Monday, September 2, 2013

Television Stand - Part Trois

Left off on my last post with sorta flattening the bottom of what will become the main pedestal for the unit by grinding it down and eye-balling it. Still not very good at that, so decided I'm going to have to plane it down using the router planer.

This is a really big piece, and it needed some work before planing, though. First of all, it sat kind of catty wompus after my eye-balling debacle:

Next step was to shim it up so it would at least balance for me to scribe a line all the way around the base. That really wasn't too difficult as all I needed to do was tilt it a little bit and put a block of wood underneath it to get the majority of the pedestal vertical (second, third, and fourth photos below). In the last photo, you can see how I used a black magic marker to scribe a line all the way around the base to be used as a guide when routing it down to level.

 
The scribe line shows just how badly my eye-balling effort was. There's basically about four inches of a conical shape that had to be hogged off in order for it to be level.

 

To get better balance while planing, I decided to cut off part of the main pedestal first. That way, I could tip the whole thing upside down and work on it with little to no movement or even fear of movement as the router was run back and forth over the piece.

Now comes the fun part - setting up the planer, balancing the piece so it won't fall over during routing, and trying to get it as level as possible for the operation.

To start, I had to replace the shorter end pipes with 48" pipes to accommodate the height of the piece. Next step was to approximate the height of the rails so the planer would pass over the piece while still allowing the depth of the router to take some of the stock off in each pass.

 Balancing was accomplished by building up a stack of 2x6 pieces of scrap with the very last one being a piece only 3/4" thick. Voila! This thing balanced like a charm.

Got the final fine tuning done on the height adjustment and made the first three passes (only 1/4" or less per pass so as to minimize the possibility of taking too much off.....can take a bunch off, but can't put it back if too much goes).

Cut once but measure and check level at least twice before moving on to the next depth of cut adjustment in the router. Pretty level, but have to set the rails a little lower now.

You can see in the photo below, there's about 3/4" between the runner of the sled and the piece itself. Depth of cut is only 3/4" on this router, so had to once again fine tune the height adjustment of the rails.

Once all that was done, and I'd made what seemed like a hundred passes, the whole bottom was finally even.

Put the level on it, and you can see in the photo below, it's still off slightly but not all that much or that bad.

So, I flipped the whole thing over and it sat really nice and flat for the final routing on the top of the piece.

 

A few quick passes with the router (this was a breeze simply because it is much smaller than the bottom of the piece), and the level shows an almost perfect flat top on which to place the lower of the two shelves to come.