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   My very large 20x30" oak frame.  This frame uses my raised panel bit.  In order to use this bit, I turned the router speed from the normal 27,000 RPM down to 13,000 RPM.  As I pushed the wood past the bit I had to increase the power to the router in order to keep the speed constant.  I ended up moving the wood very slowly through the cut which I learned latter is why I ended up with a good deal of burn marks.  I sanded them out as best I could, but a little remain.  This is the frame after the miter cuts have been made, the frame glued, and left to sit overnight in the frame brace.
   Cut and glued my next frame today.  This one is my largest to date, holding a picture 20x30 inches.  This frame's outer edge made use of my 3 inch Ogee raised panel router bit.  Being a large bit I didn't want to run the router at full-speed.  My router is not variable speed, but I have an autotransformer I knew would work for changing the speed.  Other bits this size recommended a speed of no more than 13,000 RPM.  Using a laser tachometer I clocked my router in at 27,000 RPM.  At around 50% power the router runs at 13,000 RPM.  When making the cut I would start the router at 50% power.  As the wood began to put a load on the router I would increase the power to compensate for the load.  It is fairly easy to hear the speed of the router, so I would simply add power until the router made the same sound as it did at 13,000 RPM. 
   The cut was very slow, and I did have some burning.  A coworker who knows a fair bit about woodworking said I may have been putting the wood too slowly through the router.  The additional time it had by the blade was causing it to heat and burn.  I'll keep this in mind for next time.
   After a good deal of sanding, in which I was able to remove a good deal of the burn marks the wood was ready for the miter cuts.  This has been one of my weakest areas in frame building.  Getting a good 45 degree cut is the first problem.  I found that despite our mitering saw with presets for 45 degree, it doesn't cut perfectly.  The larger the board, the more this small angle inaccuracy is a problem.  My solution was to run several test cuts and compare them against a right angle triangle.  Only when it was aligned correctly did I cut wood.  The second problem was not having all the sides the perfect length.  To solve this, I cut the sides in pairs.  This makes sure that each parallel side is exactly the same length.  Once in the frame jig this frame aligned better than any I've done to date.
   Pictured is the saw bench I used on this project.  Normally our miter saw sits on a mini refrigerator.  This works, but the refrigerator is rather low to the ground, and the area it normally sits was too small for the 10 foot long piece of wood I was working with.  This table is constructed out of milk crates (normally used for storage), a piece of plywood, and two quick release F-clamps.  Some plastic around the work area kept sawdust contained, and it worked well.

November 01, 2012

Oiling Walnut

   The second coat on my oiled walnut frame.  No rounded edges on this frame at all—just pure walnut.  After cutting and gluing the frame I spent a good deal of time sanding until the entire frame was silky smooth.  After a through blow down with compressed air and cleaning I went about the oil finish.  I read about using a mixture of equal parts boiled linseed oil, mineral spirits, and polyurethane varnish.  The results are impressive—the oil really brings out the wood's beauty.  
   Halloween party this evening and again we got out the black light paint.  By limiting the amount of paint people had access to we were able to not have it everywhere this time.  There was a lot of creative face painting, and some murals on the canvas we hung on the basement walls.  Xiphos put together his awesome lighting rig and we had quite the setup.