Shop Remodel #16: Writers block plane

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Blog entry by bearkatwood posted 12-10-2015 12:49 AM 868 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Deja Vu All Over Again Part 16 of Shop Remodel series Part 17: Blue tape to the rescue »

Early this morning the lights flickered to life in the shop revealing that deadly silence of a blank page. Much like a writer with a clean sheet of paper in the type writer (they still use those right?) or an artist with a blank canvass. I sat and stared at the blank sheet of paper I had lain out representing the door to be made. All too many undrawn lines lay waiting for me to choose just the right one knowing the wrong one would spell disaster. Well I guess just like making an omelet, a few trees had to get busted to get this day underway. I finally dove into it and picked lumber that matched in color as best I could and got to it. Like using a block plane, I just needed a different angle.

I broke down some stock and decided on measurements for the side styles.

I made the side that was to be the center thicker to give the tree more beef and to give me room to curve the two doors together. Then I made the top and bottom rails the same width as the thinner style. This all got mortise and tenoned together.

I fought with laying out the tree limbs to get a look I liked. With a combination of mortise and tenon and doweling I had a good half tree laid out. I sliced away the slag and got down to the bones of it.

The slicing away of the fat is fun, a little too fun as I would soon find out.

In my exuberance to cut out the tree shape I cut a bit too wide. I had drawn out where the door frame would be so I would color outside the lines there, but I failed to trace out the panel to give myself an idea of where to stop cutting away wood. Ooops.

Once the shaped are more refined I will rout a slit on the frame to receive the panel which will be cut over-sized to the shapes of the openings. Thankfully I had a few scraps left from milling the panels that I can add to the width.

I got away with one here, on a project like this it is easy to make one cut or mistake that can jeopardize the project. That happens in woodworking a lot and it is how you modify your design and roll with the mistake that will prove how resourceful a woodworker you can be. I get away with crap all the time and I got away with it again. I am just hoping I don’t make any more goofs in the finishing of these doors.

Even with all the overthinking and planning I missed one little step and now I have to fix it. Of course now that I have been through it once I know what to look for so the second door should go easier. That is how it goes, the second one is easier the third is a snap and so on. I just didn’t want to build a prototype of this, lazy I guess. Hope you enjoyed.
Take care.

-- Brian Noel

6 comments so far

View pottz's profile


767 posts in 404 days

#1 posted 12-10-2015 12:58 AM

the one thing i like about you brian is you admit your mistakes to us when you could easily pretend to be perfect and wed never know except those of us that have been doing this long enough who make 10 times more mistakes than you do.but hey thats how we grow and learn this craft so thanks for being out in the open i think it really give the new guys encouragement to never give up and just keep trying.and i wish my mistakes came out half as good as yours.see ya next episode.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View bearkatwood's profile


1172 posts in 432 days

#2 posted 12-10-2015 01:46 AM

Kind words, thanks.
I think you are only as good as the mistakes you can recover from. The more tools we put in our mental tool box the more ways we can fix mistakes and roll with the punches of woodworking. We all make mistakes and it is how we learn from these mistakes, use them to our advantage and grow with them that defines us as woodworkers and people.
I have always stayed up late the night before a big build and built it over and over in my head trying to get it right. I try to make the mistakes in my head so I wouldn’t on the piece I was working on. Some of my greatest ah-ha moments have come from making a mistake and sitting back trying to figure out how to get through it. This blog is an excellent opportunity for me to share my thoughts and I thank you all for taking the time to read my dribble. You have all been very supportive and I thank you very much!

-- Brian Noel

View bkseitz's profile


293 posts in 730 days

#3 posted 12-10-2015 02:35 AM

Still looks go to me…ps mistakes add character and make it truly your’s

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21542 posts in 1758 days

#4 posted 12-10-2015 03:37 AM

Looks great. The whole concept is awesome.

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

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1170 posts in 1133 days

#5 posted 12-10-2015 12:34 PM

Humorous and well written blog. Have enjoyed the read so far a lot – thank you for sharing.
Looking forward to follow your build!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View terryR's profile


6230 posts in 1728 days

#6 posted 12-10-2015 02:29 PM

An excellent blog! Nicely written, and eye candy supplied as well.

Mistakes happen; a craftsman fixes them nicely. These doors will be gorgeous I bet!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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