Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesson learned...

Well, the lesson learned this week was that trying to save galley counter material by leaving openings in the glue up leads to a massive increase in labor. I should have worked an extra half day at my real job and bought the extra wood.

I started the weekend by sanding the epoxy off the new layups. My belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper was completely inadequate for the job and I switched to 40 grit with the DA.

There was some dishing but overall it was working great; until I ran out of sandpaper. More has already been ordered. I got enough sanding done to keep glueing the parts up though. The small sections weren't perfectly aligned or perfectly square (which I knew was going to happen) so I cleaned up the pieces and made them square with my skilsaw. If I haven't mentioned before, I bought some very expensive blades for the skilsaw from Forest. They make an excellent blade that leaves an edge smoother than I could ever sand. I loves those blades. Anyway, because all the bits and pieces were being so ornery and hard to keep in place I glued up the front half of the countertop first.

While getting the aft section ready I noticed a problem with the line up. I should not have been surprised to see that nothing in the pattern I made was square. The aft edge follows the original quasi aft bulkhead. The front edge follows my own interpretation. I also discovered a third point of alignment which was a line created by the 'bridge deck'. This wouldn't be such a big issue except I have cabinets faces going right there and any misalignment will be pretty obvious once the cabinet faces sitting direction the countertop.

A second issue was the small sections I glued up that pass along either side of the sink didn't clamp down to exactly the same dimensions. There is about a quarter of an inch difference. My solution was to add an extra piece to the short side and I will then cut it back to match the longer side. It should be barely obvious in the final product.

The third issue was how far out of square the aft edge was. To cut an edge in line with the aft bulkhead would require cutting through two strips. They are hard to see but I am counting on those strips to anchor the aft edge of the countertop down to the structure. I didn't want to add too many pieces to the back edge to compensate because that section will have some drop down storage and I have a minimum size I have to work around - the size of a dishplate. So... the solution was to create a short wedge shaped piece so that the final three strips would align with the back edge of the countertop area.

To complicate matters, I had to really start thinking about how the storage cabinets were going to tie into the countertop since this would effect where the strips were going to end etc. and... oh... and just to add to the confusion, the pattern of two maple strips to one walnut meant that every time I needed to add or subtract a piece I had to figure out how this would effect the whole pattern.

This is why next time I think I will just buy more material and glue up one big sheet and cut out the sections as necessary. Way over complicated this way.

So... I was able to glue up the aft section of the starboard countertop this morning.

Next steps, after sanding, will be to glue the front and back section together, cut to final shape, and add the drop bottom storage areas. Then of course comes final fitting and building the cherry cabinet faces - which is really the fun part :-)

And lastly, I finally got around to converting my original teak stairway to something useful around the house. I have been wanting a step stool for a while now. Doesn't everyone want a step stool made of teak?...

Em tasol wantoks

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