Saturday, January 16, 2010
Making a Lever Cap
I roughed out the lever cap, first cutting out the bottom of it, at an angle, to reduce work later. I cut from both ends because I'm not very good at hacksawing to a line. Then I used coarse, and fine files to shape the round-over, then sanding through the grits to 600. Then I feather cut perpendicularly to the curved shape of the top half of the lever cap, and sawed out the waste with a fret saw. Then I used a round file to smooth the concave curves, and a flat file to smooth the convex curve (at the top). I used the edge of a triangle file to cut the step by the cap screw, this is a purely aesthetic choice, since in my opinion, if everything had been co-planar, it would have looked boring. To be able to sand into the tight corners, wrap a piece of sandpaper around a file. This is a trick I picked up from reading Karl Holtey's blog.
After the cap has been uniformly sanded to 600 grit, I start the polishing. I took a 1/2 diameter piece of oak dowel, and made a split in one end, about 1" deep. The I took a thin strip of paper, and folded it over onto itself. This I applied veritas honing compound to, since I don't have a nice real wheel yet. It worked fine. The hole for the cap screw is drilled for a 10-24 thread.
Derek Cohen's write-up about lever cap making.
Some posts of Karl Holtey's Blog:
Window to my Workshop #7
Window to my Workshop #8
Window to my Workshop #21