The front apron on the bow front table is, of course, curved. To make this curve, I’m using two pieces of walnut that I re-sawed into 1/8″ thick pieces. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a single piece thick enough and so I had to use two pieces to create the unique furniture. I spent a lot of time working out the front piece and am really happy with the results (see last picture).
After re-sawing the walnut, I only cleaned it up marginally with some sandpaper. In retrospect, this was a mistake as my final apron piece is not of uniform thickness (from top to bottom). I could work around it, but needless to say that was a little annoying. I could have re-sawn slightly thicker and used my thickness planer (with backer) to get a uniform thickness across the thin pieces. Or, if I had a drum sander of course that would be much better!
I put wax on the form and on 3 pieces of 1/8″ masonite that I used in the clamping sandwich: 1 next to the form and 2 on the outside. The furniture wax worked like a champ – the masonite popped right off after the glue was dry. I put the form and masonite in ready position on top of a lot of clamps.
I spread Titebond III glue on both sides of each of the six pieces. I could have gotten away with spreading just on one side and that would have saved me some precious minutes. Next time. I then put the pieces between the masonite and started clamping to the form, starting with the middle clamp and working my way out. After getting things pretty tight at each stage, I came back and really cranked down on each clamp. I also added clamps from the top since the apron is wider than the face of the clamps.
Next time I think it would be better to get the middle clamps very tight, both top and bottom before doing any other clamps. Then move out to the next set, top and bottom and get those done; and so on, moving outwards. By getting all the clamps pretty tight and then coming back, I probably stopped some slippage from happening. The results were good, but I bet the latter method would be even better.
After 24 hours in the clamps, I removed the apron and scraped off the glue. It had bonded pretty well and unfortunately my skraper had not yet arrived. I settled on the back of an old chisel. Then over to the jointer and tablesaw for final cleanup.
I had some spring back from the form, probably about 1/8″ at the ends. Not a big deal, but it does mean that the apron no longer follows the curve form that I created (the apron has a slightly shallower curve). This could be trouble if I need to use the form again, which in my case I did not (blog posts trailing badly…). It would have been faster to re-use the form in a couple of places, but not a big deal to not use it.
Ready to get to other parts and some joinery!