Test Driving the Carousel

Before we get to the actual test drive, let's recap what's been happening this week on the Jeffersonian Book Stand. I've been working through the details of all the carousel parts. Above is a thrust bearing that will sit in the shallow hole on the underside of the carousel top.

The notches in the vertical supports were first laid out and dimensioned in Google SketchUp, and then with pencil on the four parts. I rough cut each notch on the bandsaw.

A sharp chisel resting on a vertical chopping block is then pushed down to create the final shape of the notch.

I continue shaping with chisels until the edges are "friendly", as we like to say.

A few more touchups and the carousel parts are ready for shellac and wax.

Between coats of finish, I began work on the center post. This will be the heart of the whole piece, so precision cannot be ignored. If the carousel doesn't rest correctly on the post and base, then... well... let's just not talk about that right now. Below, you can see a sort of "before and after" combined in one picture where I'm setting the support pin into a hole bored on the top center of the post. The thrust bearing will rest directly on this pin and will self-center as gravity pulls it down.

I knew that my choice of joinery for the connection between the post and the base would be important. The solution you see here, I figured, would provide a good connection between the two parts without cutting too many mortises or holes that might weaken the base.

Below you can see my set-up for cutting the slot mortise in the base. I also used the same set-up to bore the two dowel holes.

In the meantime, more shellac and wax has been going on the carousel parts. With the finish drying on the carousel and the joinery cut into the post, its time to make the post round. I made a few passes over the table saw to knock off the square corners, and then began planing my way down to the circles drawn on each end. The top of the carousel rests on the bearing, which rests on the pin, which rests on the top of the post... while the carousel bottom is simply wood-on-wood as it spins around the post.

Ahh, the finish is all set and it's ready for glue-up.

The glue-up was yesterday, and now today I was able to dry-fit the post into the base, assemble the pin and bearing, and thread the carousel on top of the post. So here it is, let's take it for a test drive!

Next in line are the top panels...

Hej då and happy shavings,

Craig