Introduction: The Giant Plywood Portal (1½m Across)
The aim, as part of a bedroom makeover was to make a large plywood circle entrance to the bed, serving both decorative and functional purposes, as it would also conceal additional lighting for the room.
Step 1: Material Preparation
First step is to prepare the materials, which includes one 8x4 (2400x1200mm) sheet of 3mm plywood and a pile of scrap 65x40mm length of CLS.
Inclusive of the blade curf on my table saw, 60mm strips would provide 20 lengths, approximately 57mm wide.
One strip is possible waste, as I cut the sheet in half to make it more manageable in my small shop.
Step 2: Glue Up & Curve
As the intention is to make TWO circles, with a space between for lights, I cut 50 spacing blocks from the CLS.
You can never have too many clamps; I clearly don't have anywhere near enough, so have to think outside of the box a little and keep my fingers crossed.
When manipulating the strips, I worked 4 at a time, to reduce my fear of breaking them ... but, with 4 at a time, an extra pair of hands is probably needed.
Using the top of an old, round table as my template, I glued 4 strips (each slightly shorter than the next, to space the joints) and used clamps and two crank straps to secure it in place. Using some of the spacing blocks, allowed additional pressure on the ends of the strips.
Each of the circles has 4 strips, with screws through to the spacing blocks. The fifth strip is glued, pinned and clamped into place (hiding screws).
Spacing blocks on the top section have a channel cut (two passes on the table saw) which will be for cabling the low-voltage lights.
The outer circle was FAR easier to install, a few clamps at the centre of the strip and add some screws, working towards the end of the strips, adding more screws, until I got to the section which was only 3 layers ... back to the crank straps and clamps for that part.
I am using Gorilla glue, which has an extremely good bond, ensuring a thorough spread on all joining surfaces.
Step 3: The Clean Up
With all woodworking projects comes the clean up ... first step was to remove excess glue and the larger imperfections with scrapers, old chisels and a small plane.
Finer cleaning with my larger (and sharper) plane and a belt sander (80 grit)
Discussion with my other half, when installed, she's going to paint the circle; this meant that I didn't need to cut the inlay pieces with the precision that I would have done for a 'natural' finish.
The inlays were cut, based on a template, drawn on paper and sanded to fit. Small gaps sealed with a decorator filler and sanded smooth.
Step 4: Installation
You can see from the pictures that this is housed in a framework, custom built for the job.
For the purposes of the Instructable, we'll end here, as the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. We're going to sand it, paint it, install some lights and with the framework surround it will be complete.
Step 5: ... and Then
A few commented that they would be interested in how this turns out, with everything around it and whilst not part of the build, I thought I would share some pictures of how it's all coming along. Still a way to go, but for what we're aiming for, quite happy (and our lad loves it)