Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day 61: Crisis Averted

It turns out only two of the natural key top heads were off by around one millimeter on the end where they butt up against the tails. I simply trimmed them on the band saw and all is well. This was a close call, one that I will never forget, especially the lesson that I need to review Mr. Miller's eBook Most Excellent on a regular basis before proceeding - with anything. Once I determined things were okay, I went ahead and glued up the remaining natural key top tails.

The sharp tops are not yet completed, though it may look like it. I still need to cut, trim and glue up the quarter sawn red oak for them. The veneers are only 1/16" thick; this will make it oddly both easier and more difficult to get them the right size. Fortunately, all of the sharps, including their tops, are exactly the same size, so I can set up a system and power through them in an assembly line fashion.

Once I completed the tail glue ups, I went ahead and notched all of the heads.

All of the drama I introduced in a previous post about notching with my new, razor sharp knife was rather silly. The notches are designed to protect the second score line from the file and should be neither too deep nor too long. One of the Facebook page followers suggested that I use a file with a flat edge to file down the corners of the naturals. I don't have a bench grinder to easily accomplish this with, so guess what my next purchase will be.

On the few I did file, I decided to use a larger raspish file, a medium, and then a fine file to complete them. Unfortunately, I nicked the second score line on a couple, so I'm stopping production until I can pick up a bench grinder to smooth out one side of the files. It's just too much work to ruin keys at this point, especially when the fix is so easy.

After filing down the edges, I used 220 and 400 grain sandpaper to smooth them up and finished buffing them with a heavy duty Scotch-Brite pad, my new favorite tool. As you can see in the photo below, they look pretty good, even without any finish on them.

I found a bench grinder on Craigslist a few miles north of the shop and the guy only wants $25 (I'm betting he'll take $20) for it. Once I get it set up, I'll be back in business and posting my progress here.

Until then...

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