I thought the hard part would be cutting the arc for the stringers, but it has taken me quite a while to figure out how to connect them all together. Just a pile of lumber...or beige puzzle pieces. The trick is to assemble the beige pieces together to create a sturdy, yet lightweight, frame. Ideally, I need the frame to be stiff and not flex when moved about or when tilted or stood mostly on end (I figure this might help with applying the glass...since I don't have 6 foot long arms).
|Stringers all in a row|
It didn't take me too long to figure out how to attach the stringers to a couple of 1 x 3 rails. Actually attaching them was a bit more complex. Having to line everything up and keep it level and square can be a time consuming process. Fortunately I heard of a trick of using superglue to help hold things in place and it made the assembly a bit easier.
After the first two rails were installed and holding the stringers straight up and lined up, I turned my attention to attempting to straighten the warped pieces of wood. I could rant about the quality of the lumber at the big box hardware stores again, but I won't. Another puzzle...how do you keep wood straight that really doesn't want to be straight. When assembling things, I tried to orient various pieces so the warping would provide opposing forces that would cancel out...but that only went so far. Then I had to figure out how to keep the frame somewhat light and still be able to hold the wood where it belongs.
|Bracing needed to keep the stringers straight and square.|
A lot of thinking and a few cycles of trial and error and I think I have solutions to many of the issues. So, now I just need to finish the assembly and figure out the best way to transfer the complex curve where the top will mount to the arch. I have a couple ideas to try there, so hopefully it won't take too much more thinking about the issue.
|The "shop" closed for the evening.|
With any luck, I can actually start fabricating the top soon. I just hope all of this goes well and the result looks decent.