Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Finishing anything, for me, is heartbreaking. Each piece, and I usually have a couple going at one, grows and evolves and becomes so much more than just a piece. I love woodworking possibly more than sand sculpting, and that’s hard to admit. It could simply be the shorter duration I’ve spent, but it seems more to be the level of involvement. Sand sculpture is over rather fast, a few day, maybe a few more in planning. With woodworking months are spent on each piece, and there’s no deadline, well, not yet.

When that piece is done and its in its new home, and its as if someone breathed life into these slabs and shapes and details. And it’s still there in a week, and a month and for years, and you have to live with it, use it, touch it, move it to vacuum, and you see all the flaws somedays and it’s purity the next, and most of all its honesty. It’s like having a loved one around.

I stepped away after the wine rack, partly just to decompress, partly because of a string of exhibits at the museum, and in sand. And then the holidays set in.

This years gift tool confounded me for months, I’d seen plenty of examples of center finding squares, all in plastic too cheap to even consider, or in metals too expensive for gift giving, the Stanley I have at work is so sadly out of whack, I’m not sure why it still hangs on the wall. 

In line with previous years each recipient has a specific set, one in Rosewood, one in Purpleheart, and one with bits of Curly Cherry, each is contrasted by some unbelievable Fiddleback Maple.

Two years ago I adapted Chris Schwarz’s Roubo square to these constraints and I needed matching center-finding squares. Each profile is different, and designed to visually balance the off center blade.

Really the toughest part was the triple lap joint, and designing a planing jig for thin strips of Curly Maple, and pounding in the pegs without blowing out any one of three layers, oh, and learning to french polish.

Oh yea and Santa left me something in the mailbox (sorry, no tree this year either)
Guess this means I need a new shooting board

Leftovers rock! Off-cuts from the crazy Cherry wine rack drawer fronts and some nice gift (yes Santa does go to Woodcraft too) Tiger maple blanks.

Took care of the two inch wide rabbet by making several grooves with a plow plane, chiseling the remaining pieces and before removing the last flattening the whole thing with a router plane.

Plans continue for the next piece, I'll keep you in tune.