Monday, May 11, 2015

You want that corner to be nice and rounded and smooth to the touch!

One of the tools suggested to us by the good folks at Harmony In Wood was a router with a good ball bearing round-over bit.  The router spins the round-over bit very rapidly, and cuts off the square corner of a block of wood, and makes it round of course, and as long as you keep the bit sharp, and the wood moving in the correct direction, very smooth.  Some  times a bit of extra hand sanding was helpful!  The round-over bit, and the resulting shape of the edge is shown below.  The ball bearing shown at the top of the bit, holds the bit exactly the right distance from the piece of wood, and moves smoothly along any curved or straight line, even including the inside of the drilled hole for the window!  Moving in the correct direction with the grain of the wood is important because if you are traveling against the grain, the bit may lift off a large chip, or maybe just leave a rough edge?  As mentioned earlier, after the first hundred or so, the eye gets the knack of figuring out which direction to move the wood for the best results on each piece.  As with all woodworking tools, keeping your tools sharp gives better results, and shortens the amount of time spent sanding the final piece!

Above, our router is mounted upside down in a small metal table, and Elizabeth guides the body of the future Rolls Royce along the ball bearing, rounding over and smoothing the edges of the toy, making it much more comfortable to the touch for what ever child would soon enjoy our toy!
 Here is a better view of the router table - this one has a fence attached to push a straight board along instead of using a ball bearing bit to maintain the distance.  As is often the case in some of these pictures, while Elizabeth is wearing safety glasses, she should have also been sporting a dust mask.  Don is also missing some essential safety equipment is some of  these pictures!  Particularly with the very noisy router, some ear plugs or other ear protectors would have been nice!  Later, as I added employees to the mix, I became much more careful about safety equipment.  An accident that happened not too long after these pictures were taken also made me much more safety conscious!  I'm proud to say that over the 40 years or so, only one major accident occurred, and it was me that suffered that one.  More details in a future installment!

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