Saturday, October 5, 2013

full circle

here we are
back where I was almost four years ago
three BIG slabs of maple
I did the cove on the underside of one slab this spring
then the weather got too warm to plane responsibly
and my idea of torture moved a couple notches in the wrong direction

obviously the weather has returned to a much more suitable demeanor
and other obligations have been upheld
I checked the inventory and found there to be an ample supply of lumber on hand
the table has once again won my affection

the idea was to preserve as much lumber as possible
that meant cross cutting for depth every inch from the ends and chiselling out the waste
near the center there was enough material to then resaw and end up with a small panel
and I managed enough thin pieces for a few drawer bottoms later on
it was the middle slab that worried me
it was joined from two short lengths by a mighty little joint I kinda made up on the fly

I worked all the way down to it but was scared to cut it all the way off
what if the joint failed?
this three year stint was screwed!
I'd thought about leaving it till the glue-up, then cutting it off later, but it was seriously in the way

taking the plunge I removed it and thankfully no fail happened this week
the coved slabs were jointed

 the ends made perfect

and the whole reason I bought the best damn panel saw I could find
yes, that's Andrew's saw, whole and unscathed as was the fear of a couple readers
these cuts are fourteen inches of the hardest freakin maple ever
and this saw does just what it should
the kerf runs true from the far end to the near, just keep moving yer thumb
the saw never jumps, and makes its own new kerf
just plows on through, completely predictable
and it's funny because this thing is so flexible, it feels like it shouldn't cut as straight as it does
when it's done with a cut it rises forth and sings for a good two seconds each and every time
spooked the crap out of me the first couple times

chisel the waste and follow with a shoulder plane
it will be months before I find all of the chips from twelve tongue and tenon shoulders

I had to get creative when it came time to bring these giants together
the whole is bigger than my bench, but just as heavy
clamped to the assembly running the center of my shop, it acts as it's own bench
and I can work all sides

just checking the whole setup before glue
and it's a good thing, when I clamped up, the left slab cocked at a frightening angle
back to the bench, the clamps and a couple different planes
jointing is an art, and I have just the slightest inclination of how to do it right
on the second dry run, however,  it came up perfect

 glue, clamp, wait

and then the fun really begins!
missing above is the most important plane, the scrub
try not to worry about leaving big scrub tracks, they plane out later
eight hours of labor, three inches of shavings, three meals, and a couple beers
this top is flat!

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