I decided it was too confusing trying to build the bench and the mirror at the same time, so I’m making the mirror first, because it’s simpler. I’ll have less to think about if I get it out of the way.
So Step 0: Stop. Go re-sharpen all your tools. This took about a day or so. Longer than normal because I was trying to grind a camber on most of the irons and I’m not very swift at it yet.
Step 1: Cut all parts to rough width and rough length.
Step 2: Cut all parts to final width, smooth both faces and edges.
Here’s where the sharpening really paid off. I spent a little extra time trying to fine tune my jack plane and the results were ridiculously amazing (to me). This is my first real success with smoothing a board by hand tool in a short amount of time. It’s way more fun than sanding.
Step 3: Cut parts to final length.
I tried to use my jack plane and shooting board to square up the end grain, but it was bothering my shoulder. Carolyn has said she wants to buy me the Lie-Nielsen No.51 Shooting Board Plane for Birthday/Christmas this year, but that’s over a month and a half away. Not wanting to wait on the project I looked around for an alternative method for squaring up the ends of the boards.
I pulled out my Ulmia Miter Saw and gave it a shot.
I figured that I’d only have a tiny bit of wood on each end that needed to be cleaned up on the shooting board. I was wrong.
The freshly sawn end grain surface left by the Ulmia is almost as smooth as what you’d get from a shooting board. And as for having to make things square…
This is a real problem because now I’m going to have a very difficult time justifying the purchase of such an expensive hand plane. :P
Step 4: Indicate which way is front and which way is up.
Here are all the parts to final width and final length and final smoothness in place. All they need now is a little joinery so they all fit together. This is going faster than I expected.
-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born.