Lensboard adapter – milling and joinery

Part of a recent commission was a Deardorff-to-Technika lensboard adapter.  The mahogany was planed close to final thickness and allowed to stabilize a few days.  This lets any unresolved internal stresses or uneven moisture absorption to rear their heads, and still plane the wood to usable thickness.  Which I did.  The mahogany is well-seasoned and hasn’t given me any trouble yet, but I tend to err on the side of caution.

After final planing to about 3/8″, the single 3″ x 24″ board was ripped lengthwise to make two long strips.  From these, four pieces, just over 6″ long each, were milled.  They’re then laid out in the most pleasing grain orientation:


This orientation of pieces makes for a stable, and more easily glued, assembly. Staggering the joints introduces an inordinate amount of difficulty in maintaining square during glueup, and leaves the eye wondering which end is up/

The Tech board will be inserted thusly:


This morning, I set up the horizontal router table with a 2″ single-flute carbide straight bit and an auxiliary fence to mill the half-lap joints. I set the bit a little under the required height and work my way up to perfect alignment with slow adjustments. The resulting assembly, ready for gluing:


You can see how effective the half-lap is in providing gluing area and alignment:


Next step: Lay out the Tech board placement, glue up, and relieving the recess for the board. The circular light trap allowances are hand-carved, but that’s later.


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