First of all. What the hell are people doing throwing away solid mahogany… That just irks me… THIS STUFF DOESN”T GROW ON TREES PEOPLE!... well, OK, OK… but you get my point.
Second of all, what in the WORLD were they thinking PAINTING this mahogany an opaque BROWN!.... Sometimes there is simply no justice in this world.
Not that I mind coming up on 30+ bf of some old genuine mahogany. Cause I’m all about it. In fact, I get pretty much all my wood from my little reclaiming and salvaging excursions during lunch breaks and after work. This was from an exceptionally good day I had back in Fall. I’m just now getting to it… It held a mystique for me for a while which did not allow me to touch it.
I’m in the middle of a tool chest build, but I keep second guessing the style I want. So far I have some cherry panels glued up, but I can’t commit to the rest since I’m not sure if I want English or Dutch style. So instead of making a decision, I picked up this mahogany and chose NOT TO CHOOSE. Not today anyway. I will make a small box out of this gorgeous mahogany instead and work on some hand cut joints. I previously rescued it from the dumpster, and now I guess it’s once again time to dive in.
After removing the brad nails and planing it flat with the #6 & #4C, I was very pleased with what was staring back at me.
I’ll be pairing it with this lovely spalted sycamore from a pallet, which i’ve been sitting on almost as long as the mahogany (no, not literally, you wise guys).
Layout, marked and sawed to length. Gotta get the Stanley planes into the shot. (oh, & if you squint, you can see my little Shop Brush in the pic. I just made this and now I dont know how I got along without it!)
Planing the ends flush in the vise. With a sharp iron, its amazing how easy this is, as long as you dont let the cutting edge reach the edge of the wood, or you will have nasty blowout. I hear you can chamfer the far edge, but I just go 70% then turn it around. (Note to self: make a shooting board).
I marked out the lines of the oversized finger joints I’ll be doing and sawed them. This is the first time I’ve done this, so it’s exciting for me. Hence all the pictures ;)
I chopped the joint using some of my favorite tools in the shop, my vintage, English made, Sheffield steel chisels. One of them is a Sorby and the other two I’m not sure, but I love these firmer chisels.
Then I cleaned up the joint (a little too much) and now we have one down, three more to go.
Wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, but I fully expect the joints to follow to improve as I knock out the rest after work tonight. I admit, I rushed a bit this morning, but learned some valuable lessons.
DO NOT RUSH HANDCUT JOINTS (at least in the event that you are a complete noob). And test fit after each cut.
Stay tuned, I hope to make this a cool little box with several bells and whistles. All in an effort to bone-up on my box making skills for the Box Swap 2014.
**Update after 2nd joint chopped:
-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram