Bubinga Desk Construction Update 1-10-2010

January 10, 2010 by
Filed under: Articles, Bubinga Desk 

construction-update-1-10-2010-002After approximately 18 hours of work this weekend, the desk is progressing. The end sub-assemblies have been completed with the birch dowel rods installed. I used the full-size pattern, which were made of 1/4” tempered hardboard, to locate the holes on in the vertical members of the end panels. I first drilled the holes (1/2”) in the full-size lay-out templates. Then I used a transfer punch to locate the center point for the dowel rod holes. A brad point drill bit was used to drill the holes. Transfer punches are commonly used by machinist and others in the metal working trades but they work well in wood for accurate layout for drilling holes. These pieces, as well as all of the other components of the legs assemblies, have been sanded to 220 grit sand paper. All of the separate parts were disassembled, sanded and reinstalled. The gussets of the leg assembly were glued and screwed to the leg and apron sub-assembly, and all the holes were plugged with African Wenge. Since the gussets are made of soft maple and the Wenge is almost black in color, an attractive contrast is created using their natural hue differences.construction-update-1-10-2010-001

A slight radius was drawn on both ends of the bubinga slab and cut out using a saber saw. The straight edge of the slab and the two ends were then router with a ¼” roundover bit. The natural edge has been wired brushed and is ready for finish. I was not able to hand plane or hand scrape the top surface because the waterfall-grain was just too difficult and planing resulted in wood tear-out. So instead, I used one of the least sensitive tools at my disposal; a cabinetmakers chainsaw—a belt sander. I’ve started with 80 grit abrasive and will finish the sanding tomorrow. JK (James Krenov) please forgive me!

The last item to construct is the drawer which I will finish later in the week. So the target date for completion may slip a bit. I hope to finish the sanding of the top tomorrow night, reassembly the desk and apply at least one coat of the wiping finish (1/3 tung oil, 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 high gloss polyurethane) so that the desk may be taken for the “Show and Tell” presentation at the Lee’s Summit Woodworkers Guild meeting at 7 PM on Tuesday, January 12 at the Lee’s Summit Christian Church.

The desk will return to the shop for completion of the drawer and several coats of finish.  There will be at least one more construction update so please keep tuned-in. Approximate construction time is holding at 61 hours .


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