ready to be shaped with a coopering plane. A little side note, the three planes we use the most were made during the first couple of weeks of class: the jointing, coopering and smoothing. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, they really do work great, slicing is better than sanding.

Thank you and good day



things are movin

This week was good. Finally settled on a design that I am excited about for the display cabinet. I wanted to make a piece that I liked and incorporate some processes that I have never done such as; the curvy stuff, cutting my own veneers, and making the substrate to for the veneers, all which will be very applicable my shop some day. Also I hate to say veneers because we automatically think of plywood or the stuff your kitchen cabinets are made of…Well, these are “real veneers”, Nothing like what you might get at your local wood supplier! I will explain the process in another post but there are some good reason why to do this.  By doing this you can make a piece with super tight tolerances that do not have to allow for the wood to move through the seasons and also make the most of that priceless piece of wood that might not have a place in a solid wood piece.

So here is a look at the curve on the front, the sides have a bit of a curve as well but just subtle enough to soften the piece, not too noticeable. Sorry for those of you that might be expecting some nice mockup are computer generated drawing…or even a colored pencil rendering.  This little template is enough to get the ball rollin! 

The rest of the week has been picking apart the euro cheery to find out where to cut the veneers from.  Here…look, this is all of them cut and stacked.

So I from the first pic,,, a two door caby on one side and a glass display on the other. The inside will be port orford cedar, smells amazing, like peeling an orange 🙂  I think that’s a good idea..yup euro cheery on the outside and port O on the inside.

And not so amazing… although very important in this piece, is the substrate. Once cross banded and then wrapped in a nice blanket of that euro cheery it well never see the light of day again.  All it is is poplar cut into strips, reverse the grain for stability and glue it back up!

Here it is after milled to final thickness with the crossbanding.

Next…Cooperd doors.

And….Here’s a bit of Haley’s jewelry, I love having Haley at the end of my bench on Saturdays making stuff…….you can buy them too…. they’re for sale