• Elephant Carpentry

Kerf's UP!

Two days ago (10/06/2020), city still under lockdown but some of us are back out there providing essential services. Construction and maintenance are obviously essential at times, but is kerfing? Well its something I have seen before on MDF board used in scooped subwoofer speaker boxes, but I had never kerfed before. I don't think I had even seen kerfed skirting before.

I looked it up on youtube and all the videos, plus search results, said cut 3/4 of the material thickness depthwise, and every 20mm widthways across the back of the board. Some said they cut the front of the board and leave the back intact. I found this completely inadequate. On the first kerf i installed I followed the 20mm spacing, then to get the board to bend I had to widen all the cuts to about 5mm. It started raining. This was not the first attempt nor the second. However, I stuck at it.

Eventually I had the first kerf installed and I was so happy. I think the rain may have helped, even though I was working with MDF, it made the material a bit more malleable. I had tested that kerf on the other side of the bay and already knew it didn't work. Wondering what to do next didn't last very long; I cut the board every 10mm.

This was not enough, so i widened the cuts with a mitre up to the roman ogee decoration. I didn't take this mitre through the board because bits of the roman ogee would have gone flying everywhere and it wouldn't really have increased the flexibility. Sadly for me the kerf peice still wouldn't quite bend flat. Determined not to give up, or break this board that was so close to success I drew for the sand paper, pocket knife and tenon saw. It was time to get old school. I carefully cut away irregularities and carved out cuts to provide space, cleaning all the grooves of debris. After a while, I sighed a breath of relief followed by a surge of triumph.

In all this talk I haven't once mentioned the customers who where a lovely family full of gratitude hospitality, care and understanding. They really and truly showed their appreciation for this work!

By the time I finished it was nearly 9.00pm! However I could not start early because lockdown Srewfix doesn't open till 8am and i needed some solvent free high grab gripfill, which is actually really good. What sort of time is that! Stupid lockdown nonsense.

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