I am planning to build a cupboard with glass light doors. I'll be using copc-and-stick router bits, as shown in AW #54. Td like to incorporate "tombstone" style lights in the top of the door. The AW #54 article covered rectangular lights in detail, but not tombstone ones. Do you have any advice for laying out the arched top rail? And are there any special considerations when cutting glass for a tombstone light?
E.J. Blumenthal Northport, NY
O Making doors with tombstone lights isn't as difficult as you might think. When you include the arch, tombstone lights arc typically about 20% taller than the rectangular lights below them.
To lay out your top rail, follow the drawing at right. Tenon the top rail, then lay out the arches and cut them on the handsaw or with a good jigsaw. Use a file and sandpaper to clean up the saw marks and fair the curve. Now rout the arches, but save the flats for last. This way, you're less likely to blow out these short-grain portions of the arch.
Tombstone lights are difficult to cut yourself. I recommend taking them to a professional glasscutter. If you want to cut the glass yourself, be sure to buy the glass a couple inches oversize in height. This way, you won't have to cut the arch on a tangent to the top edge of the pane—a nearly impossible task. Also, use a stained-glass cutter (about SI 2 from Warncr-Crivellaro, 1855 Wcavcrsvillc Rd., Allentown, PA 18103, 800-523-4242). It makes a
I recently bought a set of Arkansas stones, which I've been using with honing oil. I used them to sharpen some rusty old chisels and plane blades. Now my tools are fine, but the medium and fine stones are black and gummy and don't work very well. What happened?
Darnell Washington Hot Springs, AR
OAs you surmised, Arkansas stones aren't suitable for rough work such as rust removal. I'd recommend an cleaner cut than the regular glass cutters sold at hardware stores—especially on curves.
Unless you have a special glasscutting router with a diamond abrasive bit, it's impossible to cut an inside corner. Instead, radius the portion where the arch meets the flat. When installing the
The black gum indicates that you probably didn't have enough oil on the stone during sharpening—or else you lapped for so long without reoiling that the steel dust and the oil actually glazed the surface. You'll have to clean the gum off before you can remove any rust that may lie underneath it. I recommend spraying on some engine degreaser ("Gunk" is one brand) sold at auto-supply stores.
After the degreaser has had a chance to work, scrub and rinse the stone thoroughly. Then dribble some water onto glass, radius the rabbet corners to fit with a paring chisel. (See detail, above.)
the surface. Sprinkle on some Zud Bartop Cleanser—a white rust-removal powder sold at supermarkets and hardware stores. (Oxalic acid will also work, but it's often only available by the pound.) Work up a slurry using a kitchen brush or toothbrush. Then let the stone sit for 45 minutes, occasionally dribbling water onto the surface to keep it damp. After the time is up, scrub the stone and rinse it under clean running water.
If any rust remains, reflatten the stone until the rust is gone. You can do this with wet-or-dry sandpaper on a flat
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I recently built a lectern out of red oak and red oak plywood. When 1 applied the Danish oil finish, the plywood parts remained much lighter than the solid wood parts. Why did this happen? What can I do to prevent this in the future?
Jack Horrocks Cincinnati, OH
O Plywood often takes stain and finish differently from solid wood because of the way it's made. The veneer log is first soaked in hot water, then the veneer is sliced off the the log while a nosebar just ahead of the knife's edge exerts heavy pressure on the wood. The pressure tends to crush the top wood pores shut, making them less receptive to finishes.
The plywood adhesive on the back of face veneers is another barrier to finish absorption. This is why veneered panels often resist both stains and penetrating finishes, even as the adjacent solid wood suck5 them up greedily.
To minimize this problem, put the plywood and solid wood through similar preparation. Take both materials through the same sanding sequence to "rough up" all the fibers in the same way. Then raise the grain on both panels and solids by wetting the surface liberally with warm water, wiping off the excess, and letting it dry overnight. Resand very lightly with 220 or finer-grit paper—just enough to remove the raised grain, and no more.
When possible, avoid penetrating oil finishes, which tend to accentuate absorption differences. Instead, stain with a water-soluble dye stain; or use a pigmented stain only after applying a thin scaler coat. For a more even appearance on clear coats, use a film-forming finish such as varnish, lacquer or shellac.
Michael Drcsdncr Industrial finishing consultant and AW contributing editor Puyallup, WA
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