A Twisted Form

Mark J

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This is going to be interesting to watch.

Just wondering out loud ... since each of the 'veneer layers" of the "star" are the same shape, could this have been cut or routed into a single, long block of wood and then the layers sliced from that on a band saw?

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Still think you should've cut the basic shape out of a board (considering grain) and then sliced the wafers on a bandsaw, maybe sanding them a bit after slicing.  I don't think that would've avoided the problems you're having in glue up now but the edge grain would've looked interesting.  Not sure that using the CNC added much.

On the other hand, whatever the method I'm still anxiously awaiting the outcome.  Don't give up - might be some tweaking involved in the final form but it'll be worth the trip and make the next time more interesting.

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Thinking about it some, what I wish I'd done was rotate the stars 45 degrees when cutting out the veneer.  That way the grain would run diagonally from one point and one set of pins to the opposite corner.  This dimension would have been stable in length and the curling would have been perpendicular to this line, too.  If I ever do this again....

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I haven't been able to focus as much time on this as I would want, but I am up to 15 stars.  However, this morning there was something unexpected.  The last glue line has turned black.  I posted this under Finishing as I thought it would get better exposure.   

Otherwise I'm up to 16 stars:


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Well no answer to the black glue question, but no recurrence, either.  Not worried about it.  I am sure that it will be gone with the final shaping and sanding.

So at this point I have about 25 stars glued up, but I've run out of glue.  Off to the store later today.  I set a timer after every star is placed in clamps, but It's still taking longer than I thought it would mostly because I wander off and don't hear it ring.  There are some slight variations in the sizes of the steps between each slice and I did manage to glue one star on turned 90 degrees.  You knew stuff like that would happen, but I've chosen a very bland (read that forgiving) grain pattern so in the end I don't think these will show much.  But I won't know till I get there.  

I am rethinking the design--within the constraints of the blank I am making up. There's something about it that I think could be better.  That process will take a couple of days, but so will the glue up.  


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You could program the CNC router to remove a central circle from the first x number of stars.  This would be similar to drilling out the waste from the blank with a Forstner bit.  Make the hole the right size and you could use it mount the chuck jaws.

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So this turns out to be an interesting problem.  And I just gotta stop and say, I hate interesting problems.  I mean if you're gonna have a problem couldn't it be just a boring I've solved this a hundred times problem?  No, it's gotta be "interesting". 

So the stack has developed a rocker bottom.  I don't know if this is because the tips of the stars have had some upward stress in the jig and this is a cumulative result, or if this might be that the glue layer is somehow thicker in the body of the star than the arms, but there is just enough curvature that I can't really get the next star to make good contact along all four arms regardless of the pins.  

Not sure how to address this issue so I'm going to let the glue up sit for a bit while I think. 

I wish I had a thickness planer (but I don't), assuming the top is flat I could just shave off a little from the bottom and return to flat.  I could probably find a club member who could help me.    I could place a thin shim under each arm, but I would probably have to abandon the alignment pins.  Any thoughts?

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In between glue sessions I have been re-working the design for the last couple of days.  In this version the pillars or bands rise up a little more steeply and roll into a tighter curve at the top.  The basin then droops or hangs down a bit.  The basin itself is the same diameter as before, but is a little fuller than the previous version.   I'm not sure whether or not I will take the time for another model, but I can incorporate some subtle changes without remodeling.  Do you like the earlier or later version better?  Any (preferably small) changes?  




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