Maple Trestle Table, Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Does this (the right side) look like a nice stretcher? #flairww @Morton -3:43 PM Apr 15th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks @Morton It definitely has potential -3:51 PM Apr 15th, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks I like it. Is the crack near the center a problem? @Morton -3:58 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @Morton the whole thing looks like a giant pump. (A women’s high heel) -4:00 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm. I am not seeing it. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks @Morton the whole thing looks like a giant pump. (A women’s high heel) -4:01 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @Morton it also has the shape/curvature of the back leg of a chair. -4:04 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now, THAT, I see. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks @Morton it also has the shape/curvature of the back leg of a chair. -4:05 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @Morton good, I’m not crazy… -4:13 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s often good to be crazy. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks @Morton good, I’m not crazy… -4:14 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks you could make a chair/throne for enjoying all of those giant pieces of cake you eat!:-) -4:26 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Actually, I have a piece of spalted maple reserved for that, tucked away in the corner of my shop since 5 years ago. -4:27 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I faired the curve with my low angle jack plane. #flairww -4:36 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I smoothed one side with my jack plane followed by my random orbit sander. #flairww-5:18 PM Apr 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks is that split going to stay attached or will it spit off? Hopefully you can incorporate it… -5:23 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster It’s going to stay attached. -5:26 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks I think so. Assuming the blue line is a cut-line, I would have the closer end be symmetrical (same width) around the crack. -5:34 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Morton Symmetry was not going to happen. It wasn’t in the cards. -5:36 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Is that stretcher vertical (as shown in latest photo) or horizontal? -5:37 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Morton I think it will be vertical. -5:38 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Ah, cool. Like that better. Symmetry doesn’t matter (to me) then ;) -5:38 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Glad to have you on-board! RT @Morton: @FlairWoodworks Ah, cool. Like that better. Symmetry doesn’t matter (to me) then ;) -5:39 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just stopped and took a minute to resharpen my low-angle jack plane’s O1 blade. #flairww -5:47 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my 1200x diamond stone on the hollow-ground blade, then stropped it. Quick and effective. #flairww -5:48 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Side 2 took a long time to smooth. I started with my low-angle jack and finished with my random orbit sander. #flairww -6:37 PM Apr 15th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks looks good. Can’t wait to see the finished piece. -6:38 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used three 80-grit Abranet sanding discs to smooth the two sides of this piece of maple. #flairww -6:39 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can use a handscrew to help hold a board vertically.#flairww -6:43 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think that the cut edge will be the top. I’m unsure what to do with the square edge. Two wide chamfers? #flairww -6:48 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Any ideas or suggestions of what to do with the edge?#flairww -6:51 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks carved ‘twist’ -6:52 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s almost 7pm. I need to get some dinner before the#Canucks game at 7:30. #flairww -6:51 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks On the edge? Hmmm. Thinking…. still thinking… RT @MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks carved ‘twist’ -6:53 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks face to top, then top to opposite face, um, not sure how else to describe it -6:54 PM Apr 15th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks I like the bulk of it. I say leave it. -6:54 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn I think I understand what you mean. I know how I would do it. -6:54 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks show me -6:55 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @mansfinefurn Have a look at this – the apron of Table with a Twist. #flairww -6:55 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @WatkinsWoodWork Something about live edges and square corners doesn’t sit right with me. -6:58 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks yeah, more or less like that, but with a faster transition. -6:59 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @mansfinefurn Here’s another pic of the other side. #flairww -6:59 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Exactly! #flairww RT @MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks yeah, more or less like that, but with a faster transition. -7:00 PM Apr 15th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks or get wild to a twist, to the middle, then twist it back -7:00 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn I’ve experimented with reversing twists but didn’t like the effect. #flairww -7:02 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks For me – I’d keep the wide, flat edge. I like how it looks smooth and flat compared to the side. #flairww -8:11 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm. Contrast. RT @Morton: For me – I’d keep the wide, flat edge. I like how it looks smooth and flat compared to the side. #flairww -8:12 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Morton @FlairWoodworks Wow – that is really cool (twisted apron). Thx for the pic. -8:12 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks for the compliment. RT @Morton: @FlairWoodworks Wow – that is really cool (twisted apron). Thx for the pic. -8:13 PM Apr 15th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks abranet is great, isn’t it? 8:16 PM Apr 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Love it. RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks abranet is great, isn’t it. 8:16 PM Apr 15th, 2012

Keep going and read about Session 2!

Review of the Mirka CEROS

Background

I have had the 6″ Mirka CEROS (Compact Electric Random Orbit Sander) for about a year.  Although I have not used it in a production shop environment, I used it extensively for sanding sculptural work and, to a lesser degree, for flat surfaces.  I have had absolutely no issues with it.

When I purchased the Mirka CEROS, it was only available as a 5″ or 6″ sander with a 5 mm orbit.  The 5 mm orbit is for general work.  Since then, Mirka has released two more 6″ CEROS models – one with a 2.5 mm stroke for finish sanding and one with an 8 mm stroke for more aggressive sanding.  I do not believe these are currently available in North America.

Mirka CEROS in Systainer

Details

The sanding action is very smooth and the DC motor is powerful and reasonably quiet (68 dB, which is similar to a piano practice).  It is lightweight and well-balanced, making it comfortable to use with either one hand or two.  The power cord is quite flexible and permanently attached to the sander.  Mirka sells a hose for the sanders, which is more flexible and lighter (for improved ergonomics) than the Festool Anti-Static D27 hose.  The Mirka CEROS has a round dust port with female threads to accept a 1-1/4″ diameter threaded hose.

Although the Mirka sanders closely resemble pneumatic ones, they are powered by a maintenance-free, brushless DC motor and do not require a large air compressor.  The sanders have a 14′-long power cord that plugs into one end of a 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ x 3-1/4″ transformer.  A 6′-long power cord runs from the other end of the transformer into a standard AC outlet.

Mirka CEROS Package

Sizes

The Mirka CEROS is available with either a 125mm (5″) or 150mm (6″) diameter pad.  The smaller sander weighs 870 grams (1.9 pounds) and the larger weighs 920 grams (2 pounds).  I think the 6″ version is more practical not only because it can sand a larger area more quickly, but because the larger pad has a greater distance between the edge of the pad and its body which is useful when working in tight quarters.

5″ and 6″ Mirka CEROSs

Speed Control

The speed of the sanding pad can be adjusted from 4,000-10,000 RPM in 1,000 RPM increments using the buttons on the top-rear of the sander.  Between the speed control buttons is a power button for safety to prevent the sander from starting accidentally.  The paddle switch on top is pressed and held down to operate the tool.  By feathering the paddle, you can control the speed as well but it is very sensitive and not a very reliable way to run the sander at a lower speed.  Instead, it functions as a soft-start feature, of sorts.

Mirka CEROS, Top View

Critique

One addition that I would like to see is a pad brake.  After releasing the paddle switch with the pad turning at 10,000 RPM, the pad continues to spin for about 19 seconds.

Video Review

This first video explains and demonstrates some of the features of the Mirka CEROS.  (Duration: 10:19.)

(Note:  Since recording this video, a reader has pointed out that the CEROS set to run at the lowest speed will indeed draw enough current when under moderate load to run a Festool Dust Extractor set to auto-start.)

In these two posts, you can read more about how I:

  1. combined the Mirka CEROS’s transformer with my Festool CT26 Dust Extractor; and
  2. modified the Festool D27 hose’s tool end to fit the Mirka CEROS’s dust collection port.

Video Demonstration

This second video is a demonstration of the Mirka CEROS.  In the first part, I sand the flat top of a bench with 80, 120, 180, 220, and 320-grit Abranet discs.  In the latter part of the video, I demonstrate how I sand contoured parts with and without the foam interface pad.  (Duration: 13:43.)

Summary

Consider this sander because it:

  1. is powerful and easy to control;
  2. runs quietly and smoothly;
  3. feels good because it is compact and well-balanced;
  4. requires very little maintenance because it has few wearing components; and
  5. does not require a large air compressor to run (as a pneumatic sander does).

Warranty

The Mirka CEROS comes with a 3-year warranty.  You can download the warranty information as well as manual from the Mirka CEROS website.

Accessories

Also, check out the Abranet abrasive discs made by Mirka.  The discs last a long time and don’t require alignment of any dust collection holes.  I would recommend getting the 80-, 120-, and 180-grit sanding discs as well as a Pad Saver (I called it a platen protector in the video).  If you work with non-flat surface, I would also recommend looking at the 10 mm (3/8″) Multi Interface Pads

Suppliers

(I do not receive any compensation for what I write and the list of suppliers is by no means an exhaustive one; I’ve simply listed some to get you started.)

Mirka Part Numbers

*Some dealers sell these parts individually.
**8295610111     150 mm (6″) 67-Hole Pad Savers, Pkg of 5 work with the 150 mm CEROS as well.

Upcoming Review: Mirka CEROS

When the Mirka CEROS (Compact Electric Random Orbit Sander) was released in North America about a year ago, I purchased the 6″ model.

I plan to do a review of the sander, which I use with Mirka’s Abranet discs and a Festool dust extractor.

If you have any questions about the sander which you would like me to address, please ask them in the comments section.

Here are two other posts pertaining to the Mirka CEROS:
1.  Combining a Mirka CEROS with a Festool CT26; and
2.  Hand-Carving Threads (to Connect a Mirka CEROS to a Festool 27mm Hose).