Getting My Wood.
I started looking for a project soon after internationals last year. I started by browsing projects on fine woodworking and a small portable writing desk caught my eye. I showed my dad and we contacted the man that built it. He said that he didn’t have any plans for it because he had constructed it from a similar piece. From there we started researching variations. We found a site with over a hundred in many different forms. A tri-fold stood out to me because of its unique three opening lid and hidden drawers. Through the summer we worked on plans and tried to guess from the pictures how it was constructed. I started practicing cutting the joinery that was required. We started building a prototype out of poplar to identify problems, check overall proportions and practice the techniques required. We stopped when we had a complete shell, but stopped short of the small details.
It was now time to buy my wood and start the project. I chose mahogany and accented it with Wenge. I also used white maple as a secondary wood of the inner drawers because it has a good contrast. We needed some mahogany thick enough to re-saw to make the outside grain appear to connect all the way around. We found some 16/4 mahogany that was 11 in. wide and 6 feet long. This was enough to create the whole project out of the same board, ensuring that all the grain and colors matched. When we brought it home we let it acclimate in the shop for about five days.
1. I cut the piece at 40 in.
2. I skim planned it in the planner to get a flat surface for re-sawing.
3. I jointed it to create a 90 degree side.
4. I sawed two pieces at an inch and an eighth to get the sides.
5. I re-sawed two pieces at five-eighths to get the top and bottom.
6. I was left with a piece that I was able to mill to a quarter inch for dividers and miscellaneous parts.
7. I clamped all the pieces flat on the lay-out table to keep them from warping and cupping, as re-sawed boards tend to.
8. I let them re-acclimate for several days then milled them to their final dimensions.
9. I put them back in the clamps until I was ready to cut the joinery and glue them up.
Here is a short video of the process so far.
See more on this project at http://www.planeoldwood.com/writing-box-2010.html
-- Jeff Waggoner, https://www.facebook.com/PlaneOldWood/