Welcome to Woodworker++

This blog is intended to be a journal of my progress as a woodworker. Grab a drink, maybe some popcorn, sit back and enjoy a glimpse into my woodworking projects, both failed and successful. Why should you care what I do, or what I have to say? You shouldn't, but just maybe I can keep you from making the same mistakes that I had to learn the hard way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dirty Harry said it best...

"A man's gotta know his limitations". That's true. One of my many limitations is the ability, or lack thereof, to mill a piece of wood square. Sure, I follow the steps, joint the adjacent sides, rip against the freshly jointed face, plane faces. The wood just never comes out square. The problem with that is this; If you don't start with a square board then you can never expect to get a square piece of furniture. Today, my milling abilities got a little better.

  I started the morning by laying out the legs for the shaker table.  I've never worked with Ash before, but it seems to work similar to Oak.  Cutting the 2" board on my table saw made me realize it's time to put on the WoodWorker II that I got for Christmas.  I used my #5 and #7 to knock off the burn marks from the saw, and the ridges from the jointer.  After getting the legs squared up I tried to find the best grain for the front and back legs.   The wood provided in the Bell Forest is very good.  Straight grained and it looks like it all came from the same part of the tree.  After selecting the legs I marked out the mortise for the side aprons.  I used my drill press and a 3/8" bit to hog out most of the material.  Then I went back with my chisels and pared out the rest of the material.

When hand planing the makeshift legs for my workbench started racking.  I found a piece of dimensional 4x4 laying in the garage and clamped it to the legs.  I drew a red arrow on the picture for clarity. Amazingly, this made it feel like a workbench instead of a tabletop on a set of saw horses.  There's still some movement, but it's 100% better than before.

Posted by PicasaAll in all, it was a pretty productive day.  Got a decent start on the shaker table, and even threw a coat of shellac on the quilt rack.  I'm getting the hang of milling stock square.  Just don't bring your Starrett to my garage.


Rob Bois said...

Nice work Nathan. I love ash, that should give you some really interesting grain. Although be prepared to sharpen. A lot. I'm making decent progress on my table today too, I have a feeling there is a pretty big group of us out there. Hope Marc's sponsors have deep pockets!

nathan said...

Thanks Rob. After those 4 mortises my chisels already need sharpening. I'm still playing catch-up, but I'm hoping to get the aprons done today.