|Project by j_c||posted 12-21-2011 06:46 PM||1058 views||0 times favorited||4 comments|
Well, I’ve been lurking around here for a while, but haven’t got round to posting anything! This website is an inspiring place for beginners such as myself. This is my second woodworking project – the obligatory beginner’s end-grain chopping board! I made this as a wedding gift back in October. (Incidentally, my first project was also a chopping board, and I’ll probably try to upload it soon.)
I stumbled across this site a few months ago, and I’ve been wanting to improve my skills in woodworking for some time. Beautiful timbers have always been a material that I’ve loved, and being able to create something beautiful out of a beautiful material is something that I admire greatly. I am 21 years old, and from London England, and feel that people of my generation just don’t have the skills that our forefathers used to, which is a shame, so I’m aiming to learn a little.
My philosophy at the moment is to try to use hand tools as often as I can. I bought a second-hand Stanley 5 1/2 plane (post war I think), which I’m still trying to tune up. Maybe one day I’ll buy machinery – when I have (a) the money, and (b) have mastered hand tools! With this project I planed my own wood for the first time, and did a bit of hand-sawing. However, I did cheat a bit and borrowed my dad’s chopsaw, and electrical sander, because I was working to a deadline! I don’t have a proper workshop – just a Workmate ‘bench’ (if you can call it that!), and I clamped the board in the bench, and routed the handles with an electric router (also my dad’s).
Oddly, apart from some (admittedly) poor planning which made it unsymmetrical, my first project went really smoothly.
However, this project was the first one where I hand-planed my own timber – a skill I need some practice with! The planing I thought was decent enough for a first attempt, but the face-on photograph reveals two lines where the rows don’t quite meet, which I filled with glue and sawdust. This can be seen more clearly in the close-up of the handle area. I also had some clamping issues!
The thinking with this project was to select three timbers: One as dark as possible, one as light as possible, and one in-between, preferably with subtle colour. This stemmed from the fact that the colour scheme of the wedding was black and ivory, but I like colour, so I wanted to introduce a little. I therefore chose Wenge as the dark wood, Maple as the light, and Cherry as the ‘in-between’ (I looked at using Purpleheart, but it was out of my budget). Finish is ‘Butcher’s Block Oil’.
Overall, this was a good learning experience, and a lot of fun to produce. I now constantly long to be making something! Maybe I’ve caught the ‘bug’?
Apologies about the photo-quality. Due to the clamping problems I was working on this right up until the last minute! I therefore snapped a couple on my Blackberry pre-finishing, and did the final front-on shot of the finished board on the train to the wedding, also via my Blackberry!
(P.S. The last image makes the top edge of the board look bumpy. It is straight in reality, but I tried to make the background a little darker in Photoshop, to make the board stand out a little. No cosmetic editing, colour enhancements, or airburshing done on the actual board)