Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Lately we have been making trim and installing it in the boat. Its a very rewarding job and I have an ear to ear grin after each piece goes in as we stand back and admire our handy-work.
We made most of the trim out of Jatoba (Brazilian cherry) milling down the twenty foot long by six inch planks we bought over a year ago for this purpose. The wood is very dense and brutal on our tools. It dulls saw blades and smooths out sand paper very quickly compared to teak or mahogany. When using the router table to shape the pieces it would go along just fine and then randomly catch the grain just right and throw a chunk out of the piece on occasion. The Tech would utter a few colorful metaphors and start all over again, saving what he could in the hope it could be used elsewhere. It didn't seem to matter what depth or what shape of bit was used, or if it was new or old, every now and then it would throw a chip out and we got used to the fact.
Sometimes it enabled us to get creative as with the vertical trim going into the head....it threw a chip on the last run through after the piece had been milled and almost completely formed. We didn't want to start over so we cut a forty-five degree bevel along the one side of the face where the chip was. In the end we all liked it better than the original, it made the profile on the face look a little narrower and it balanced visually with the piece on the other side of the door frame.
When we milled the boards down we typically used the table saw to get the rough dimensions and then ran the boards though the thickness planer. After that it was shaped using the table saw and router table and then sanded starting with 80 grit and working up to 600 grit. All the pieces have soft corners with varying degrees of raduis on them. The radius had to be hand sanded and we quickly learned to wear gloves as the wood had fine splinters that were needle sharp that would cause a nasty sliver to the bare hand. Once the finish was applied the grain toughened right up and by the time we got six or seven coats on and the final 600 grit sanding done it was like polishing glass. The look was worth the hard work to get there!

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