Amateur Hour #2: Nice weather = Not working in shop!

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Blog entry by agartzke posted 08-09-2010 04:30 PM 1176 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Mortise and Tenon Joinery Part 2 of Amateur Hour series Part 3: Dirty, dirty... »

Well, perhaps it was foreshadowing or some fancy trick, but I mentioned in my first (and last) post that the weather was starting to turn nice. I should have kissed the idea of woodworking over the summer goodbye right then… lucky for me I got the bug to start up again a bit earlier than expected.

I spent maybe 12 hours in the shop over the two days of the weekend. It’s time to start finishing the projects that I have started, and to my chagrin, that total is currently four (yes, 4). I have almost completed my daughter’s table and chairs in Walnut. And have barely started my wife’s Maple/Bubinga tressle table desk, as well as a bloodwood picture frame for my “apocolypse” painting. Last one on the list is a recreation of Wood Works Tool Cabinet, by David Marks. This is the one I’ve spent the most time on this weekend.

If any of you have NOT had a chance to see Wood Works, you need to go to DIY Network or YouTube and check it out. It’s a great show, and probably where I learned the most about woodworking.

So I chose to use the same wood as the show, mainly because I was inspired to do it after coming across some resaw scraps of Koa at my local hardwood dealer. I managed to secure plenty of 3/8” stock, and have some left over. NOT a cheap wood! But man, is it beautiful. So using the doors, I figured, if I can spend that much on the doors, the rest better be up to snuff – hence the East Indian Rosewood handles and solid Cherry (with the bottom being curly cherry) case.

This weekend, I was able to get a lot done, as my wife took the kids off my hands, especially on Sunday. I had already edge-glued and rough sized the door panels, and now had to build the case. That took most of the day, as I spent much of that time milling the rough Cherry. Finding out that I just wasn’t going to have enough width for the top and bottom, I very belatedly decided to mill some more wood and make some panels. As luck would have it, THAT is when I found that one of my rough boards was a gem of Curly Cherry. Beautiful grain swirls running down the length of the board. That’ll work!

A couple other highlights:
  • Used my biscuit joiner for the first time – nice!
  • Found out my crosscut sled was slightly out of square – not nice! (rigged it with a French curve shim)
  • Cherry is a fantastic wood to work. Very smooth, if not a little bit burn prone.
  • Built two jigs – 1) the mortising jig for slip tenons, and 2) the shelf pin indexer.
  • Hate my crappy little drill press, and reconfirmed that I need a new one.
  • Squared and sized sides, tops and doors.

Now that I write it all down, that seems like a lot for 12 hours!

Anyways, there’s not too much remaining – cutting some bevels, groves, dados for the doors and back. Sand the heck out of it. Finish! (planning on using many padded on coats of General Finishes top coat).

I will certainly post the pics when it’s wrapped up.

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