Monday, January 31, 2011

Wiring the Shop for 220V (bis)

In my previous posting, I went through a lot of detail on wiring a subpanel in my shop.  I had a few questions since then and wanted to clarify here rather than edit something you might have already read.

GFCI Masters and Slaves

Chris asked me about the GFCI sockets that I used since I seemed to have them everywhere.  Actually, for the most part, I do.  Most of my 110V sockets are home-runs to the subpanel on their own circuit; there are no other sockets on that circuit.  The beer-fridge circuit goes to a duplex GFCI socket with just that fridge on it.  The bandsaw DC's circuit similarly goes to a duplex GFCI socket with nothing but DC on it.
GFCI duplex sockets like these (the ones with the test/reset buttons) are called GFCI masters.  The 'line' power comes in one two terminals on the back (hot & neutral).  That's enough to power this master and both sockets are protected.  If you want more sockets GFCI protected, you can chain them to this master by connecting them to the 'load' terminals in the back of the master.  The downstream slave sockets are all protected by this master.
As I mentioned, most of my 110V sockets are home-run circuits to the subpanel; they do not have any downstream sockets.  Except in one case: my "Rockler" circuit has a socket at the ceiling for the extension reel and one below for normal-height people to use.  The socket at normal height is the master with the ceiling socket chained to it for protection (I didn't want to make the wiring easier and need a ladder to reset the circuit should it trip).  So, the line from the subpanel comes in the ceiling conduit to the left of the top socket and goes straight down to the bottom master GFCI socket; that connects to the 'line' terminals of the master.  From there, wires run up from the master's 'load' terminals to the ceiling socket.
You should label downstream GFCI sockets as "GFCI Protected"; a pack of labels comes with the masters.  Mine isn't visible due to the garage door rail.

Socket Blade Orientations

Another question was about the "T" in the socket blades.  Here I show a 220V socket and 110V socket for comparison.  In both cases, the "T" part indicates that this socket is wired to a 20A breaker.  Some tools (so few these days) have a plug with a horizontal blade on that side when they are intended to be used on 20A circuits only.  Regular plugs we're used to seeing have a vertical blade on the left indicating it requires a 15A breaker.  These "20A" sockets accept plugs requiring 15A or 20A. What makes a 220V socket different is the right blade: for 220V, it is horizontal while 110V has it vertical.

Dumb Trivia

Interesting trivia #1: which blade is hot? both for 220V, the right one for 110V (smaller blade).
Interesting trivia #2: why are 110V sockets polarized? To annoy the previous two generations.  Seriously, though, it forces hot and neutral to known wires going to the appliance.  Many appliances simply put the power switch on the hot side so when the appliance is off, there's no shock hazard.  Previously, a switch that flipped both power wires was needed to accomplish this since you could plug in the appliance either way (so a blade could be in neutral or hot).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wiring the Shop for 220V

Awhile ago, I decided to run a sub-panel into my garage shop to hopefully forever end problems with extension cords stapled to the wall or needing to run a long extension into the house to run the drum sander! This picture is of the extensions I pulled from everywhere when I was done :)  (Actually there were 2 more in use awaiting the special wiring I did for the SawStop and router table!)  This also lets me stop hijacking the hot-water heater's 220V outlet :)
What I've documented here is how I wired conduit in my garage shop.  I'm comfortable with this level of wiring.  Code in your area may differ in many ways than what's allowed here.  If you still want to do it yourself, read about code in your area, consider having a professional do it or at least review your work.  Mess up and you might just pop a breaker or you might feel 200A "finding ground" through your body.  It's easy, but pay attention, double-check, and save the beers for after it all works ;)
In advance: sorry for the length of this entry; lots to cover! Here's a table of contents, however:
Planning the Subpanel
Selecting Wire Size
Selecting Ground Size
Selecting Conduit Size
Main Panel Tour
Connecting Main Panel to Subpanel
Wiring the Subpanel
Wiring Plan for Shop
What is GFCI anyway?
Wiring Pigtails for Ganged Boxes
Making Custom Covers

Okay, now let's get started with the planning preliminaries... and it helps to have a copy of Ugly's Electrical Reference as it has all the necessary NEC charts and a whole lot more.  Best $9 you can spend on this project.

I'll be adding a 100A subpanel in the shop.  It is fed from a 60A breaker from the main service panel. The main service panel is the breaker box on your house; the subpanel is just a smaller version that will be located in the shop.  The subpanel is rated for 100A meaning the current paths in the box are capable of handling 100A continuous-duty.  I only need 60A brought into the shop so the feed from the main panel will have a 60A breaker.
Question #1: which size wire between the main service panel and the subpanel?  I'm running THHN wire inside of rigid plastic schedule 40 conduit (say that 5 times fast...).  If you've seen insulated wires going to your wall plugs or switches, that's THHN in a sleeve (sleeve called NM wire or Romex).
I will need 3 conductors (2 hots, 1 neutral) and ground.  I sometimes see forum postings implying that neutral isn't a conductor.  Oh, it certainly is.  Current coming from the 'hot' going through your toaster returns to the service panel on the neutral.  It is called 'neutral' because that's the name of the tap on a transformer where neutral is connected in upstream circuits; if you rather, call it 'return'.
Ugly's reprints an NEC chart for allowable ampacities of conductors.  I've highlighted the important parts (sorry, you'll likely need to open that in another window).  I am using THHN with copper conductor so that selects the fourth column.  I need 60A.  Smallest wire that can carry that is 6ga.  Actually, it looks like I could put a 75A breaker for this sub panel.  Not.  Look further below for temperature corrections.  I'm in Arizona and we get hot.  Let's use 110ºF as a maximum service temperature in the shop.  I've highlighted the correction line.  75A * 0.87 gives a maximum amperes of 65A.  Perfect.  Note, too, that this chart assumes at most 3 conductors in a raceway (conduit) which also fits my scenario.
Question #2: which size conductor for the ground?  Though the main panel ties ground and neutral together, you absolutely cannot in the subpanel otherwise you'll likely have current flowing on ground.  For a 60A breaker ("automatic overcurrent device"), I need 10ga copper.
Question #3: which size conduit from the main service panel to the subpanel?  So at this point, we have three 6ga conductors and one 10ga ground between the panels.  This chart shows that for 6ga THHN wire, I can put 4 in a 3/4" rigid PVC conduit.
...and you thought figuring out where the drops go was tough... :)
Quick tour of a service panel.  This picture has the cover removed.  At the top is the main breaker; flip this and your whole house goes dark.  You'll want to flip this off when working in the panel.  NOTE!  I circled the two hot lugs that come from the power company.  They are on the input-side of the main breaker, which means they are still hot when the breaker is flipped.  Be conscious of those lugs.  Down below I circled the hole in the panel for the feeders/runners distributing power throughout the house.  This hole goes into a stud cavity in my garage wall.
You see two columns of breakers.  The power company drop has 2 conductors bringing 220V to the panel.  One conductor is connected to the left "rail", the other the "right" rail.  (Rails are also called buses.)  These are the "hots" mentioned in this entry.  Neutrals are attached to a bus to the right of the orange circle in the picture.  In the main service panel only, these are bonded to ground to effectively split the difference between the hots (an over simplification) so you can create a 110V circuit with 1 hot (either right or left) and 1 neutral.  A 220V circuit uses both hots and no neutral.  I explain this more in a previous posting about special wiring I did for my SawStop and router table.
My main service panel is on the other side of a finished garage wall.  When connecting a breaker in the service panel, the wires enter the house through the wall cavity behind the panel.  For me it was easier to locate where the access hole would be located, mark the stud cavities, and where I wanted to cut out the drywall.
I cutout a pretty large piece of drywall to make it easier to work inside the cavity; a clean square is easy to replace, mud, texture, and forget :)  Word of caution: that square of drywall is near the access hole behind the service panel so there are lots of wires very near that hole; cut carefully and make shallow cuts to avoid hitting anything.  Consider turning off the main breaker to the service panel just in case.
With the hole cut, I position the 90º conduit.  You can barely see the access hole behind the panel inside the wall.  I want to conveniently feed wires from here and patch drywall later.
I drilled a hole for the 90º leg of the conduit box then feed all my conductors through.  NOTE: I have so far described the three 6ga and one 8ga wire I'll use to get to the subpanel, but for just the vertical part here, I'm running a separate three 12ga wires for a freezer nearby.  That said, the vertical part (here to wall-ceiling junction) is 1" PVC to handle the additional conductors.
Here they are popping out of the main service panel ready to attach.
These are the breakers I'm adding to the main panel.  The small one only connects to one hot bus and therefore makes a 110V circuit with a separate neutral line (this is the freezer I mentioned).  The large one connects to both hot buses and therefore provides a 220V circuit on its own (no neutral).  Every other breaker slot attaches to the same hot bus.  Two in a row, therefore, would attach to one and the other bus.  That's why the large one looks like two small ones glued together because they very nearly are.  Each individually grabs a different hot.  The key is that the breaker switch is barred: when the current through either hot exceeds 60A, the "popping" breaker will also shut off the other breaker thus breaking current in both sides of the circuit.
The breakers have a slot that pinches the tab for the hot bus it connects to.  The ball of snot in the slot is actually flux and should be there; when you push the breaker on locking it in place, that flux ensures a good connection.  It is also how the big boxes know when you're trying to return used breakers :)
The side of the breaker includes a stripping guide.  No, this has nothing to do with brass poles.  It's the length of insulator you need to remove for a good connection to the breaker.
I use these "automatic strippers" from Lee-Valley.  Very very nice.  But they don't seem to be offered there anymore.  Here's a similar stripper from Green-Lee for the same price.
Here are the runners for the subpanel stripped.  A note about colored tape: my local dealer was out of most colors of wire.  Black and red are, by default, considered hot.  The white here is neutral and neutral is by code white.  By code, ground is green, but they were out of green.  I'm allowed to tape it green an inch above the stripped end.  I did that here plus I put another couple marks of green tape further up the wire.  While I didn't need to label a black as hot with red tape, I did just so I knew which hot it was in the main service panel; this red tape wasn't required.
I put the wires through the 90º conduit then pushed them through the rest of the conduit (so, up to the ceiling, across to a corner, turn the corner, then across to the subpanel).  I taped the wires together every couple feet to keep them from tangling up.  Also, liberally apply KY... er, wire lubricant before pushing them through; this is a night-and-day difference.  Pretty sure it's just a coincidence that it looks like KY...
Back inside the service panel, route and connect the wires to the breakers.  The subpanel breaker is on the right above the "single" breaker for the freezer (it won't be in the discussion further).  The two hots for the subpanel go to the two lugs for the 220V breaker, the neutral to the neutral bus (white wires below) and the taped-green ground wire goes to the ground bus also with the white wires because in the main panel, ground and neutral are bonded on the same bus.

At this point, I have runners wired into the main service panel and run through conduit to the subpanel.  That's where we go next...

This is my subpanel photographed poorly :)  The breakers for this box install vertically so you see the two hot buses run horizontally.  You can barely make out a dotted line of brass screws above the buses.  Those are for the neutral bus.  Where's ground?  That goes on the grounding bus in my hand.  It installs by screwing into the subpanel (so, it is grounded).  Why wasn't it part of the box?  Because you might have purchased the box as a main panel, which uses a common bus for neutral and ground.  As a subpanel, you need to buy this...
...and attach it here.
This picture shows a number of things; it was taken after a couple other shop circuits were wired.  The main runners from the main service panel arrive from the leftmost conduit on top.  The neutral attaches to the neutral bus lug to the right of the neutral bus screws.  If you look carefully, one hot from the main panel attaches to a lug to the left, the other (with red tape) to a lug on the right.  These lugs feed the hot buses mentioned earlier.  Ground (green-taped black) attaches to the ground bus in the lower right corner.
While we're on this picture, notice the breakers.  They take 2 slots to form 220V, but they are composed of half-size breakers so the outside edges have a 20A breaker separately.  I'll use the outside 20A breakers to form 20A 110V circuits and the two barred half-size breakers in the middle to form 20A 220V circuits.  The two reds with blue tape are each a separate 20A 110V circuit along with a white neutral each (see top bus).  The two reds in the middle form a 20A 220V circuit.

At this point, I'll divulge my wiring plan for the shop.  Reading the breakers in the subpanel from left to right, I have:
20A @ 110VBeer fridge :)
20A @ 220V"Tools" Circuit
20A @ 110VBandsaw DC

20A @ 110VMiter Saw
20A @ 220VA/C
20A @ 110VMFT

20A @ 110Vopen
20A @ 220VDust Collector
20A @ 110V"Rockler" circuit
The "tools" circuit goes everywhere.  Since I run one tool at a time, it works well.  It goes to two 220V tools: SawStop PCS and a 14" bandsaw and I break it down to 110V (explained later) for the drum sander and air compressor.
The "Rockler" circuit is so-named because of a Rockler extension reel (buy one, now... oh wait, they are waaay expensive now).  I generally connect my Festool CT-22 dust extractor to it or other ad-hoc tools.
The A/C is for a portable A/C unit I use in summer.
The dust collector circuit is also interesting in that I ran 4 wires to the DC: 2 hots, neutral, and ground.  Right now, I ignore one hot and made a 110V circuit of it for my current DC.  If I upgrade later to a 220V DC, all I have to do is connect the hot and disconnect the neutral.  Plan ahead :)

All of these circuits are just run-wire-connect-repeat.  I did do some interesting wiring on the "tools" circuit for the SawStop and router table as mentioned earlier.  With all 4 wires, the "tools" circuit also provides a few other 110V circuits for 110V tools like the drum sander.  This same idea (running 4 wires instead of 3) was repeated for the DC circuit so I can later upgrade to a 220V DC.  With this scheme, my tools and DC are always on a separate circuit.

So let me describe one plug setup.  The down-rod on the subpanel goes to this set of sockets.  The left is the 220V for the A/C.  This is a trivial connection described in the other article.
The right duplex socket actually has each socket on a different circuit.  How?  I wanted to do this as the long-term intention was to get a shop-vac on one plug for the miter saw on the other (slept through that Black Friday sale...)
A non-GFCI duplex socket has a cross-bar that connects the two sockets together.  In this way, you wire one and the other comes for free.  The pencil points to this cross-bar.  It has a slot for a screwdriver so you can wiggle it off.  Only wiggle it off on the "brass" side (other is aluminum).  The "brass" side gets the hot so now you can connect two different hots, one to each brass screw.  Just one neutral is necessary to the "white" side, that being aluminum.  Now, each socket is on its own circuit.
This case doesn't use a GFCI socket like I use everywhere else.  I may replace this one duplex socket with two GFCI duplex sockets.
Speaking of GFCI, I also routinely see on forums people explaining how some tool started sucking current fiercely before failing and "it didn't trip the GFCI before the breaker".  GFCI is Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter.  It has nothing to do with over-current protection.  It watches the current entering and exiting the socket.  If they are equal, no fault.  Once they are unbalanced, it means some current is escaping via ground and it will trip.  Two totally different failures.  So, don't count on GFCI to protect for over-current.
A last tip on wiring ganged boxes (ones with more than one socket).  If you look closely at this picture, you'll see a green wire and bare copper wire tied with a red cap.  This ganged box has one ground wire going to two sockets.  Each socket has a small bit of bare copper wire attached to its grounding screw.  I then tie the incoming green ground wire and two bare copper wires together with a wire connector; it's a plastic cap with a spring inside that cinches the wires together.  This type of connection is much easier than connecting the sockets together then adding in the incoming green ground wire as ground screws are freaking tiny.  I also use this pigtail method with neutrals and/or hots where appropriate.
That last picture shows a 2-ganged box that is next to impossible to find a cover for.  The 220V is what makes it difficult to find.  My solution was to take a cover with the 2 holes for the right-most socket pair and a small hole for a flip-switch on the left.  I put a single cover for a 220V socket on the other cover and used the screws to screw the covers together.  I then used the 220V cover's hole as a drilling guide to use a 35mm Forstner bit to make the hole.  A little filing and it worked perfectly.
Finally, if your mother is overly organized, borrow her label maker to label the subpanel circuits and the circuits around the shop.

Again, sorry for the length of this posting, but there's a lot of material to cover.  As this is a recurring topic on forums, bookmark it and send people here to give them an overview.

Addendum: I followed up this posting with another that discusses GFCI sockets in more detail (including how they are chained) and the meaning of the socket blade configurations here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Change Your Oil!

I bought a used PM20 industrial planer awhile back.  I asked the guy a question about changing the oil and the answer was that he never did.  That got logged in my lil brain as a to-do.  Thing is, I could never locate the manual for the planer online.  A very similar looking Jet was all I could find and it stood to reason that the Jet replaced the now discontinued PM20 when WHM brought the two together.  They are actually quite different under the shrouds.
Anyway, some personal distractions kept me from that part of my brain with the to-dos for a year (and the shop, too, so no additional hours on the planer).  I got to it last weekend.

If you've never seen treacle, or treacle with metal filings, this 'oil' was a dead-ringer!
It was definitely time to make up for lost maintenance time so I took the gear housing off, brushed the chains and pulleys with a brass brush to knock the gunk off then hit them heavily with grease.
The power-roller tension screws have, what I discovered, were holes in the top for adding lubricating oil.  They had enough dust in the holes to be useless, however.
...but nothing an Allen wrench could poke out for next time.
I will say, however, that the fill plug for the oil was in the most obnoxious place. In this shot, I have a plastic tube into the hole so...
...I could squeeze the oil through the tube to the box.  I assumed some treacle remained so I filled it until it overflowed then opened the drain a big for a big blob of blackness to escape.
This is the difference between the old and new.  Moral?  If you have a planer that takes oil, go change it!!  Wish these had hour-meters on them... wonder if that could be retrofitted? hmm...

(okay, how many of you went: "oil? my planer has oil?!")

Friday, January 21, 2011

Guide Rail Storage

I recently got the Festool 3000mm guiderail during the "TS Promotion" as the TS-75 really requires that long rail to rip 8x4 sheet goods without connectors.  Now, I used two 1400s with connectors for a couple years and while it works, it actually still wasn't long enough for the TS-75 due to its larger base.  To note, if you have a TS-55, you can use the 2700 rail, but the TS-75 really needs the extra "mm"s.

So... where to store it?!  Not like an 8" wide by nearly 10' long piece of aluminum tucks away on a shelf plus dings and bends completely defeat the purpose.  My solution comes from a suggestion I read somewhere on the FOG: hang it on your garage door.

In my case, I have a 3000 and 1900 on the door with clips made of scrap.  This photo is of the one clip with just the 3000 in it.  You can see some scrap cork tile contact-cemented to the door's stile.  The vertical clips are beveled at top to make insertion easier as the fit is intentionally snug.  In both cases, the clip presses the rail into cork.

Due to the staggered heights of the clips, grabbing either rail is easy.

I chose to put the rails on the bottom segments of my door because I could easily get at them with the door closed and when the door is opened (90% of the time, I have the door open!), they are still easily accessed.  Other benefit is that the bottom-most segment angles upward even when the door is open so the rails never have a chance to slide out. With a winter like that, good thing I took the picture quickly and closed up...

Now, you'll think, "oh, 3000 rails, never exceed that!".  Well, you'd think.  First weekend with the new rails, I had to join the 3000 and 1900 to edge-joint a 12' piece of 8/4 Walnut destined to be handrailing for stairs.  Also ripped them that way since pushing that over the table saw is awkward and would require moving shop furniture to make room for the length!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stealth Project Revealed! Figured Eucalyptus End-Table

I previously posted about a last-minute stealth project for my mom for Christmas.  It's a pretty short side table that will sit beside her lounge chair; it is short to make picking up and putting down her tea cup easier on the wrists.
The table top is figured Eucalyptus floating on brass rod on a Maple base with hand-shaped apron curves and tapered legs.
The idea came to me late Saturday and I basically got through to the finish stage by late Sunday as the weekdays would be tough even to get the finish done.  Alas, the rush on the finish spoiled part of the top (divulged below).  It isn't as nice now as it was during the build, but still not bad for a one-day marathon.
As I was rushing, I didn't take as many pictures as usual.  Use your imagination a bit.  Add bikinis where necessary.  Okay! Let's go...
I cut the leg stock from some 6/4 Maple I had around; fortunately, one edge was riff-sawn.  Squared and tapered.  Apron stock from 4/4 Maple cross-cut then bandsawn close to the curve.  The rest of the rounding was done with spokeshaves so they wouldn't be router-perfect.  Parts were Domino mortised at this point.
I neglected to take a picture, but if you look carefully at the top of the legs, they are chamfered.  This was done on the JMPv2.  If you have a sloped shooting board, you could do it with that, too, or with the stock backed on a router table. Or... well you get the idea :)
The figured Eucalyptus had a darker wave of curl on one edge.  I decided to cut the pie pieces so the dark would be in the center of the table top.  Once mitered, it was time to glue up.  Now, let me be the first to lament that despite backers, it was difficult to get the cut edges clean of chipout.
Using parts of Woodpecker's miter set helped pull in the corners.
The legs needed a 3/8" hole dead center dead plumb to receive the brass rod.  I used the DJ-1 drilling jig and CT-16 palm brace to nail it.  Wish I took a picture. You can use the DJ-1 with a power drill, but I was thinking "gentle"...
So, time to glue up the base while the top firmed up.  The weights on the top were to keep the table stable with all those long bars reaching out everywhere!  The base was all Domino joinery.
After the epoxy for the top set "enough", I re-trimmed the edges to ensure they were square then beveled what will be the underside.
I needed to cut 4 pieces of 3/8" brass rod for the stand-offs.  I knew the precise depth of the holes in the legs, thickness of top, and reveal I wanted so it was easy to mark them all off and hacksaw away.  I put a hole in a scrap of Oak to make holding the rod easier while cutting.
The rod was, well, not pretty.  Oxidation, you know.  One end of the rod was going to be epoxied into the leg and the other epoxied into the top so each end was fair game for a Jacob chuck's teeth.  I chucked the rods in the drill press one at a time and cleaned the middle with Brasso.
I later did the same, but with Meguire's.
Purdy :)  I remember realizing at this point that I hadn't eaten anything all day.  Glue was setting so it was a food break (sorry, no picture ;)
Some clean up on the table base then the first coat of General Finishes' Polyacrylic.  I love this stuff.  Seriously, I buy it flowers.  The brass rod was just for a preview...
I ended the night applying CPES to the table top as it would take all night to cure.  Why CPES?  Well, I want to greatly limit the moisture exposure of this top; those are 9" miters in solid wood.  Too much moisture movement that the adhesive can't compensate for and things open.  I realize this is a test and it might fail.  If it does, I'll post-mortem it and make her a new table :)
The next day would be mounting the top followed by the rest of the finishing schedule.  Yes, I should have started a week earlier.
So, I have CPES's warm forumla because normally it is bloody hot around here.  That week, the garage was at 50º at night, which would benefit from CPES's cold formula.  The schedule stated it would take 4 days to cure.  For each 18º increase in temperature, the time halved.  So I built this tent and put a ceramic heater underneath it with the thermostat set to around 90º.
That would have it cured by lunchtime the next day.  Just before my bedtime, I dropped the 4 brass rods into the top of the legs with an ample amount of thickened West System epoxy.  Nite nite...
Now I needed the top applied.  The brass rods show through to the top.  I think this is classy, but time consuming.  I have a better way for the next table ;)
To place the holes accurately, I took the scrap of Oak with a 3/8" hole used to cut the rods and split the hole in two.  This is going to be my hole-placement jig (and it only took 1 cut!).
I set the base onto the top so the rods were on the miter cuts and same distance into the bevel (I wanted them on the bevel, not the flat as I thought they would look more elegant).
This requires some explanation.  First I placed the jig block on the rod and used the horizontal clamp to ensure the rod was always set in the jig's recess.  Next, I clamped the jig tight to the top.
Next, I removed the horizontal clamp.  (After I took the picture, I realized I had moved the base while monkeying with the clamps for the picture; it was placed on the miter.)
Now, remove the table and place a 3/8" brad-point bit in the jig's recess then tap it with a hammer to mark the location with the brad's spur.  Take it to the drill press and drill it plumb.  That's one hole.  Repeat 3 more times.  Each time you position the base, ensure existing holes have a tiny bit of its mating rod seated.  This worked exceptionally well, actually.
Slather epoxy on the ends of the brass rods and some in the holes and tap home the table base.  I went until each rod was proud by as little as at all possible.
To flush the ends of the rods, I wrapped blue tape on a mill file except for a small region in the middle.  That's what I took swipes against the rod with.  The tape kept the file from marking the table top.  Tedious.  Cue up long songs.
Sand the whole top... P180, P220, P320.
Finish polishing the brass with a bit of wet/dry paper on the end of an eraser.  I used 600, 1200, 1500, 2000.
Alrighty.  Build and a large part of the finish was done.  I now needed some Arm-R-Seal on the top to even out the sheen as the sheen of CPES is not so purdy. I put the table on my couch with a drop cloth and pointed a radiant heater to the top.  I didn't want to bake it, but wanted it warm to set faster and let me get three coat to the top.
And it was done for Christmas!  Delivered stealth-like into the reading room without her noticing; just put a bow on the door.  Easier to wrap that way.

So what was the mistake that spoiled the top?  Well, I wanted to apply a couple more coats of Arm-R-Seal so I asked for the table back the next week while she was busy with company.  When I got it home, I noticed some sanding marks I missed in my hurry.  No problem, sand through the finish, get it smooth, and reapply the finish.  When I got down to bare wood, I decided it would be smart to hit it with CPES again since I may have sanded through the original sealing layer of CPES.  Built the tent.  Accidentally did something to the thermostat that it ran high all night.  Oh, it was cured.  I'm not sure what the thermal expansion ratios are for figured Eucalyptus, but I can assure you that they open 9" miters.  It wasn't horrible, but nothing like the top you see in the build pictures.  I was actually happy with that top; not at all happy with this one.  I applied cynoacrylate glue to the part that opened partly to glue it up but mostly to have a clear glue in there to help mask the gap.  That gap shows, but honestly even before with the figure and all, it was obvious where the miter lines were.
Moral?  Don't rush.  And start a week early :)