Making the infills. I dug out a chunk of mesquite burl.
Man, this stuff is hard. It’s more like carving brass than wood, in a way. Except that it is a bit chippy. And the grain does some sudden reversals. It scrapes like a dream though- smooth and tight and leaves a polished surface.
Not sure if the shapes will change, but here are what I’m playing with.
This is a challenging fitting job. The side walls taper, which helps, but all of the surfaces are pretty rough. In an ideal world, i would fit the wood exactly to the metal. In the real world, we have to settle for something less. Accurate fits are measured by how many points of contact there are between surfaces. Precision machinery scraping is done to a point count of 20, 30 points per square inch or more. So far I’m getting maybe 20 or 30 points of contact over the whole seating of the bed, which I estimate at about 8 square inches. Not bad, and it fits with no slack, but I have a little further to go and I’ll try to get the points count up at the end. I did a bit of file work to the insides of the casting, removing raised lettering and roughness from the sand casting. I also stripped the paint off of it. I’ll probably repaint it when I’m done.