06
Dec 17

Resawing sucks.

Honestly, if there is a better argument out there for buying a large bandsaw I haven’t heard it yet.

Yes, I’ve heard of roubo frame saws. My shed hasn’t enough room between the face vice and the wall to use one.

Yes, I have western hand saws. I either need to resharpen them or recut their teeth because the best one I have didn’t want to cut.

Yes I have a bandsaw already – it can’t resaw anything over 75mm. That there is 115mm.

So, wax blade, yank handle, shove handle, repeat till ticked off enough to pull board halves apart by brute force, plane off worst of the gack in the middle with scrub plane, give outside a few passes to mitigate uneven drying, repeat.

What, you thought there was an art to this? No, it’s just donkey work. And if you get too ticked off and pull the board apart too early…

It rewards you with a great big divot out of one end. Well, at least I don’t need the full length of any of these boards.

Left them standing upright to dry and warp overnight.

At least I got both boards resawn. That was more than I had expected to do.

So I had a play with my Lee Valley scratch stock and a gouge. I was watching some old Peter Follansbee videos and saw what I thought would make a nice decorative element on the rails of the chest. This kind of stuff shows up on the 17th century oak furniture he specialises in and was very common in the period, and since this is basically a 17th century design tarted up a bit, it seems appropriate.

Plus it’s pretty fast and simple to do, though I do need to experiment a bit more – I really need a round or beading plane or a custom scratch stock to form the surface in the middle before cutting the segments out. This took all of five minutes or so to do by the way – it really is fast when you know how (scratch stock bead line with a fence, chop at right angles with a gouge at regular intervals on that bead line, scratch stock bead line on the other side of the chops, then carve one scoop from gouge chop to gouge chop with the same gouge). How to actually end it when the rails hit the stiles is the main problem. I’m not sure how to continue it around the stiles/posts you see. I mean, I could try freehanding it but that seems wrong somehow unless I can get the rails and stiles utterly flush.

And the threaded inserts didn’t arrive today. Bother.

Tomorrow I’ll square up the stock and try to get the panels cleaned up a bit more and do something about that lid. I’d like it to have a small curve to it if I could, but the only way I can think to do that involves taking an inch-thick board and carving it with planes. And I don’t know about that – it’d be heavy and I’d have no way to prevent it warping with movement, which a frame-and-panel lid would address. I mean, according to the bible, it’ll move by 2.8% tangentially over the 30% humidity change between a summer and winter indoors around here (gotta love central heating), that’s almost a full centimeter of movement across the width of the lid. Make that from a solid block of wood and you won’t have a lid for half the year.

What’s the bible? Fresh from abebooks.co.uk:

Basically, a few hundred species of tree, with notes on things like general working properties and data like how much it moves when seasoning and when doing a 30% humidity swing and what its density and tensile strength is and so on, all done by a UK government office back in the days when this was what governments did. Yeah, it’s 1956/7, but tree species don’t change that much that fast (other than going extinct).

Bloody useful books.


05
Dec 17

Toothy prep

Well, that decided where to start for the evening I guess. I ripped the panels first, and then changed the blade because it was just wandering too much, and then cut the rails to approximate thickness and the stiles to rough thickness and straightened.

Before:

After:

Bunch of small thin stock gathered as well. I’ll leave that dry on its own, see if it stays unwarped.

Then on to cleaning up edges on the panels.

And then checking to see if I have enough width on the panels…

Yup, all good. Just resaw those and it’ll be grand.

Then on to cleaning up the faces of the rails and stiles. Started on the stiles and on the first pass it became obvious there was a problem.

Even a close-set #5 left huge tearout, really nasty stuff. So, time for the secret weapon.

Meet my new #6 toothing iron 🙂

Thing about these is, they leave a shitty-looking ridged surface, you’re never getting a clean finish with these things – but you also never get tearout.

So you can get the board flat with this, then come back with a tight-set smoothing plane and scrapers later and clean the surface up.

So got all the rails and stiles processed that way.

All set. Just resawing to do, but now it’s 2130h so I just marked up the resawing with a cutting gauge and called it a night.

Not sure if I’ll use the ryoba or the rip handsaw. Might try the handsaw first.

I still have to sort out what I want to do for a lid, I need to check my stock and have a think. The floor will be cedar for the nice smell, I have some set aside for just that purpose for the last year or so.

Oh, almost forgot, dove into Lenehan’s pick-n-mix…

Score. I’ll have to trim off 25mm or so with the dremel and tidy it up with a file, but that beats a bolt that doesn’t reach the tabletop fully. Now if the inserts would just arrive I could get on with the table build. At this rate, if I can resaw one panel board per evening, I might be ready for joinery on the chest by the weekend and if the inserts get here, I might be ready to start finishing the tabletop by then as well. That’d mean both would be ready by the time I want them ready.

And I’ve a bandsaw box I want cut over the weekend as well, but that should be much faster than before now that I have the bench sander.


04
Dec 17

Not progress…

Hm. Well, I guess not every day is going to be a great shed day. Stupid “job” and stupid “mortgage payments”…

At least the walnut blank for the bandsaw box came out allright.(That white glue streak is from where the bad saw cut was. The design will have to cut around that).

But I couldn’t drill the tabletop for the threaded inserts because they’re not here yet, so I just cleaned up the glue squeezeout from the table legs.

The new plastic razor blades were actually really useful here.

I guess you could just have a thin plastic knife for this (or a scraper if you didn’t mind then scraping out any scratches from the surface finish). But they were on sale and try anything once.

I got out the feeler gauge as well. There were places here and there where I could get a 0.2mm gauge in, but only on one shoulder was that consistent. And the ends didn’t look too bad.

Mind you, the bolts that are to hold the tabletop on… they were 70mm. They really should have been 75mm (but I couldn’t find those. Time to go hunt round the pick-n-mix hardware section in Lenehans and Woodies I suppose).

I mean… they’re nice and all but… I don’t think 5mm of thread is going to have much strength, y’know?

So, suitably annoyed I turned to the new project. Now it was 2100h by this point, so anything noisy was right out, but there was still some marking up to do. And I had to hunt up some timber for panels.

This should do it, but there’s a catch… that has to get resawn.
I’ll rip it down the centerline (well, not the centerline but the center line of the grain pattern, for symmetry) and trim off the edge waste with the bandsaw, but the resawing has to be done by hand because the panels are too wide (they’ll be 4 and five-eighths wide and who invented this stupid system of measurement and I’ll be converting this to mm as soon as I finish converting the rules-of-thumb on panel sizes and groove depths).

I remember the resawing from the cot. I’m not looking forward to this. I’m just hoping that it’s easier to resaw a 4 and 5/8″ board than an 8″ one. And maybe I’ve gotten better at this in the last year. Maybe.

So the posts are cut long to leave horns (yes, that’s the term) above and below the mortices (and leave space for legs as well). Once the mortices are chopped and the tenons fitted those horns can get trimmed off but during the mortice chopping they give some extra strength to the piece. I forgot this when making the front legs in the sidecar cot and chopping those out was a bit of a faff as a result to avoid accidentally splitting them out.

Then looking at the rails and stiles. The rails are straight enough, so I have face and edges nominated, and I marked them off for a 3/4″ thickness.

The stiles on the other hand, all have a kink that I’ll have to cut out.

Lovely rays though.

I’ll just mark off the straight portion and roughcut that on the bandsaw and then plane the faces (I’ll do something similar on the rails – roughcut outside the line and plane the faces – I’d like to save a chunk of the waste though, quarter-inch stock is handy for boxes).

Prepped for tomorrow. I’ll run a scrap through it to see if those guides are behaving themselves first, but I may need to swap them out and maybe the blade as well.


02
Nov 16

Six weeks and counting…

Realised in the last few days that the delivery date for the cot (hehe, see what I did there?) is six weeks away. Yikes. Need to finish off the stock prepping more quickly. So tonight I got the last three laths and resawed them down to slats using the Tyzack saw to start the cut and taking over with the ryoba after the first six inches or so. This seemed to work quite well and a lot faster than the last few resawing jobs.

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I am wondering how I’m going to do the panels in the drawer box at the bottom though. I don’t mind thicknessing them down by a quarter-inch or so (with a scrub plane that’s about three minutes of work), and I suppose the weight at the base will add to stability which is a plus. Some thought required. Meanwhile, on with prepping the slat blanks. Out with the thicknessing jig and got one down to thickness after a quick stropping of the jack and smoother plane blades (the new higher angle on the smoother plane works brilliantly on the ash, I’m seriously thinking about adding a back bevel to it just to increase the angle even more now).

img_9797aOnly got through one slat though, and had to plane a good three mm off the edge so there’s ample room on all of these to get them down to size. I think I’ll get all 8 readily from these (I’m counting that as improving 😀 ). That gives me a total of 27 slats, so I’ll do 13 to a side and have one spare. I should have these all finished by Friday, and I plan to get the steaming jig built over the weekend as well as run the power cable out to the shed, and then next week it’ll be prepping frame and panel pieces and the following weekend I can do some steambending. That gives me four more weeks and a few days to get the joinery, assembly, fitting and finishing all done. It’s doable, but I’m going to have to start mucking about with finish testing soon as well or I’ll wind up messing up at the far end.

Nothing like a nice relaxing hobby to take your mind off work deadlines 😀


31
Oct 16

One of those days

Feels like lots of work for not much progress really.

Started the day driving to woodies and buying a plank of pine to put a shelf in the new garden box to get the lawn seeds and chemicals and stuff off the floor so it’d be less cluttered, and buying a padlock so the newly organised chemicals were out of junior’s reach.

Then finished off the hammer holder.

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And then immediately remembered the other two hammers sitting in a box in the kitchen waiting to come out to the shed. Feck’s sakes…

Then took the frame and the door off the shed, and fitted better hinges than the ones that were on it, learning as I went just how much expense was spared when building this shed. Honestly, I’m rather surprised it’s still standing, it was so shoddily assembled. But I got it re-hung on the new hinges after a lot of faffing about to get it to swing cleanly, and then I moved on to changing the hasp from a simple bolt to a van lock type of thing.

Which wouldn’t fit. At all. I’d have to hack a four-inch section out of the door frame altogether and even then I’d have to take down the interior wall to fix it properly. By the time I found that out though, I had three new 8mm holes drilled in the door. Ugh.

So I reassembled the old crappy hasp, putting screws in all of the screwholes this time just to be wild and carefree about it, and I’ll have to go order another one off ebay tonight. There have been some burglaries around here over the last year or so, no point tempting fate.

So after having wasted half a day on that, we then had the trick-or-treaters round for a few hours, and took junior to see his first fireworks, which was fun.

By now I’m starting to realise I’ve spent a four-day weekend working on the shed and the crib hasn’t seen much progress. So feck, it’s dark and I can’t get the jig built. I can at least resaw a slat. My new Tyzack 1900s era saw arrived in the post on friday, with a set of teeth on it like it hadn’t been sharpened since it was made. But here’s my new Bahco saw file, one of the best saw files available today according to everyone from Paul Sellers to all the youtubers who copy his stuff ad nauseum (with their own added errors just for fun).

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If this is the best saw file available today, I think we’d better get used to disposable hardpoint saws.

Despite the thing snapping within the handle not just once, but twice, I eventually managed to get some sort of sharpened teeth on the saw (but honestly, I’m going to have to file them all off and recut them from scratch sooner or later, they were in brutal shape), and I resawed one slat with the new saw.

Or rather, I did half of the resawing with the new saw. It does cut, and it’s more steerable than the ryoba if it drifts, but it’s horribly slow by comparison to the ryoba so in the end I just gave up and used the ryoba on it. I don’t know if it’s the teeth on the tyzack or the kerf or what, but it was dog slow getting through that ash. And it splintered the corners on the exit quite a bit, it was not a clean cut. I should be able to use both slats but only because I already finished one face; there’s only enough margin to clean up one face from the cut, it was that bad.

And that’s it. Four days off, one lath resawn to give two unfinished slats. This was not the kind of day that leaves you feeling like you’re making progress…


26
Oct 16

More resawing prep…

Spent this evening’s hour in the shed getting the next four laths ready for the resawing by ripping them out of the prepped plank from yesterday.

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It’s a tad finicky making a long rip in a board with a ryoba saw, at least on the initial setup. I mean, once the saw is established in the groove and the board is upright, it can tend to track like a laser down the board (unless it hits a knot at a glancing angle); but if that initial inch or so is off-line, then the saw wants to keep going in that initial incorrect direction and it can be a pain to correct because the teeth at the other side of the ryoba will dig in if you turn the blade even a little and the lack of any set means the kerf is nice and thin but it also means you have no room to turn the blade. So that initial setup gets very finicky…

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Richard Maguire’s got a slightly different way of doing this, but if your shed is all of eight feet tall at the absolute highest point (and five feet at the lowest), his approach is not really all that possible…

Maybe if I ever get round to building a sawbench I could manage this, but that won’t be for a short while yet (I have the material and an idea for a design but I need to rework that if I’m going to allow for standing on the thing while ripping)

Mind you, when it tracks right, it leaves a lovely clean cut that needs at most three or four strokes with a plane to clean up. And now I have four clean laths ready to be resawn down to slats, which will give me a total of 27 to use in the crib (I’ll probably drop one for symmetry, which will leave me with six unused slats to test finishes on and practice joinery with, or to reuse in other small projects around the place).

Even the end grain is pretty

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Yeah, I know, an edge or two needs squaring up. I’ll do that before the marking up for the resawing. But you have to admit, that ash has some lovely grain to it.


24
Oct 16

Cleaning up

Tonight was mostly cleaning down from the weekend. I broke down the jig, saving the screws and while the sharp hammer blow took care of the glued on blocks, it did it by removing the block and the top millimeter of the MDF. Oh well. Have to rebuild it anyway. Need taller blocks and I’ll probably cut a bit of the MDF base off to make a drying form as well (the idea is you bend it on the bending form, let it on that, then take it off, remove the bag and the strap and all that, and then clamp it to the drying form and leave it there for a week to dry and set fully).

Then it was time to start in on the next eight slats for the cot. I got the remaining half of the 72″ ash board I got the last eight from and cut 31″ off that (the ends were a bit ragged so I left room to trim it back to 30″), and brushed off the muck.

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Kindof mucky still really, but that’s what you get if you sit about in a timber yard for ages and then a shed. But fifteen minutes with a jack plane on the faces, edges and on the ends with a shooting board later…

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It’s just lovely. It feels like slightly textured glass, there’s lovely grain in it, it’s just downright pretty. It cleans up well 🙂 It was almost painful to mark it up, but it needs to be broken down so I set the gauge to 46mm (it’s 189mm wide) and marked off the first lath. I’ll rip that out tomorrow, then plane a fresh clean edge and mark the next and so on.  Ash is pretty. I need to buy more of it 🙂


23
Oct 16

FOR SCIENCE!

There was some experimentation this weekend, some of which didn’t work and the rest of which were… learning opportunities. I got the last slat planed to thickness, but lost one along the way because I couldn’t get it to thickness, there was a split in it from poor resawing that was diving down below the minimum line and it wasn’t recoverable. So next week I’ll take another 30″ off the ash board I have, plane it flat, hack it into 2″ wide laths, and resaw them down and wow does this ever teach you why we invented bandsaws.

Meanwhile, I had two experiments to run. One was to try to avoid drowning in the growing mound of shavings I’m generating…

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Honestly, it’s getting silly now. I’ve lost two clamps to it. Seriously, somewhere under there is a sash clamp, a lidl F-clamp, four boxes of lawn seed and a container of round-up. And normally you’d just use a broom, but the space is so small and restricted that a broom would honestly be more hassle than help. So I got an aldi wet-and-dry shop vac and tried that, but while it could grab the dust and some shavings, the shavings clogged it up pretty fast. Well, there’s a solution to that – it’s a thing called a cyclone seperator. Think of a conical funnel with a lid on it. The vacuum connects to the lid, and you connect another hose to the side of the funnel angled to cause the incoming stream of stuff to spin, whereupon is slows down and drops to the bottom of the funnel and into a barrel mounted there.

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And there it is…

…but it doesn’t work. There’s very little suction, because it leaks air everywhere. Normally the barrel underneath would be air-tight (they’re normally used to store liquids after all), with a seal in place around the lid. Here, it’s a bin and the lid is a chunk of mdf clipped in place by the handles. I suppose it was asking a lot of physics 😀 I’ll have to find a proper barrel, pay more attention to seals, and try again. The bin will go to waste, as in, I’ll use it as a bin for garden waste, but I foresee a trip to somewhere that sells barrels soon. Which, oddly enough, is a very short list it seems. I’m a bit hesitant to order one off amazon because who the hell posts a barrel? I’d never be able to look the postman in the eye again. Not to mention the point that if the Firearms Unit hears I’m getting barrels posted to me, they might take it up the wrong way…

The other experiment, which went slightly better, was to test steambending walnut. The idea is simple – wood is stiff because of a (fairly complex) chemical called lignin. It melts around 150C (well, there are several melting temperatures because your average tree will have lots of slightly different lignins – apparently it’s a challange for people studying the stuff to seperate them out, there are so many), but it will soften around 100C which is a nice convenient temperature as you just have to generate steam and that’s fairly easy.

So the theory is, take the wood, expose it to steam for a time (the rule of thumb is one hour per inch of thickness), then clamp it into a jig and bend it to the desired curve. This is normally done with a sealed box of some kind (either made from wood or PVC pipe or whatever) and then you pull the wood from the box with big thick gloves and as quickly as you can, clamp it into the jig and bend it before it cools. You have to bend it beyond the curvature you want, as it will spring back and how much overbending is needed is something you need to know by experience. Lots and lots of videos up on youtube show how to do this, but to be honest, they all looked like high-waste kinds of learning processes — especially because I only have kiln-dried walnut and this process really works best on something that’s never seen the inside of a kiln — and I didn’t feel like trying them at all as a result. And then I found this:

BTW, if you’ve not seen this guy’s channel, go there now, it’s fascinating stuff.

But anyway, his genius idea is to encase the wood in a plastic tube – specifically, the kind of continuous poly tube that you’d make smaller bags out of using a heat sealer – and pump the steam into that tube. That lets him put the wood in the jig, steam it for an hour, then bend it while still steaming it and hold it in the bent shape in the jig while still steaming it and then control the cooling-off process. Apart from the benefit of being able to work on long timbers for boat hulls, which is his thing, he gets lots of other bonuses, like being able to take his time doing the actual bending, controlling the temperature seperately from the bending process, and being able to keep the lignin softened even after the bend is done, and letting the stresses in the bent wood settle out before letting the lignin harden. This leads to far less spring-back to cope with.

I took one look at this and thought that’ll do. So I get a wallpaper stripper, some poly tube (it’s very cheap on ebay) and some metal plumber’s steel strap and prep to get bending. The strap is needed to go around wood on the outside of the curve – the reason the wood is bending at all is that with the lignin softened, you can compress and collapse the inside of the curve. You can’t stretch wood y’see, it’ll snap and splinter if you try, so the strap keeps the outside from stretching and the inside in compression.

This was, incidentally, one of the mistakes I made – I forgot the strap until the wood had been steaming for a half-hour and had to make up and apply the strap while the wood was around 100C. That does not lead to fine tolerances and unrushed work.

The first step though was to build the jig, so I needed a flat surface and some blocks around the curve to clamp to. I had a few sheets of MDF that I don’t really want to save for anything because honestly, MDF is awful. So I glued enough together to give me an inch-thick slab of MDF, and I started laying out where the blocks should go.

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Then lots of drilling, a quick run to woodies because none of the screws I had were up to the job, and then screw&glue the blocks in place. That may have been a mistake, but not an unrecoverable one; I’ll need to disassemble the jig and rebuild it, but a solid belt of a hammer might fix that glue problem.

Then put the walnut offcut I’m testing with into the tube, being sure I had a half-meter off either end, and put in a spacer (in this case a paper cup) to stop the tube from collapsing on top of the steam pipe and melting because of a high concentration of moisture and heat.

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And then it’s just a case of clamping one end of the wood into the jig, filling the wallpaper stripper with water and plugging it in. It takes 20 minutes or so to get up to 100C and then start steaming, then I wait an hour (actually a little bit more because the steamer ran out of water before I was expecting it to and it took a few minutes to refill it so the temperature dropped for ten minutes), and then I start bending.

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The bending itself is not exactly a delicate operation. You don’t quite get out the hammers, but you put on gloves and oven mitts, grab the wood and then it’s just muscle to pull it into the bend. You grab it with clamps as you go and then it’s a case of pull it to bend it a bit, tighten the clamps to hold that, then pull some more and pretty soon you’ve got the bend in. If you’ve not heard any loud splintering noises, you’re good.

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Now leave the steamer finish off the last of the water that’s in it, so another half hour or so of steaming, and then unplug the steamer and start letting it cool down.

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Now there are a few mistakes I’ve made here. For a start, I forgot the compression strap until half-way through the steaming and had to put it on outside the bag.

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It’s also not the full width of the piece being bent, so a good bit of the wood is not supported. And then there’s the point that there’s no scrap bits of wood between the clamps and the wood being bent (and of course, as the wood is being softened, the clamps really dig in and deform the wood.

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On the left, the supported and properly bent walnut (still quite damp); on the right, the unsupported part that split.
Still though, I’m not too unhappy. I know what to do now for the real thing. But first, I want to watch that experimental bit for a few days  to see how much it springs back and how much overbend I’ll need. I will need to rebuild the jig though – those blocks are not tall enough off the mdf to do the job and need to be redone. I’ll also want to make up a proper compression strap setup and some scrap bits to protect the walnut from the clamps.

And all that in the middle of being swallowed whole by a slow-moving avalanche of wood shavings as I resaw another 8″x30″x1″ ash board. And I want to get that all done before I go buy more wood on Friday…


08
Oct 16

Twenty

So the early start plan kinda went to pot because of other duties, but I did manage to get to woodies and get another tin of the willow colour of paint to do the second coat on the shed. And then, annoyingly, got the second coat out of the remainder of the first tin. Gah. Oh well, I’ll find something for it. Meanwhile the shed’s looking okay, but I didn’t manage to get the first coat of the cream colour on it, so that might make getting everything finished tomorrow a bit of fun.

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Can’t say that it looks like a massive difference with the second coat, especially as the colour darkens very noticeably on drying, but this stuff really does need the second coat when you look at it close up.

Then on to getting the cheese press done. I picked up the needed bits of threaded rod and such at woodies while getting the paint.

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The threaded rod will get cut into 1′ long sections to form the two side supports and the main screw and the various washers and nuts will secure it (the hooks are for my bench brush which is in need of a better home than hanging on the quick-release of the vice).

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The more difficult part of this has been getting a 2×2 chunk of wood down to something that vaguely looks like a handle if you squint and are blind. I was able to saw out a big chunk of the waste, and carve the basic shape very roughly with the gouges, but trying to get it even close to smooth was being a pain so out came the spokeshave, which promptly tore the crap out of the surface no matter how I twiddled with it. So I took a tip from Richard Maguire’s spoon rack series, took off the adjustment knobs completely, and set it by keeping the base flat on the bench and letting gravity put the blade in contact with the bench, then tightening the clamping screw. And it worked like a charm. It went from biting and skipping and destroying the face of the wood to looking like an actual woodworking tool being used by someone who was competent. Not sure how it managed that last bit, but I wasn’t complaining much. Before long I had an ugly lump-shaped chunk of tree branch and figured I should stop before I broke it too badly.

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Some butterfly nuts on the two side supports to cinch the crossbar on to the top of the cheese vessel, and a chunk of wood on the bottom of the screw to push against a plate in the cheese vessel and that’s your cheese press, more or less. First, some nuts needed epoxying and there was a small void to fill on the face of the board.

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Tomorrow I’ll clean up the boards and get them flat and shellac them, add the block on the end of the screw and I think that’ll be it finished. It’s not a very fancy thing after all. I’d like to put some springs on the side bits of threaded rod, but I couldn’t find any. Oh well, easy retrofit.

Of course, that last spokeshave session had a casualty…

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I know I said I’d make a hardwood vice face later on, but I think it might be sooner than I thought. I re-screwed it on, but I don’t want to glue it and I’m not sure those two screws are going to last. I’ll have to think about this one.

First though, on to resawing ash for slats. One or two of the resawing boards tonight were pains in the fundament with the blade wandering out of nowhere, but I was able to use the disston to get the line back on track and finish the cut without losing a board. Which let me write a very nice number indeed…

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20 slats out of three boards, with another three definitely unusable and another one as a very marginal call (ie. use it if we really need just one). That’s all the original plan called for. I don’t doubt I might find I need another two or four more, but I’ll try not to 😀

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In case anyone was wondering, yes, you can resaw 1″ thick 8″ wide ash boards by hand, and it’s not actually the most strenuous job in the world… but it’s not a lot of fun either really, and it can be finicky keeping the blade from wandering. As soon as I’m able to house it, I’m going to get a bandsaw.

Now, for the coming week, it’s planing in the thicknessing jig to get those 20 slats all down to size…

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04
Oct 16

8 out of 1

So I was wondering if ripping the 8x1x30″ board down to four 2x1x30″ laths and then resawing those was the better way to go. And now I know.

2016-10-04-21-57-05a

Yes indeed. Much more accurate resawing, the worst variance was yesterday’s 2mm deviation, and much less sweat involved either (I’m not saying it’s easy you understand, just easier…)

So that’s twelve slats down, eight to go, and now I have to ponder whether I break down the 60″ board I have into two 30″ boards and use one of those and have the other in reserve and save the 34″ for something else; or if I use the 34″ board for the last eight slats and keep the 60″ in reserve. I’m leaning heavily to the former on the grounds that I’m going to do another timberyard run later this month.

I also got to try out some new tools. So I used slat #1 in that pile as a test run earlier, but even with my smoother on the wispy setting, I couldn’t get rid of all the tearout on the slat, there was one portion that had awkward grain. I did have a plan for this, but first I needed to make a jig for a file.

2016-10-04-20-58-43a

I don’t care that it’s not vital and I don’t care what Paul Sellars says about dogs and end vices, I think that thing is great 🙂 It would have been a right pain in the fundament to do that routing job against a planing stop and the face vice was warping the wood slightly (this is yet another on the list of JigsIWillHaveToMakeABetterOneOfLaterWhenIHaveTime 😀 ).

2016-10-04-20-58-56a

I haven’t had a task for this little guy either, I knew I’d be using it on this project so I bought it earlier off ebay, but it’s been languishing in a box ever since. Perfect for this though.

2016-10-04-21-57-13a

Few minutes with a smoother and a pair of thin wedges because it’s not perfect but who cares, it’s a pine jig, and I had a fence for my file and I could get on with sharpening my card scrapers. I do have a #80, but I cleverly took out its card and put it somewhere safe, so I’ll have to go digging to find it again. Till then, we do it by hand.

2016-10-04-21-29-20a

And wow, does that work. Almost exactly as advertised, and I think the slightly-more-fiddly-than-I-was-expecting bit was down to a poor sharpening job rather than the tool (the cheap chinese burnishing tool I have is, I think, not a burnisher as the card scarper was grinding small gouges into it…). I am going to need a better burnisher, but this puppy’s getting used on the project for certain and definitely earns itself a place on the wall.

2016-10-04-21-29-35a

You can just about see in that awful photo the part where the grain gets squirrelly, and that was tearing out in both directions with the smoother – with the card, it’s now glass-smooth to the touch even though it still looks squirrelly.

Tomorrow: on to the last eight slats…


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