Sunday, July 24, 2005

Screwed Over By Fairies

Maybe it was that foot-long green chili beef burrito I ate last night that caused me to have this bad dream, or maybe this all really happened. I’m not sure, but regardless of whether this is true or not, here’s how I remember it. The fairies showed up at my house drunk and noisy and tried to make a counter top for the Frankenstein Hutch. At first I thought all the noise was just skunks under the house, so I just rolled over and went back to sleep.

The first thing the fairies had to do was clean out the shop. It was a real mess. I have a bad habit of flying from one project to another with out completely cleaning up from the last project. This is how my house ends up as a feculent hell hole. The fairies were pissed-off about the mess and there was a lot of cussing and things being thrown around. They had to vacuum up large quantities of saw dust and piles of wood scraps. One of the fairies was a little gassy so there were frequent breaks to air out the shop. Maybe that fairy had also eaten a foot-long green chili beef burrito.

Feculent!


Next, they went out to the garage and pulled out some of the 1X8 redwood siding that was left over from the demolition of the 2-story addition. They had to rip about an inch and a half off each side to get rid of nail holes. After that they ran the boards through the planer to get a smooth side and reduce it to ¾ of an inch.

Imagination Required


The fairies didn’t do a very good job of ripping the boards down so the sides were not perfectly straight. The fairies wished they had a jointer but they really can’t afford one, and there isn’t really enough room in the shop for one anyway. Instead, they set up a straight bit on the router table and off-set the fence by 1/8-inch to get a straight side. This works OK, but the fairies are still left with some problem spots at the ends. Apparently they planned for this and were able to take 2-inches off each end and still have boards long enough.

It's Getting There


This is still not as good as a jointer for getting perfectly straight sides ready for glue. A few weeks back the fairies bought a tongue and groove router bit that was on sale at Sears. They decided to do a tongue and groove on each side of the board to add strength during the glue-up. They had never used this router bit before and it is little tricky. They first had to set it up with 2 cutting blades to cut the tongue. There are spacers and shims that have to be put on in the right order so the two blades are spaced correctly. Then, while the shank is still in the router, one of the cutting blades is removed and the spacers and shims are re-aligned to cut the groove. If done correctly the tongue and groove matches up perfectly and the boards fit together with a relatively smooth surface.

Set up For The Tongue


The fairies screwed up when they put on the cutting blades for the tongue. The tongue was too thick and would not fit in the groove. The fairies had used the wrong spacer between the two cutting blades and had to run the boards again. Stupid, stupid fairies. This caused problems and the boards are not a good fit in some places. On top of that, the fairies discovered that the tongues do not fit all the way in to the groove and there is a gap. As I said, they had never used this router bit before.

You can see in the picture below of the dining room table that the maker uses this T&G method of joining the boards for the top. On the table the T&G are a very tight fit and it looks nice. On the boards the fairies did (next picture) there is a gap. The white stuff in the gap is glue.




The fairies became frustrated after this and stopped working on the counter. They left a mess everywhere and I think they performed some un-holy acts of the boards before they left, or maybe that’s just glue. I’m not sure how to proceed at this point. I think I’m going to get out the RO sander and some 60 grit paper and see if I can smooth the top down. I could also trim the edges and add a strip of wood to finish the ends so the gaps in the T&G don’t show. To do this correctly I would need some very long clamps which I don’t have. It would also be nice to own a biscuit joiner, but I’m not going to be splurging for one of those either.

Here's Where I'm At


This is going to be for the hutch and most of the wood won’t be seen. Also, this won’t be a work surface so it won’t see a lot of abuse. I’m thinking a decorative strip with glue and finish nails to hold it on might be enough to cover the gaps and give it a finished look. I guess I’ll know by tomorrow if this is going to work.

10 comments:

Gary said...

Maybe you should get rid of the fairies and do the work yourself!

You still believe in fairies? Ask them to grant you three wishes.....

Greg said...

Get rid of the fairies?!?! Do the work yourself!?!?! What are you talking about? Why would I do that?

You still believe in fairies?!?!? Of course I do! Fairies, elves, Gods, and Goddesses. I believe in all of it. It is how I live my life.

Everything I write on this blog is absolutely, 100% true and honest. That is why I started this blog. So I could accurately and honestly document my daily activities for the world. That is what blogs are all about. Don't you kow that? It is the blog code to not exaggerate or embellish at all. Why would I do that?

Becky said...

Isn't a genie that grants three wishes? Maybe you should ditch the faries and get a genie. Make sure your first wish is for more wishes though (I never did understand why you couldn't do that).

Trissa said...

I think the fairies did a pretty good job & it will turn out great. I commend their ingenuity for making the tools that they had do the job you need done! Who cares if there are a few mistakes along the way!

jm@houseinprogress said...

Um, if that is the kind of work the fairies do, would you please send them over to my house? Because that is pretty darned awesome work for reclaimed wood and a very creative set-up...

kk said...

If, in a fit of insanity, you fire the fairies, please send them to the midwest - I promise to share them witn houseinprogress. They can work on my house any day.

Jocelyn said...

having just watched Neverland recently (good movie), I do believe in fairies and your story just gives me more faith. ;o)
But those fairies do sound a little surly. Maybe they are little devils? But I think they are keepers whatever they are- they are doing a very good job improvising!

Ron said...

Wow, your shop really did need the faries to stop by. Will they stop by my shop next? It all looks great. When do we get to see it in its final location?

deb said...

alas our fairies don't enter our house... they tend to stay in my gardens with the gnomes. maybe one day soon they'll come in out of the rain...

ampersand said...

I know I am reading a fairly old blog entry, so you might have already dealt with the lack of a jointer. If you have not then you should consider a hand plane. While planing boards to correct thickness can take a little .... fuck it... a lot of practice. Doing edge jointing with a hand plane is fairly straight forward. A wooden Stanley transitional plane costs about 20-30 bucks a fancier all metal Stanley plane from the turn of the century cost about $120. Both will get the job done. Stay away from any of the new cheap planes, they will only frustrate. Then to sharpen get grits of sand paper up to 1000 grit, adhere them to a piece of glass. All together you can get this set up for about $40 depending on the material you have on hand. By the way, I am throughly enjoying your blog.