Hatching an Egg

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  • April 27, 2020 2:06 PM
    Message # 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    It started with this little 3" turning my brother-in-law, Tony, did of the HatchSpace logo.   I'd been thinking for some time about doing a bench using our dovetailed egg as the leg on one or both ends.    

    Tony is a breast cancer surgeon with no surgeries scheduled during the lockdown and a lathe in his basement.  I asked if he'd be interested in turning a big egg if I glued up a blank.   Sure.  

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  • April 27, 2020 2:09 PM
    Reply # 8931216 on 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    The problem was that doing a 15" tall dovetailed egg in contrasting woods required big pieces of wood inclined toward checking and we were both eager to get on with it.  

    First, I made a full scale sketch of the egg from our Jonathan Wolfman designed logo

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  • April 27, 2020 2:16 PM
    Reply # 8931240 on 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    To go easy on his tools we decided to keep things soft.  I thought red cedar and Port Orford cedar would have a nice contrast and be easy to work with.  In order to hide the geometrically impossible 4-way dovetail in the design, I ripped the material into 1-inch pieces that could be glued up in sections.

    The PO Cedar we had was from these big chunks of beam ends Bensonwood Homes gave to us.  They were 8"x20" with checking and stresses and only about half of what I cut was anywhere near straight enough to use.

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  • April 27, 2020 2:26 PM
    Reply # 8931258 on 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    What was usable was also wet.   The inside of big lumber commonly has far more moisture content than the outer surfaces.   The moisture content of the Red Cedar was at a good 8%, but the PO Cedar ranged from 8 - 16%.

    I don't have a kiln, or the patience, but I do have a sauna.   I bundled up the 100 pieces, spaced and strapped them, and put them in at around 160 degrees for 3 days.   I kept out and weighed a few 12" pieces of each species for a control measurement.

    The whole house smelled like a shake factory for a few days after, but when I took them out and reweighed the dried parts, everything came out at a fairly uniform 6%, which is perfect.  And perfect is good enough.


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  • April 27, 2020 2:35 PM
    Reply # 8931301 on 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    While I had a nice pile of dry parts, a good many of the PO cedar pieces had some creative ideas of their own to express.    It was nothing a few dozen clamps and cauls and cursing couldn't fix and I went about the 3 day process of gluing and dry times.   

    Note:  No matter how many clamps you own, you will need two more.

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  • April 27, 2020 2:50 PM
    Reply # 8931369 on 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    While gluing the rank and file parts I picked out the straightest and prettiest pieces to make the faux dovetails.  Using the cut-outs from one species to fill the other gave me four uniform faces two-inches deep - plenty of thickness to withstand the compound curve of the egg.

    The final glue-up was done in sections as there were too many glue surfaces to manage and the final product needed to line up perfectly.  I used a few buried domino joiners to keep the pieces aligned during clamping.  All the dominoes are on the ends and outside of the finished shape.  The egg itself is solid wood, glue and two commemorative state quarters - Vermont, and New York (where Tony lives).  I bury a Vermont quarter somewhere in almost everything I make.  It's my revenge on the person who someday decides to saw these things up for firewood.

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    Last modified: April 27, 2020 3:08 PM | Tom Bodett (Administrator)
  • April 27, 2020 3:00 PM
    Reply # 8931387 on 8931213
    Tom Bodett (Administrator)

    I ended up with about a twenty pound log of cedar that needs to be turned down to ten.   This should keep Tony busy until he has to go back to saving lives again.  

    I was able to pare down the sides with the table saw to a round-ish shape and will take some of the bulk off the two ends with the bandsaw.   The good doctor shouldn't be made to carry too many unnecessary bags of wood shavings up from his basement.  We're going down next week to pick up a puppy and will leave this in the doctor's care.

    Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to How Tom and Tony Wasted a Perfectly Good Pandemic and Some Cedar

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  • April 28, 2020 6:55 AM
    Reply # 8932716 on 8931213

    Thanks for the step-by-step project description. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  • April 29, 2020 12:00 PM
    Reply # 8935500 on 8931213
    Anonymous

    Tom, this is great, thank you for sharing!  I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    I'm curious as to what kind of glue you used for this project, and if there was any particular reason you did so.

    By the way, I love the idea of embedding the coin!  

  • April 29, 2020 4:56 PM
    Reply # 8936231 on 8931213
    Dr C

    I am looking forward to getting my hands on that composite cedar log of yours. Once I get started, the whole house will smell like a hamster cage. The good news, no moths for a while.

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