My machinist friend has done a few nice favors for me, including flattening the sole of my Stanley #8c, so I agreed to build him a pool cue rack for his Brunswick pool table if he paid for the wood. I started out drawing it all up in sketchup (with my very limited CAD abilities, but it does help to get dimensions, etc):
I then made a trip out to Stan’s Hardwood in Longmont, CO to get some lumber. This was my first visit, since the sawmill near my house moved away recently, and they had a pretty good selection of woods. I purchased a large piece of african mahogany and had it rough cut so I could get it home in my small car.
It turns out this wood is quite a chore to work with. I’m used to honduras / south american mahogany that planes and works well. This african variant seems to have alternating wavy grain that tears or gums up if you even look at it funny. My jointer was ripping it to shreds, so I switched to my hand planes. After sharpening the crap out of the blades up to 8000 grit on my new sharpton water stone set, I adjusted the planes for as fine of cuts as I could get. Planing with the grain was still tearing out, though less so than my jointer… I had to plane across, then diagonal to the grain to finally get close to smooth. After hand jointing one face of a couple boards, I ran them through the planer, then hand planed again to remove the planer tear out. Then I scraped and block sanded to get a decently smooth surface. Lots of work, but it does look nice.
I then proceeded to cut the dovetails for the top box thing (not shown in the drawing since I’m lazy). I first cut the tails on the bandsaw, then hand cut/chiseled the pins. The dry fit looks pretty good… a little glue and mahogany dust will make them look seamless.
Here is an album of pictures, which I will keep updating as I progress (since I don’t like how the embedded images scale on the lumberjocks blogs):
-- Allen, Colorado