Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Good Whuppin

I have a long list of complaints about my Sjoberg Elite 2500. But after a lot of avoidant behavior on my part, I decided that the money I spent on the thing was a good reason to get it back in workable shape. 

First step was to rebuild the drawers.

The top tier of drawers was too tall in the sides... they rubbed on the top of the carcase, and the extra friction made it hard to open them, and I'm sure contributed to the fronts pulling loose. No good. So I disassembled them, trimmed the sides and back, chamfered the top edges, and added glue to the butt joints when I screwed them back together.

I also added chamfers to the top edges of the second tier down. I didn't need to modify the drawers. But I stuck with the glued-up butt joint idea. Same thing for the bottom drawers. Gotta love pre-fab... the fronts are tall, but they use the same (shorter) sides and back as the upper drawers. I did notice that they chose the wood thoughtfully... the back is made of maple, and the sides are something a little softer and more porous. The sides are screwed to the ends of the back, and the maple holds the threads well, while the softer wood crushes a bit, allowing the screw heads to sink in, and lessening the likelihood of stripping the holes in the maple. While it was nice to see that evidence of thoughtfulness, it's still a pre-fab, screwed together drawer, and isn't really worth getting worked up over.

After all that, I took some time to think about how to mount the Emmert vise. Calm down... it's not happening for a little while yet.

Ultimately, I decided that there was no point in mounting the thing if the top wasn't flat, for various reasons. So, I spent a good chunk of time planing the hump out of the middle of the bench top. The center was something close to 1/8" higher than the ends. Across an 8' top, that's a lot of wood that has to come off. It was a busy day, with a lot of sweating involved.

 Eventually, it was flattened out. While cleaning out the drawers, I came across a bottle of oil for finishing the top, that had come packaged with the bench when I bought it 3 years ago. So, I put on a good coat of finish, and called it a day. My apologies for the garish yellow... I swear it doesn't look like it was finished with a highlighter. Notice the blast radius of the shavings on the floor... I took a lot of wood off of the top.

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