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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For me, at least. The trophy shop I often do woodworking for asked me last year to make 15 large plaques out of Walnut. These are 17" x 28" with Roman Ogee edge and sprayed with Nitrocellulose lacquer. So I made five each week for three weeks and they said that's all they would 'ever' need. Well, the insurance company they provide these for bought some other companies and earlier this year the trophy shop said they needed five more plaques.

I delivered the five plaques and they said to make ten more. So I made ten more but this time they needed five 17" x 28" and five 24" x 28". I delivered those and they said to make another 25. About the time I got home they called and said to make it 35. I had already cleaned out my local sawmill of unsteamed Walnut and began shopping around for steamed Walnut (I don't care for steamed but it wasn't going to matter on these plaques).

After checking in with about 8 suppliers within 250 miles, which was about as far as I was willing to drive, I found a source who would actually deliver to a friend's cabinet shop. My friend not only ordered it on his account (he gets a discount) but was willing to store it for me and let me come get what I needed each week because we don't have room for that much of any kind of wood. By the time we placed the order the trophy shop had called and raised the number to 45 plaques so we ordered 200 bd. ft.

I began making five 17" x 28" and five 24" x 28" each week and a few weeks into the job the number rose to 70 plaques. So we ordered another 200 bd. ft. of Walnut...

Anyway, that's all I have been working on for the last 8 weeks is plaques and I finished them all on time with no rejects and a perfectly happy customer. It was a bit of a stretch for our small little shop in our two-car garage. There were times when Sandy would help at night and that really helped. And of course, we were still getting orders on Etsy for Longworth chucks so I had to squeeze those in. I think I cut about 12 in that 8 week period of doing the plaques.

Normally the dust collector bag needs to be emptied every 6 weeks or so. For this job I was having to empty the bag twice each week because of all the planing and sanding. I think I spent more time on the drum sander than I did on any other tool but I sure am glad we have it. The DeWalt 735 planer sure got a workout, as well.

So here are some photos of this project -

First load of Walnut -
Wood Table Hardwood Furniture


Cut to length, had to buy $250 worth of new clamps :wink:
Wood Lumber Hardwood Table Furniture


Since I was using the planer so much it stayed out and in the way for two months. Usually it's under the table saw extension.
Tool Machine Automotive exterior Vehicle Machine tool


Planed, jointed edges, ready for matching and sizing -
Wood Hardwood Lumber Plywood Architecture


Five small, five large, matched and ready for biscuit joining -
Wood Hardwood Furniture Table Cylinder


Biscuits for each joint. I know some folks don't like biscuits but they work just fine for me so I'm good with them -
Wood Tool Table Furniture Hardwood


Clamped and drying. These were stacked everywhere I could put them in the shop.
Metal Furniture Table Plant Vehicle


Ready for the drum sander -
Wood Hardwood Plywood Wood stain Lumber


Quick dust collection rigged up and ready for cutting the edge profile -
Suspension Auto part


A quick pass with the ROS and 120 grit before spraying -
Wood Plywood Hardwood Table Floor


More in a minute -

David
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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4,184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One coat of sealer, one coat of gloss -
Wood Table Furniture Wood stain Hardwood


Wood stain Wood Table Hardwood Varnish


Using the spare bedroom for woodworking purposes, storing small pieces, drying sprayed work, etc. -
Hardwood Wood Wood flooring Wood stain Floor


The finished plaques look like this, so even though they specified Walnut they still covered about 90% of the wood. The smaller plaques used slide in plates that still covered about 80% of the board.
Text Font


It was a good project for us and pointed out that I seriously need to convert the dust collector into a two-stage unit. I'll begin that in the next few days before I start other paying jobs.

Enjoy!
David
 

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Rick
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Wow what an undertaking, I should have stayed with my day job . What a shame to have most of it covered up . It’s almost like you could have just made a perimeter and routed the edge on your router table
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, guys, and I agree about it being covered up. But that's one reason why I didn't mind using steamed Walnut. This is the first time in several years that I've had to use that. To me it's sort of muddy looking compared to unsteamed Walnut, which is more vibrant and rich. But it worked out for the best because this stuff came in skip-planed and straight line ripped. It wasn't quite ready to use but it was a lot closer with far less planing that buying in the rough directly from the sawmill.

I forgot to add that I ended up making 28 of the 12x28 boards and 42 of the larger 24x28 boards in this batch.

David
 

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Have to agree covering walnut seems criminal but hey, the customer is paying the bill so who am I to say. Those are some fine looking plaques and the grain looks great. Maybe the color doesn't come across to well online but it looks fine here. Nice work and good luck with the dust collector project.
 

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Mike
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So that's why you had me check around Dallas for Walnut.

I'm sure they were really happy with their plaques even if they covered up the good looking woodgrain.

Good luck on your dust collection rebuild. I think you will be very happy with how long your filters last before needing cleaned.
 
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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
So that's why you had me check around Dallas for Walnut.
Yes sir, I thought Sandy and I would drive over and meet with you, get a pickup truck load of Walnut, and then head back. Having it delivered next day was great, though.

David
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Wow, what a project, David. You may single-handedly be responsible for putting walnut trees on the endangered species list.
 

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Great job, David, You are right about the unsteamed walnut as compared to the steamed. The steamed seems to have more sap grain showing. I like biscuits too, . We used to get a lot of cabinets made with biscuit joinery when I was working, and if the light was at the right angle we could see the indent of the biscuit in the finished panel, Solid wood didn't seem to react this way.

I hope you made money on this job. A good start paying for your hobby. Keep it up.
Herb
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, what a project, David. You may single-handedly be responsible for putting walnut trees on the endangered species list.
Considering I normally buy about 30 bd. ft. at a time, ordering 400 bd. ft. was HUGE to me, Oliver! I think that's probably more than I've bought in total to this point. And yes, there's a tree or two missing 'cause of this job. :grin:

I hope you made money on this job. A good start paying for your hobby. Keep it up.
Herb
Yes sir, we did. It was also the largest single job the trophy shop has done in the 20 years they've been in business. They were smart about it, though, and got the total payment up front. And it was kind of cool for us getting a very nice paycheck every week for about 8 weeks. It was a lot of work and there were no days that I could slack off and still hit the deadline but it was good to be busy with a defined goal and task.

David
 

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Ross
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Absolutely brilliant David, can’t say anything more than what’s already been said.
 
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