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Walnut Coffee Table – Legs

August 14, 2022 Leave a comment

There is a point in the woodworking journey that an epiphany occurs. As you look at the work of others and study pictures on line or in articles you realize that all of you hard work to make tight joints and smooth tops doesn’t make for the perfect piece. Suddenly you realize the importance of wood selection and grain, shadow lines and many small details. I’m not sure when that realization occurred but I’m certainly aware and trying to work on executing on that knowledge.

One of the people that raised my awareness was Mike Pekovich. I’ve seen articles and videos where he uses grain to its greatest potential, producing stunning projects. Paying attention to the grain in the legs of many of his projects really shows what a dramatic difference can be made. Focusing on a cross section of the 8/4 walnut board

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Cherry Coffee Table – Prep

July 31, 2022 Leave a comment

Several months ago while picking up lumber for the Walnut Coffee table, I also purchased lumber for a cherry table. I’m glad I made the purchase at that time since prices have increased dramatically. My vision for the table changed at the last minute when I thought about how much I enjoined the joinery on the Paul Sellers table I made a few years ago. I used a similar shelf on the bar cart as well. I’m just a gluten for mortise and tenon joints.

When I purchased the lumber I had smaller legs in mind so was content with 8/4. Now I’m going to need to stretch it so that I can get 2 1/4 finished legs out of it. Several of you have noticed an increased use of power tools in the last year. I have always used power tools where it makes sense and hand tools where they are most effective or I get more joy. Most projects start with the break down of stock and I always reach for my hand saws. Today I grabbed the Bad Axe D8. It’s pure pleasure to use this saw. As I write this post I went back and realized that I have had this saw for five years and It seems that long enough to truly recommend it.

Since I am using rough lumber, I flattened one edge with my hand planes, in this case a Stanley #7. Then used the planer for the remainder of the dimensioning, I talked about the use of sleds in the planer rather than the jointer in a previous post.

In order to make the legs the correct dimensions I needed to glue a 1/2” strip before cutting the board into individual legs.

Now the hard part, which side faces out…….

Saw Blade Returns

June 26, 2022 Leave a comment

The saw blade that I damaged with the saw stop a couple of weeks ago has returned with the repairs complete and resharpened. I’m absolutely amazed with the speed of the service. It was shipped on a Monday and back in my hands 12 days later!

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Walnut Side Table Top Update

April 25, 2022 Leave a comment

As several of you pointed out the last post concerning the crack in the side table top was unclear and incomplete. I must have accidentally sent it out over the weekend before I finished writing. Here’s the full story….

The underside was chamfered to lighten the appearance of the top. While I was using the router clamps were used to hold it in place. Unfortunately I did not ensure that the top was fully supported and after completing the routing and putting the router away the top cracked. It is a clean break over most of the length with a jagged edge on one end. I do not have pictures of my poor clamping method which consisted of a couple of boards underneath to allow the router to travel around the outside without touching the table top. I certainly should have used a better method.

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Walnut Coffee Table Top Refinish

April 10, 2022 Leave a comment

The finish was Shellac, covered with water based poly. Used many times without a problem, however this time it looked like there was cracking and scratches across the top.

My best quests is there must be something that interacted with the polyurethane so It all needs to return to bare wood and start again. Not what I wished to do but I need to correct the finish.

Categories: Uncategorized

Walnut Side Table – Legs

March 29, 2022 3 comments

As I looked for designs and possible dimensions for the table I came across an article and really liked the design and the challenge of using a Bridal Joint. I also like the original design used a few years ago with the exposed through mortises. I have used the exposed joints on a couple of projects from Paul Sellers, Coffee Table and Arts and Craft Side table. Use the links if you want to go to those project pages. I think that the table should use both joints. It also will allow me to try a couple of things that I have not done previously.

The article that I saw the bridal joint was actually a video series #193 Sept/Oct 2007. I also looked at other sources.

I spent some time making sure that the grain worked for the project and then squared everything up. I found the card shaper handy with the tear out that I’ve been experiencing. Anyone used one of the high angle frogs in heavy tear out?

The mortiser again made quick work and only a little clean up was needed with a chisel. Next the bridle joints which I did with hand saws and my band saw. I measured very carefully and it paid off, only minor plane work on the tenon to get it all together.

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Tidy Shop

March 19, 2022 Leave a comment

The sound was normal, the swish of the plane communicating its sharpness and performance, air blowing through the vent with a sigh of warmth, a hammer’s tap as someone builds a garden shed. Turning around, looking for the source of my discomfort, it hit me like a sudden scent of danger….my shop is a mess!

There are three projects in different stages of production, boxes that have not been put away from a move a year and a half ago, drawers left open from hastily grabbed tools and a great need to sweep the floor, oh and a full dust collector and trash can.

I did not see it coming but my mind sounded the alarm through a sense of discomfort that something needed to be done and it need doing now. A couple of hours later the bench and table saw were clear and the floor swept but there was more that needed doing.

Categories: Uncategorized

Walnut Coffee Table, Chamfer and Finish

March 13, 2022 Leave a comment

Finishing is certainly not my strong point and not my favorite part of a project, however it’s the final step to seeing it all complete. I have been struggling with chip out on the edges of the table top and finally decided to chamfer them to remove the damage and prevent any more from occurring. Not sure if this is a Walnut normalcy, but I have not had this problem with other lumber.

The finish for the table is shellac, polyurethane and wax. Simple, and allows the wood to speak for itself.

The final step is attaching the tabletop to the base. Fortunately when I was cutting the side rails I remembered to cut slots for the

Lumber Yards

December 25, 2021 Leave a comment

Glancing at the sign I attempted to determine what lay inside. Perhaps the typeface would provide a clue as to the quality of service? Instead I could only see the words Dakota Hardwoods nothing more nothing less, pulling into a parking space I glanced around for the entrance and spotted a smaller sign with the word office and an arrow pointing to a glass door. No bars on the door first impressions….

There are many blogs and articles about purchasing lumber and it’s interesting seeing how different companies and countries provide the service. Relocation to a new town or state always brings me a little trepidation, will they let me sort through the lumber, will they have the thickness I desire, will I have to deal with the grumpy know it all clerk?

Since I began making furniture this will be the 5th state that I’ve sought a new vendor and the last couple of moves the internet makes finding options easier. Here in the San Antonio area I asked the local woodworkers guild for recommendations and wow what mixed results! I’m sure that is the most common question asked on the guild site (perhaps someone who knows how could add a link that gives the options) and I also recognize that everyone is looking for a different set of services. in my case I wanted to sort through my own lumber and in particular wanted 5/4 material. After some calls and a couple of false starts I ended up at Dakota Hardwoods. It was a good experience; however they certainly use a system that I’ve not seen before.

There are the lumberyards that let you sort through stacks of lumber, there some that make you take what is there, lumber may be vertical some horizontal and at the best places someone stands over your shoulder. At Dakota, I checked in at the office they wrote out roughly what I was seeking, 5/5 Walnut and Cherry and 8/4 for the legs. Backing my truck up to the loading dock I handed my request to the forklift operator. He then drove off appearing with a stack of lumber that I picked through and loaded into my truck, he then noted the sizes and drove off to get the next size. Again I sorted through the stack, he noted my choices and went off to find the next stack. Very different from what I had done before but if was efficient and the selection was good.

30 minutes later I had lumber selected, loaded and paid for and was on my way back to the shop.

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Box Making – Installing a shelf

September 1, 2021 Leave a comment

The box design has a shelf approximately 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. The shelf is installed with blind rabbets so all of the work must be done prior to glue up. There are many ways to make rabbits and after some thought I decided to use my router plane and a chisel to provide a stop for the blind end of the rabbet.

The shelf is wider than the boards that I have on hand so I did a quick glue up and planed it down to 1/2 inch. It’s been some time since I used the router plane and it is definitely one of the most useful specialty planes that I own. This one happens to be a Veritas since I had a very difficult time finding a used plane when I first began using hand tools. Needless to say I have been very happy with it. Since the rabbit was in a couple of inches from the edge I cut across the board with my marking knife and then used an edge guide. You can see a corner of the guide at the bottom of the plane in the photograph above.

It only took a few minutes to cut each rabbit and square up the blind end with a chisel.

Categories: Uncategorized