Jo came in to help for a while today and we got the last of the spines glassed in the dagger blanks and I also made the rails and router jig for shaping the blanks.
Every now and then Jo comes in to help with whatever I am doing on the boat so today she wet our the uni stack in the spine of one of the daggers. Both blanks now have the uni stacks on both sides of them so they can now be shaped as soon as I set up the jig I made today, on the bench. I still have to glue the cedar blocks into the blank where the raising and lowering sheaves will be (2 in each blank) but I can do them before or after I shape them. It is probably easier to glue them in before I shape so I will probably do that tomorrow before I set up the jig.
The jig is made of 16mm mdf. Others who have used this shaping method usually use metal (either steel or aluminium) but I didn’t have access to metal, at least not cheaply, so I have decided that I should be able to make a reasonable jig from mdf by making up a box section, actually a C section rail each side, making sure that the rail is fairly rigid, but because of the length it is still a little flexible. This wont be a problem because I can screw the whole thing to the bench and using a stringline I can ensure each rail is straight, level and parallel to the other rail (the first of course wont matter but the second will need to be exactly parallel to the first). Then once they are both attached to the bench and secured I can place the dagger blank inside and secure that to the bench also so that it cannot move. It does not need to be level but I do have to ensure it has no twist so in other words flat on the bench (and that the bench is flat). Then once the blank is secure inside the jig I can set the depth on the router and be confident that it will run true to the blank and I can route the profile shape.
I have made the 2 halves of the cross rail that will slide along the long rails and house the router. It is 2 halves so that the router can be slid along it so that it can shape the width of the board (the plunge router set to the correct depth to the profile of the dagger higher or lower either side of the spine, you get the idea). I will screw them to each other with blocks that will also act as stoppers that will keep the cross rails from moving forwards or backwards so that their only movement is sideways along the rails.
I have also been decanting the resin from the bad drum and I had thought the worst thinking I had pretty much lost the rest of the drum. It had been slowly dripping out of a 3mm hole. I needed some resin today to finish the daggers so I moved the drum on top to drip into a plastic ice-cream container and the drum below is a third full, so about 60 litres and it is still filling the ice-cream container slowly so I could get another few litres out of the bad drum. I still have to buy more hardener but I may just have enough resin to finish. Still a terrible waste but not as bad as I had thought it would turn out.