Thursday, February 27, 2014

Table Joinery

Uncle Wolfie thought it was christmas (my dad's Record jointer plane). What a treat cleaning up those long walnut edges. Sometimes you have to walk into the shop in the morning, take uncle wolfie off the rack and stretch his legs.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Catching up with Santa

Santa brought me a few goodies for the hand tool rack, including this 3/4 Veritas shoulder plane, that have been patiently waiting in the shop. I was very impressed with the machining quality of the Veritas router plane I got last year, so was expecting more of the same. Not only was the sole not square with the shoulders (kind of fundamental for a shoulder plane), but the shoulders weren't even close to flat. Get it together guys. I'm all for checking and fine-tuning your new tool, but there's no excuse for not being within tight acceptable tolerances.

I know this should have been returned to Lee Valley, but like most woodworkers I've become accustomed to tuning up tools out of the box, and couldn't justify the time and money to return it. I'm sure this is why tool companies continue to do sloppy QC, unacceptable levels of workmanship are not brought to their attention. So I don't think I've done anything to help the cause. Anyway, to address the problems I clamped a jointed piece of wood to my bench with some sticky back sandpaper underneath, and very carefully lapped the sides and sole using the wood to keep things square. The sides seemed to stay parallel and everything squared up nicely, but this could have taken a lot longer than the hour or two had things gone sideways. No doubt this will be another useful tool that certainly comes to hand very nicely.

Time to Make More Planks

Finally, I have an apprentice glue-up buddy. It dawned on me that the boy shows a real knack for sticking things together, so he's been recruited. Here's the delivery and milling of the 12/4 walnut for the dining table & bench (quarter sawn for the aprons, rift for the legs), and glueing up the aprons (4" wide by 1.5" thick). The rough stock was only available in 13 foot lengths, pretty hefty sticks. I spent the better part of an afternoon investigating them and planning the cross cuts, not wanting to get it wrong. But it's always a bit of a gamble, and only ended up with what I wanted after re-milling the legs. The Shelix cutterhead on the planer started paying dividends, it's first big test, flawless performance.