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For long straight-line runs, such as along a table leg or apron, Dick uses either the Stew Mac plunge base, or a Micro Fence plunge base, each with a fence. Dick also showed a Lee Valley Veritas® plunge base for rotary (Dremel®)  tools. An alternative is to use a L-N Latta Straight Line Cutter (1-IN-SC: $70.00). sm 3862This cutter is similar to the Latta Slicing Gauge except the cutter is made of two opposing v-notch cutters set to the width of the desired groove.  

For the 1/32 in. grooves Dick runs the Dremel tool at 35K RPM, preferring the older Dremel 395 models (found on eBay) for their superior quality compared to more recent models. He always uses a foot-operated power switch.

Dick also gave a review of installing the stringing (usually with white glue for its longer open time), including the order of cutting and installation of crossing strings, beveling for mitering, and leveling to the surface after the glue dries. 

Dick also demonstrated making of the trademark Seymour dark arrow banding, reviewing the methodology reported in the Frank Vucolo 2015 American Period Furniture (APF) Journal article A Method for Producing Seymour Line-and-Dart Banding. Dick demonstrated the jig designs provided by Frank for cutting the small banding parts with their double inside and outside bevels. He also showed a table saw sled he devised to cut the initial small pieces of layered veneer strips. The table saw approach produces somewhat smoother pieces than the band saw sled shown by Frank. Dick designed several ingenious features for safe cutting of the small pieces.

Federal period cabinetmaker extraordinaire Rob Millard wrapped up the Saturday session with a presentation on making brass card table knife hinges from scratch, followed by a demonstration of methods for high-quality photography of furniture pieces.

While brass knife (card table) hinges are available from some sources such as Horton Brasses, Rob has found that the available hinges usually have to be modified for the pieces which Rob builds, especially those Seymour pieces with somewhat thin folding tops. So Rob has undertaken to make his own hinges from brass stock. Rob had made an enlarged wood model of the desired hinge design to more clearly show the shaping of the required parts.

He buys stock brass lengths (3/4 in W by ¼ in thick) from MSC Industrial Supply Co. and cuts the pieces on the band saw, followed by the cutting the “slot” on a table saw using a thin Freud Diablo blade. He makes the steel hinge links (which are attached like a rivet) and installs them in oblong holes. Oblong holes are required for the folding tops to function correctly without binding.

Rob also gave a brief overview of methods for photographing our completed pieces. This is an important skill because in many instances our completed projects are likely seen by more people via photos than by viewing the piece itself. He showed the use of lighting mounted on tripods, the need for interceding light diffusers, and the use of featureless backdrops, large rolls of thick gray or white paper flowing down from a wall to the floor and out under the object with no folds or creases.

He recommends a high-resolution camera with manually adjustable shutter speed/aperture settings and interchangeable lens, the best lens being a fixed focal length (for minimum distortion and field effects). He recommends a longer focal length lens (say 200 mm) so that he camera is quite a ways back from the object to minimize distortion, much like is done in portrait photography.