|Project by Plane & Simple Neil||posted 05-04-2009 02:54 AM||7402 views||2 times favorited||21 comments|
This is my first woodworking project by hand. Took a class with a local cabinet maker who teaches everything by hand. This started as rough lumber (poplar & maple) and everything had to be re-sawn by hand, planed and joined by hand. Not a power tool in sight. I had to learn hand drilling, sharpening, sawing, planing and joinery. Getting everything square was really difficult and learning the joinery was tricky too. Getting the side and end pieces 4-square was a killer. I must build a shooting board!
I opted for a through dovetails for the corners and a through wedged mortise and tenon for the centre handle. I used some old domestic spalted maple for the thick veneer on the handle and also the wedges in the tenon. It was lying around and so I thought I’d make use of it. I book matched it and it feels good to grip. The handle I made to fit my hand and rasped it out and finished with some french files.
The hardest thing was probably re-sawning the base by hand. It came form a piece an inch thick and I needed a piece only about a quarter inch thick. Once I hand sawn it then I used winding sticks and a smoothing plane to get it square. Getting anything square is a dark art in my opinion. But hardest is relative – I’m a complete novice and so cutting accurate pressure fit joints took some practice!! In short nothing was easy, i made a hundred mistakes but it was all great fun. I realized that the project was about the journey and not so much the end product but actually I’m quite please with the end result too.
Finished in oil and then wax – just applied last coat today. Still looks a bit wet in some of the photos. It measures 12” wide by 24” long and the handle is 9” high at the top.
-- Neil, Connecticut - Hand planing is good for the soul!