|Project by Craig Ambrose||posted 10-23-2009 11:13 PM||4441 views||10 times favorited||12 comments|
These small boards were a birthday present for my wife. They are for eating off, as they do in Germany, and we particularly like to use them for antipasti, ploughman’s lunch, sandwiches, or any meal that the guests need to do a bit of cutting a preparation before eating.
They are made from a huge cube of oak that a lumberjack I met gave me once, which he’d cut out of a damaged tree some years earlier. The tree couldn’t be milled properly because it had swallowed a metal fence. The breadboarded ends are a peculiar spotty jarah that I found a small amount of. As usual this year, all work was with hand-tools, and it took a significant amount of sawing and hand planing to get the wood to the sizes I wanted. I let the slabs dry oversize for a few weeks, and then planed out any cupping. The ends are pegged on with oak pegs, draw-bored ever so slightly, so there’s no glue on this project, just a bit of olive oil to finish off.
My veritas low angle jack plane really carried the day on this one. I swapped blades a number of times to get different angles for the oak, and the end grain. I don’t have a scrub plane, or fore plane, so the initial stock prep was done across the grain with a crappy chinese Stanley #4, with the blade fully extended and skewed. That didn’t work on the jarah of course, which was a good test of blade sharpness. As soon as the jack plane got slightly less that sharp, it just started sliding across the jarah and not taking a shaving at all, no matter how far it was extended. I had to stop and sharpen several times.
I’m very pleased with the result, but next time, I’ll make a shooting board first, and maybe a panel gauge too.