Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ground board made.

After assembling the rocker box, I made the ground board from two layers of 3/4-inch plywood cut to the same diameter as the rocker bottom. To make the cut, I used my router, a circle cutting jig and a 1/4-inch spiral bit to cut out the ground board. I then used my drill guide and 1/2-inch Forstner bit to drill a hole all the way through. After that, I used a 1/2-inch rounder over bit on my router to round off the edge. Next I made three feet from a scrap of Ash I found in my shed, and cut them out with a hole saw on my drill press. I then glued them to the bottom 120 degrees apart near the edge. When the glue was dry, I began to use wood filler on it and the rocker to fill up voids in the plywood's edges and repair dings in the surface, then sanded the rocker box with a random orbit sander and 220 grit sanding disks.

I also drilled a 1/2-inch hole in the center of the rocker box bottom, then applied contact cement to it and the Formica that will slide over the Teflon pads. After the cement became tacky, I pressed the laminate into place with a roller then removed the excess using a rotary tool and a laminate trimming bit. Then I primed the inside of the rocker box with Kilz primer and followed that with two coats of flat black paint. On the outside, I did a final sanding and followed that with the first coat of exterior grade glossy polyurethane.

To secure the ground board and rocker box together, I will use a 1/2-inch stainless steel hex bolt and two three by three-inch steel plates I made from flat stock. In the center of each, I drilled a 1/2-inch hole. At each corner I drilled a hole for a #8 screw. To one I welded an all-metal lock nut. When the bolt is screwed into the nut, it will not rotate and confuse the digital setting circles that will be added later. The other metal plate was screwed to the bottom of the rocker box and will act as a fender washer and bearing for the bolt to prevent wandering. After cutting, drilling and welding, they were primed and painted flat black.

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