Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Day 11: The Finished Control Panel (part 1)

Finally! This past weekend I finally put my table saw together and got it working! The first order of business was to complete the angled cuts for my control panel. I already have the top piece cut where the buttons and joystick will go but I needed to cut two more pieces to form the bottom of the control panel box as shown in the pictures below.

In order to glue these pieces together I used a caul that was cut at the same angle. This allowed me to apply even clamping pressure over the entire joint (you can see the glue-up process with the caul better in a pic below). I still had to sand the joints smooth though. The vinyl covering that will go voer the control panel is very thin so any imperfections will show through to the finished product.

These next pictures just show how the control panel will eventually look in place when the top piece was installed.

The next step was to attach the control panel top to the base that I had just glued together. Before doing this, I wanted to round over the front edge of the panel. When the cabinet is in use the player's hands will be resting there quite a bit so I did this for comfort (and aesthetics I suppose - I think it looks nicer with a rounded edge).
Here's a "before" shot of the control panel top and a few shots of my router with the 1/4" roundover bit installed. The ball bearing on the bit rides along the edge of the MDF to create a perfectly round surface.
And here are the "after" shots of the rounded over edge:

Finally, here are some shots of the glue-up of the weird control panel base to the top. As mentioned above, you can see the caul I used to create a tight bond between the panels. The clamps would have been impossible to position properly without the extra piece which is cut at exactly the same angle as the other pieces. You can really start to see it take shape.

I will be posting parts 2 and 3 of this process in the coming days.

Thanks for looking!!

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