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Walnut coffee Table – Top

January 26, 2022 Leave a comment

I have heard many people discuss whether to make the top first or last. I don’t see any reason to do one over the other. For this project the top was done last. Milling was typical slog of passing boards through the jointer followed by hand planing the edges and running the opposite edge through the table saw.

I used two planes to work the edges. Stanley #4 to rough the edges followed by a #7. I needed the longer plane due to the 48” length of the boards.

With the edges jointed and parallel I glued up the top and let it sit overnight. The next day was spent planing and smoothing. I did notice a couple of knots which will need to be filled.

Trimming the edges was done on the Tablesaw and hand planed with a very sharp plane. I also noticed a couple of Knots that needed to be filled, so as you read I am also reading about how to use Epoxy.

Categories: Walnut Coffee Table

Walnut Coffee Table – Side Rails

January 22, 2022 Leave a comment

Making the upper and lower rails was an exercise in planing boards and cutting tenons. I did most of the work by hand and forgot to take pictures.

Oops. The lower rail is just over an inch square, when I was test fitting the pieces I realized that I left one of the tenons longer than the others and when pulling it loose it snapped. I used the mortiser to drill out the broken piece and made another to fit. Lesson learned. Lower rails should have thicker tenons.

Finally I was able to assemble the table legs and sides.

The glue up was relatively uneventful.

Categories: Walnut Coffee Table

Walnut Coffee Table – Legs

January 15, 2022 Leave a comment

There comes a time 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 your 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.

Cutting the end of the 8/4 board it becomes clear that these are flat sawn. Reference the fine drawing that I made on the left. If I cut this board into the four legs as intended I will end up with two sides with intersecting grain and two with flat grain. Since I want legs that are 1 15/16” I don’t have a lot of options to cut diagonally across and make the grain similar on all legs but I am certainly becoming more aware and will consider where the legs are placed on the table. In the picture below you can certainly see the grain difference on the two sides of the leg and follow it across the bottom.

Back to woodworking. I used the sled to hoping the lumber and then cut the legs to size, hand planing each one to the same dimensions and ensuring they were square. Looking at the grain pattern I laid out the mortises for the side rails and lower rails and used my mortising machine to cut the mortises. This was the first time that I have used it on a project and it was very satisfying

Standing up all the legs you can see the grain and that I placed the flat sawn edges on the side of the table (right and left). Lot more to learn but it’s on my mind.

Categories: Walnut Coffee Table

Walnut Coffee Table – Lumber

January 13, 2022 Leave a comment

Procrastination is an art that I suppose could continue for ever. Today however was the time to begin preparing the material for a walnut coffee table. Walnut is a new species in my shop and I’m looking forward to learning about its desire to be turned into furniture.

All projects begin with a plan followed by choosing and preparing lumber. The dimensions for this table are roughly based on a previous table I made designed by Paul Sellers. It’s a simpler table but should satisfy its future owner. I used the same method for preparing the wood as I outlined in the Jointing without a jointer blog and it worked great. This is where I made the longer sled to fit the lumber needed for the side rails and top. Not long after the picture was taken I realized that I forgot to hook up the dust collector. The magical on off switch doesn’t work if the hose is disconnected.

Walnut milled nicely on the planer and I even milled several pieces by hand.

Categories: Walnut Coffee Table

Box Making – Every Dovetail deserves an adjustment

September 15, 2021 Leave a comment

There are people that make perfectly fitting dovetails every time and I don’t envy their lack of opportunity to adjust the dovetails they make. Typically I will have at least one dovetail that needs some work along with a saw cut that went a little too far and perhaps somewhere the wood chipped. Frequently I can also pick out the dovetail that was cut first. Which suggests that I should make a practice dovetail to increase my focus before beginning on the real thing.

With this box I have three corners that look good with only a couple of minor changes required but the fourth corner needs a little work. Nothing major the joints are strong and fit well just a few cosmetic touches.

Filling in the minor gaps is simple, find wood that is similar in color ensure you match end grain to end grain and long grain to long grain and trim the wood to fit the gap and glue in place. Once the glue is dry trim with a chisel and plane it smooth. In most cases the gap disappears and will never be noticed. If needed you can fill in some fairly large gaps!

Categories: Cherry Box

Box Making – Glue Up

September 8, 2021 Leave a comment

Before glueing up the box I needed to install the grooves for the future sliding door. I thought this could be done quickly on the table saw, but after a minute realized that it would not leave a flat groove since the saw teeth are offset. I grabbed the plow plane and in a few minutes had a 3/8 inch upper groove and 1/4 in lower groove completed. In most of the woodworking I do, it is often quicker to do the work by hand and much more pleasant.

There are more clamps then usual since I continued to have some minor warping from the humidity. I did not glue the back or shelf in place just let them ride free in the grooves.

This is a typical dovetailed box with only the integrated divider to consider so I didn’t plan on extensive practice prior to putting it together. But I did lay out all the clamps and place some brown paper on my bench. I did make some cauls to help glue the ends and then forgot to take a picture of the final glue up.

There are people that make perfectly fitting dovetails every time and I don’t envy their lack of opportunity to adjust the dovetails they make. Typically I will have at least one dovetail that needs some work along with a saw cut that went a little too far and perhaps somewhere the wood chipped. Frequently I can also pick out the dovetail that was cut first. After the glue up we’ll se how I did.

Categories: Cherry Box

Box Making – Wood Prep

August 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Local hardware stores provide great service and often have greater service then the big box stores. The 4MM bolt that I needed to fix the planer took me to three stores before it was found. I realize that everyone needs to make a profit and that it is costly to keep inventory that has low turnover but three stores to find two screws?

With he planer fixed and adjusted I proceeded to prepare the pieces for the walls of the box. The piece of lumber that I had was 25% pith so I ran it through the bandsaw and planer to get it down to the 1/2” thickness.

Careful with the order of the boards to maintain some congruity with the grain direction I could envision the dovetails and final look. Next I grabbed boards to glue up for the back and carefully laid them out to keep the grain looking similar.

After many years of woodworking its only in the last couple that I have made more effort to watch the grain and it certainly pays of in the finished project. Next dovetails and rabbits.

Categories: Cherry Box

Box Making halted by a 4mm Screw!

July 21, 2021 Leave a comment

Warm water splashed my face as the river’s rumble passed into the darkness, it is warm, very warm. With a jerk I find myself awake, a thunderstorm rumbling overhead and Scout licking my face looking for comfort.

Admittedly it has been a long time since I jumped headlong into a project. The shop is all but complete and my excuses no longer hold sway. Grabbing a piece of cherry left over from another project I began sizing it up for a couple of boxes I noticed in Mike Pekovich’s book ‘The Why and How of Woodworking’ not sure I’ll make the exact box, but its a simple way to get back into the swing of woodworking.

Bad Axe Tool Works D8 Cross Cut Saw

The cherry board that I have on hand is 5/4 and I need to get it down to approximately 1/2”. It’ll work great because approximately half the board is the pith. I used my Bad Axe Tool Works D8 saw to break the board down and there was a big smile on my face the entire time. The saw was singing and dust dropped quickly onto I the floor. There is something very satisfying about cutting cherry with a hand saw. If you’ve never used a Bad Axe Saw try one, the filing is magnificent. Even if you don’t get the chance visit the web site its full of great information about saws, saw sharpening etc.

Grabbing the Sargent 409 I flattened one side of each board in preparation for running it through the planer. My jointer sits in its box by the door and I can’t recall the last time I sued it. Just seems quicker to use a hand plane and a lot more pleasant! Turning to my planer I check the bed to make sure I eliminate as much snipe as possible and notice that one corner is sagging. A quick peak and the problem becomes clear a small screw 6mm to be exact is missing and there is no doubt that if it’s in my shop I long since swept it up! Stumped for the lack of a tiny screw!

Categories: Cherry Box

Roubo Gap Stop Revisit

June 25, 2021 2 comments

Last week I posted about my Roubo gap stop. This was actually written last November and I failed to post it. This week I revisited the gap stop and made a few changes. Below is a picture of the puppy you saw in the post 40lbs heavier.

The gap stop was functional but with a very humid spring it needed some adjustment. After looking at it carefully I decided that it really needed to be reworked. First step was to correct the gap between the two bench tops.

I unbolted the sections and using a #7 Plane worked them down to the correct width. Next I found a couple of new boards and dimensioned them carefully, removing all of the twist and getting them to the correct width. The new boards along with a couple of extra blocks were glued together and when dry they only needed minor modification to fit into the slot. The rebuild of the gap stop took approximately half the time that I spent trying to fit and adjust the improperly made first stop.

Categories: Roubo

Gap Stops, and Puppies

June 9, 2021 Leave a comment

The day started early with what appeared to be a simple glue up with minor adjustments. Let no one think that the simplest of pieces take the least amount of time. The Roubo bench has many features that make it the most critical tool in a Hand Tool woodworkers shop. In the version I am building one of the features is the split top and subsequent gap stop. It’s another work holding device that I hope will become a useful tool.

Split Top Roubo Bench

Making the gap stop consists of gluing spacers between two pieces of lumber and fitting it into the gap. Nothing simpler, a great start to the day! It’s now one day later and it just fits, needs more adjustment and on top of that I’ve got a nice dent in the wall to repair….let me explain! Oh and I’ve not told anyone about the dent so let’s keep it quiet.

The Gap Stop consists of two boards, the length of the bench, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Spacers are used to glue the boards together providing a stop mid bench that can be used for planing against. The spacers also provide an area where tools can be placed so they don’t roll off the bench.

I cut the two outer boards and all of the spacers that would be needed. The two outer boards twisted magnificently and required a lot of work to get them close to flat. Then I checked my measurements and realized it was a little wider then I intended. Not to worry I planned to run it through through my planer. Next I check the actual gap between the two parts of the bench and realized that they were also a little wider then planned. So being In a hurry I clamped the boards to the table to prevent twist and glued everything up. Next morning I had a slightly twisted gap stop that wouldn’t fit in the gap. So I ran the gap stop through the planer. It only took two passes to begin showing a very strange variation in thickness.

Standing and staring at the stop for a minute I realized that the stop was flexing in the planer under the pressure from the guide rollers. I set them on the bench and hand planed them to fit.

A couple of thoughts that may help someone in the future. Make sure your boards have no twist, add a couple of additional spacers. Secure your work piece before planing, Be familiar with your tools and how they operate. Don’t assume the small stuff is easy! Enjoy the puppy picture!

Categories: Roubo