Saturday, May 17, 2014


I took the time to mill up some cauls from a slab of magnolia I had sitting in the shop. This would help keep things flat during glue-ups. Then I started pairing up the panels.

Note, a quick trim of the two +13" panels to final length on the RA (after squaring up the two outside edges of the table) meant I just had to cut the centre plank a hair oversize and flush the ends of the centre plank to the others after the last glue-up, this made final planing of the end grain really straight forward.

The board & glue-up preparation payed off, a close to flat-as-flat-can-be table top straight out the clamps. Something that didn't go unnoticed...when I took the table top for thickness sanding, the guy who helped me declared it the nicest table top glue-up he'd ever seen, "how did you do that?", and it looked like he'd seen a few glue-ups in his time, this made me feel all warm inside.

Having hand planed my last planked table top, I thought I'd give sanding a try on this one. I was also keen to explore the efficiency of the wide belt sander for future projects. Being so flat already, I'm not sure the top should have gone through the thickness sander. It did need to come done a 32nd or so to clear some tear out from machining, but perhaps a stoke sander would have been more appropriate. The thickness sander leaves lines (that meant a couple extra passes with the palm sander), whereas the stroke sander gives a cleaner finish.

Edge Joints

Between the General and Uncle Wolfie, these edge joints couldn't put up a fight. I really enjoy a good edge jointing exercise. Got them as close as possible on the General (what a treat when your jointer puts a perfect 90 on a board), then brought in Uncle Wolfie to clean the mill marks and perfectly fit each board's 7' edge to it's new neighbour. This is the kind of thing Uncle Wolfie lives for.

Back to Work

It was nice to be back in my shop after an excellent visit to the motherland. Whenever I visit my dad he'll pull out some piece of treasure for me. This time it was a little #75 bullnose shoulder plane, in the original box. She's a real cutie.

First order of business was a thorough flattening & oiling of my bench. I like to do this every year or two depending on how much it's moved. For the upcoming tabletop glue-ups I wanted a nice flat foundation. And it's not flat 'til uncle wolfie says it's flat, love this #7.

Next order of business was getting the General's broken pork chop Tig welded back together. Thanks for the favour John of Alloyworks. The Tig welder waits patiently on the wish list.

I test drove this One-Way knife setting jig, borrowed from a local woodworker I met recently. Going to order one myself, they're the way to go, much nicer to use that the magnetic base and dial indicator with a sharp point. Finally running a board over this precision machine brought a smile to my face.