Time to Step Up My Skills #2: The Project and The Wood

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Blog entry by AngieO posted 05-04-2013 02:17 PM 2246 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beginning - My Space and My Tools Part 2 of Time to Step Up My Skills series Part 3: Progress update... There hasn't been much :( »

It’s another beautiful day in Southern Indiana. My kids are all gone for the day and I’m home alone. What do you think I’m going to do today??? LOL… YEP! I’m going to be in my shop all day.

First, since I know I won’t come in for a while once I get out there, I thought I’d give you Part 2 of this series and talk about the the Project and the Wood that I’ll be using. As I said before, if you look at the projects I’ve posted, I’ve done some jigs and a few other projects that are just pretty basic skills. I have some pretty lofty goals of building my own bedroom suit. Those lofty goals don’t stop there either. But I know it’s going to take some time to get to where I’m going. I’m not great at patience but this year and this passion for woodworking has taught me to appreciate being patient.

Picking the project and the wood was actually pretty easy. Being a member of LJ’s has provided me with a wonderful community of woodworkers to draw both inspiration and knowledge. It also gives the opportunity to make connections with others that share my passion. Recently I have made friends with several fellow LJ’ers. Steve, (Alongiron), had emailed me plans for a project that he thought I might be interested in. Its a simple piece but at the same time has enough to push my skills to the next level. Here is a pic of the piece from the plans

It’s a Nantucket Bench with through tenons. Since I have not done either mortises or tenons before I knew it would be a good challenge. But there’s more to it than just that. As I looked over the plan I noticed things that I’ve just not done before. The ends are made of three boards and the mortises are made on a table saw. The tenons for the stetchers are also done on the table saw. Also, the stretchers have a chamfer on the tenons. I will probably end up doing those by hand. The seat also has 45 degree cut on the support rails. And, as you can see, the ends of the bench have a curve to them that I will need to cut out. So there is a little bit going on with this simple bench. Here’s a little snippet of the plans that show what I’m talking about.

For you experienced woodworkers this may seem simple. And maybe it is. But when it’s your first time with many of these techniques, it is a great challenge to take your skills to the next level.

As for the wood… Cherry! While I made a small (very small) picture frame out of Oak, this will also be my first project made out of something other than Pine. Steve and I had a chance to meet up, have lunch, share stories and he had a chance to “pay it forward”. If you read his recent post about the Cherry he acquired, you may know what I’m talking about. But he was kind enough to bring me a few boards to complete my project. I loaded three 8’ boards of Cherry in my minivan. I was pretty excited. Heck… I still am! LOL

So… Now I’m off to the shop to make some sawdust. I’m planning on starting another doll bed for my other step daughter. It’s going to be a pretty simple build and it is very different from the last one I built. But I will be spending most of my time with some scrap pine that I have and practicing making the mortise and tenons on my table saw. I’ll probably also take the advice of another LJ’er and send that Cherry through the planer today. It was suggested to not plane it to the exact thickness I want yet.

Hope you all have a wonderful day. I know I will. A day in the shop creating and learning… what could be better! :)

13 comments so far

View Alongiron's profile


647 posts in 2659 days

#1 posted 05-04-2013 03:25 PM

Hope you have a good day in the shop today!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View NormG's profile


5955 posts in 2969 days

#2 posted 05-04-2013 03:26 PM

Great plan, can’t wait to see the completed project. That is a pretty good idea on the process to cut the tenons on the table saw.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#3 posted 05-04-2013 03:28 PM

I like the design ,enjoy the process .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2156 days

#4 posted 05-04-2013 03:34 PM

enjoy your day in the shop.can’t wait to see it finished.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2451 days

#5 posted 05-04-2013 04:11 PM

Looks like a fun project. Gotta love cherry. It looks amazing and it’s really nice to work with.

-- Brian Timmons -

View revieck's profile


262 posts in 3036 days

#6 posted 05-04-2013 04:56 PM

Angie, that looks like a good project to step up your wood working skills on! It’s may 4th, and I can’t plant corn(rained out) so I’m going to quit a little early and get some time in the woodshop my self! Good luck Angie, and thanks to Steve for taking the time and helping ( or as we say in southeren Indiana… help’en) you with wood and advice.

-- Don't be at the airport when your ship comes in!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#7 posted 05-04-2013 05:22 PM

Very attractive bench Anngie. I’m sure you will do it justice just from your thoughtful comments about it. I hope you will be blogging your progress to encourage other woodworkers just arriving at this level of project, and also for other who just enjoy seeing a project underway.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tugboater78's profile


2740 posts in 2157 days

#8 posted 05-04-2013 06:24 PM

That would be a nice bench made of cherry, GitrDun as we would say cross the river :) gluck!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2832 days

#9 posted 05-04-2013 06:38 PM

You go get ‘em, Angie. You’re on your way to being a good woodworker. I guarantee it. You’ll do just fine on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View boxcarmarty's profile


16029 posts in 2326 days

#10 posted 05-04-2013 08:09 PM

Looks like a nice little project Angie, Good luck with it…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2656 days

#11 posted 05-05-2013 12:37 AM

That project looks just right to push your “comfort zone”. And you will have a cool piece when you finish it! Have fun.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28933 posts in 2304 days

#12 posted 05-05-2013 10:56 AM

It’s good to push yourself. That’s how you stay interested in this hobby, exploring the possibilities. You’ll do great.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2113 days

#13 posted 05-05-2013 06:23 PM

Thanks for all your support guys! :)

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