So I am finally getting started on making a few new pieces out of my small garage woodshop. Money has been tight and I haven’t been able to get the wood I need to fiddle around with. I was given a load of rough milled lumber from a friend who is just learning how to use his mill. Most of the pieces are not flat, pretty wavy but are fairly thick. This helps because I can take off some material flattening the pieces, making them useable boards. He didn’t charge me anything other than the time to help load it, and the promise of donating an afternoon to helping him mill more. In some of the pieces he gave me was this slab of honey locust. There is knots, and cracks and inclusions that riddle the length of this board, but it gives it so much character. I have recently viewed videos of people using luminescent powder and resin to inlay into the cracks and knots creating a beautiful finished piece. I showed my girlfriend, and she fell in love with the style. I haven’t completely decided which route I want to take because I also like the look of the mineral inlay. Nevertheless I began with a rough slab, It had been sitting outside in a pile of planks that he cut several months ago. It was covered in dirt and grass and honestly before I got down to bare wood I didn’t even know it was a locust. I first cleaned it up by taking a wire brush and scrubbing down the entire surface, breaking up the dirt and weathered debris that had built up on the wood. Using what I had on hand, I loaded my belt sander up with a 40 grit belt and got to work. Normally I wouldn’t have used such a coarse grit sandpaper but somehow the only grits I have in my shop at the moment are 60, 120, and 220. The 60 grit was helpful in getting rid of the rough caw marks fairly quickly but I noticed that the roughness of the sand paper left fine scratches in the wood that are very unpleasant. Finishing on top of all those scratches would be a nightmare! Hopefully today I can make it to the hardware store and get different sandpaper. So far the top of the bench is turning out beautiful, The oranges, and the reds along with the tiger striping of the honey locust is incredible. There is a pretty good twist in the slab, but I believe I can straighten it out by attaching a stretcher to the bottom of the bench top. I only get to work on this a couple hours a day so my progress may be a little slow so bear with me.
-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes!