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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Closing in on the gaps

I discovered that when a board comes off the drum sander, it may look flat without really being completely flat. This may be the heart of the problem I've been having gluing up some of my bowls.

I discovered this when I ran a freshly sanded board over the SandFlee, and noticed that the sound it made wasn't the same throughout the length of the board. When I put the board on a completely level surface, I could get a very small rocking, about 1/64" inch, barely noticeable. I gave the board a number of passes through the SandFlee, and when it sounded flat, I checked it again, and there was a tremendous improvement.

I've finished gluing up and sanding the new bowl, and had very little problem getting the rings to lie completely flat against each other. In addition, the wood I had glued together to get the pattern I wanted was so well sanded that I could not even feel where the strips were located. I guess when you're working with such close tolerances, these small differences matter.

I'll post a picture of the bowl that I made with that blank as soon as it's finished, probably by the end of the week. It was an ambitious project, using laminated swags that spanned three rings and the base. Came out quite well, and the more I understand all these nuances, the better equipped I am to help others make better bowls.

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