Monday, May 24, 2010


Yea yea yea, I know, I haven't done a damn thing with the blog for over a month, well, neither have any of my favorite woodworking bloggers either.

Maybe we have similar afflictions...

The gardens become my obsession as soon as the snow melts away, the days get longer, the weeds taller, spotting the difference between a weed and a prized seedling becomes routine. Each specimen is catalogued, and cross referenced, colors blended in an expressionistic composition. the desire to fulfill the optic pleasure throughout the season.

But I do still get in the shop.

The dining set is on hold for a while, wood doesn't grow on trees you know!
My walnut will be ready soon, but the idea of planing twenty square feet of anything in eighty degree heat really doesn't appeal to my sense of self preservation. Plus a couple tools are still awaiting completion and delivery, so the fun can't really begin on the underside (a nineteenth century #113 did arrive not long ago, though)

So it's on to smaller stuff.

There's a big plastic parts bin, probably Hecho en China, in the most glaring awful yellow, any straight parts now twisted and bent with time (a couple years) right smack dab over my bench, and in my field of vision at all times. And for just a moment I saw this piece of wood there instead:

Of course you know what comes next.

I will admit, the table top has been the cut in the learning curve for hand planing. That and a little potty-time refresher in The Schwarz's Course, Medium, Fine. I was able to dimension, flatten and smooth all the pieces in a weekend. Learning when an iron needs to be honed and the practiced skill of quick and accurate sharpening has also been a godsend. Another tidbit I found on the web suggested ganging multiple dovetail pieces together. Believe it or not they are much tighter and in half the time!

I'll keep that in mind later. There's one hundred (exactly, no kidding) sets of dovetails here; 26 half blinds, 26 through, and 48 dovetailed laps, add in a few dozen mortice and tenons.

May as well get started!

This will be a great summer project, not too much sweat, and lots of small successes. I'll be in sand a good deal, and at the Museum a bit, but when I'm home, I'll have many chances to spend an hour or two.