Sunday, February 12, 2012

Maple Platter

This summer I made a wooden platter using a router. This was a challenging project because I had almost no prior experience using this tool. I learned quite a bit and think it turned out rather well:

Check out photos taken at each step after the break.

Figure 1 Figure 2

A circular saw use to cut a piece of 8" x 3/4" maple into two pieces (Figure 1). The router, with a flush bit was used to remove material (Figure 2). The base of the platter is 1/4" thick, so I wanted the join to be located 1/8" from the bottom.

Figure 3 Figure 4

Wood glue was applied liberally and the pieces were clamped and left for 24 hours (Figure 3). Figure 4 shows the completed joint.

Figure 5 Figure 6

I purchased a circle cutting jig from Lee Valley for this project. It requires a pivot point in the centre of the piece. The intersection of two lines drawn kitty-corner locates the centre (Figure 5). A hole had to be drilled for a pin to be inserted. A bit of tape on the drill bit helped me make sure I did not drill too deep (Figure 6).

Figure 7 Figure 8

Figure 7 shows the pin that came with the circle jig and Figure 8 shows the jig itself. I added a chunk of an old tape measure to make using this tool easier.

Figure 9 Figure 10

I drilled holes in the jig for the pivot pin (Figure 9) and attached my router to the jig. The piece was screwed onto some scrap to keep the clamps out of the path of the jig as it was spun (Figure 10).

Figure 11 Figure 12

A counter sink bit was used to drill the holes for the screws that hold the piece to the scrap; again, to keep the jig from catching (Figure 11). The drill bit is visible in Figure 10. A core box bit was fitted to the router (Figure 12)...

Figure 13 Figure 14

... and the first cut was made! (Figures 13 & 14). The dark spots are burn marks from where I left the router in place too long.

Figure 15 Figure 16

Additional passes were made, each time using a hole closer to router on the jig as the pivot point (resulting in a smaller diameter circle), and with a deeper plunge setting on the router (Figures 15 and 16).

Figure 17 Figure 18

Once routing the inside was complete, a small flush trim bit was used to cut the piece from the excess (Figures 17 & 18).

Figure 19 Figure 20

An edge trim bit was used to round the top edge(Figure 19). The router was then used with a base plate to clean out the material in the centre of the platter (Figure 20). I did not include a picture of the base plate, because it is terribly ugly. I ended up using a piece of 3/4" plywood with a bunch of holes drilled in it (so I could see what I was doing). The next time I do something like this, I will *definitely* make a base plate from acrylic (1/2" or 5/8" thick and with sides of maybe 16").

Figure 21 Figure 22

An edge trim bit was used to round the bottom edge(Figure 21) then a random orbital sander was used to smooth out the marks from the router and clean up the burn marks :) (Figure 22).

Figure 23 Figure 24

I used tung oil to finish and seal the platter. I learned the hard way that more is not necessarily better. This thing was oily to the touch and wept tung oil for almost 5 weeks! Figure 23 shows the platter after the first coat. Figure 24 shows the finished platter. It is very smooth and I think the oil shows up the grain nicely. Also, because I used tung oil, it is totally food safe. And because I used so much of the oil, water beads nicely on the surface :)