Thursday, August 29, 2013

Television Stand - Part Deux...

Well, doggone it....finally decided to dedicate more time to this project and git er done! Figured I needed to be able to hog off some of the router marks left in the slabs after planing, and bought this heavy duty, magnesium 4"x24" belt sander from Harbor Freight. Suffice to say, it works (2nd photo).

Some of the gouges were also from my chainsaw. Those were a little hairier to get out, and the sander got shelved for that process. Instead, I used a 4 1/2" cup rasp wheel, also from Harbor Freight, that I was pretty impressed with (see previous post of my tool review on this product.

Anyway, I roughed each slab as flat as my eye could see - eyeballing isn't something I'm really too good at, but it got the job done.....Oooh, my aching back!

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I had to keep raising the slab up so my 6'4" frame wouldn't have to keep bending over so far. Even at that, the reach across the piece was far enough that the main pressure point was right square in the middle of my low back, and now I'm sitting here typing with a heat pack on and thinking about pouring a nice tall glass of wine to help drown my sorrows and to numb the pain.

The next step was a little more complicated. A lot of the finished appeal of a piece like this is in the actual arrangement of the separate components. Everyone has their own ideas on how things should ultimately look, and I knew what I thought was right might not be the same thing as what Katherine thought. So, I asked her to come on up to the shop and take a look-see and provide some feedback.

Before she came up, though, I "arranged" the components how I thought they might look best:

Try to imagine the pieces in this photo without the concrete blocks in between the shelves and with the shelves attached to the two end columns. I thought that would be pretty appealing.

Katherine took one look and told me to get the column on the right out of there. Then she turned the other column piece completely upside down to try to take advantage of the twist in this piece of juniper.


I know the lighting isn't too good on the first photo above, but hopefully you get the idea.

The shelves will look almost like they are suspended when attached. I'll be cutting the top part of the anchor column off and leveling it to accommodate the lower shelf that'll be home to the electronic components like DVD player and sound bar. That's a whole nother process for the next blog post on this project.

Getting the bottom of the anchor post flat was achieved by using the angle grinder with the cup rasp wheel. Took awhile, again, simply because my eyeballing skills need to be honed a whole lot more before I'll consider them to be even close to kind of good.

This piece is so heavy, all I had to do to stabilize it while grinding was to lean it up against my sawhorses. It didn't move at all!

The end result (I still have a little more work to do on the bottom to get the angle it sits at just right, but I'm getting pretty close) should be a very stable, anchor column for the two very heavy shelves.

The lower shelf will be about where you see the branch sticking out from the trunk about 2/3 of the way up in the photo below, and the top shelf just attached to the spacer column in between the two shelves (pictures to come in the next blog post).

I sure do hope my idea is a good one when this all gets put together. Balance and stability are key elements, and I'm just not sure yet whether I have both in what I'm doing so far. Guess the proof will be in the pudding as a wise old man (my Dad) once told me.