Help salvage this mess...

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hours
#2
ridiculous
the chances you'll get every one of those hundreds of dowels in exactly the same spot are pretty slim.
you could just rip the board into blocks again with your sled and a stop block, and try again. the squares would just be a little smaller.
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

Too small to be useful unless I can get my lathe on Christmas Eve and successfully turn a small chess set before dawn. :) These are already at the smallest size that are properly suited for the smallest, cheapest store-bought pieces I can find.
Plus I'd have to use a taper jig to rip exactly on the glue lines I think... :)
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Silvan wrote:

I've been known to use small steel dowels for this. <g> Cut the heads off tiny brads, drill holes for the shafts on one the pieces to be glued, insert decapitated brads into the holes pointy side out, press together to mark holes for the other side, drill other side holes. Dry assemble. If the holes aren't perfectly straight the pieces won't come together even. If this happens I can sometimes make the holes for the pointy ends a little "sloppy" so they can fit perfectly, then use a clamp across the joint to hold them that way while the glue dries.
The points don't have to go very far into the other piece to keep them from sliding while gluing.
-- Mark
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Silvan wrote:

OK, lots of good advice from everyone, and tips for what to avoid next time...
I looked at my scraps, determined that I have enough walnut in bits and pieces to do my tinker toy idea, and started puttering around setting up the sled for that.
Then I took another look at the board, after having been away from it for 36 hours. Faced with the prospect of installing hundreds of dowels and relegating yet another board to the overflowing scrap bin, I decided to see how bad the board would look after taking a crack at salvaging it anyway.
The board is 15" x 15.25" after I trued up the rough edges. The squares aren't all lined up correctly, but while you can definitely find the goofs if you look, it isn't far enough out to just *leap* out at you. I think it's not far enough out of line to interfere with seeing move lines during a game, and not worth trying to break it apart and re-glue.
While it should have been a nighmare to plane after the way I flipped the grain all around, I found this wood was surprisingly tolerant. After a few strokes, I grew more hopeful, and after only an hour or so I had something that looked for all the world like a chess board. Especially if you close one eye, squint with the other, and look at it sideways in bad light.
I wound up with two wavy grained maple squares with some obvious tear-out, a couple of chatter-like gouges in one corner (from rough attacks), and one swoopy leveling gouge that I never could plane out. Other than that, it's smooth as glass, and one face is damn near flat enough not to wobble on a big piece of granite.
These surface flaws might leap into glossy relief after I shellac it (and I'm going to shellac it anyway), but I think maybe it's good enough. I brought order to chaos, and it looks decent. Sometimes you just have to stop being such a damn perfectionist, accept that this is the best you can do right now, and move forward.
Now we'll see what happens when I try to do the maple inlays in the frame, and the contrasting splines on the mitered corners of the box. I suck at miters, so I should really think about doing more pegged butt joints, but in for a penny, in for a pound. If I make the box sides too short due to goofs, I will splice in some maple accents or something. The grain on these pieces of walnut I have marked out for the sides is just begging to wrap all the way around.
Anyway, moral of the story is maybe next time I should try it before I start crying about how badly I've screwed it up.
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