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Forum topic by yrob posted 1033 days ago 1044 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


1033 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: milling joining

One of the characteristics of hand tool work is the search for the perfectly, jointed, level and square board.

I learned early enough that if you skip that phase, nothing lines up, your joints are bad, etc..

So, right now, I am making a cabinet toolchest (Tom Fidgen's design). Started from rough 4/4 lumber and dimensioned by hand, squared and jointed. This is a small project, yet it took me 4 days to get most of the parts milled.

In the process of course, I “adjusted” the dimensions of the original project. After milling the ends, I ended up a little short (1/8 or so) so I adjusted the sides. After making the lid, I adjusted the height of the sides again to make it flush..

I rarely end up with the initial measurements, always adjust one piece relative to the other (by gauging,not measuring) when I work with hand tools.

Still, there is something really satisfactory about starting from a rough piece of lumber and producing a “perfect board”. This is one of the things I enjoy most when using hand tools.

-- Yves


13 replies so far

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Bill White

3352 posts in 2564 days


#1 posted 1033 days ago

Sounds like you have been lookin’ over my shoulder.
I keep cutting and the parts are still too short. DUH!!!
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


#2 posted 1033 days ago

Its not finished yet. I just got done cutting, squaring and planing and preping all the parts for the box. I am using maple and the lid is made of walnut. Its probably gonna be heavy. No problems, I am not planning to go merrily skip over the stream with it like Roy Underhill does in his show intro.

-- Yves

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cellophane

42 posts in 1112 days


#3 posted 1031 days ago

How are you prepping your boards? I’ve tried to joint / plane by hand and I usually end up with 1/2 as much board as I started with or a skislope for a board.

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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


#4 posted 1031 days ago

I joint and plane by hand starting from rough stock.

Typically, I first cut to rough size with an inch extra in every dimension but thickness.

I then flatten one face. I use 5/4 boards which are 1 1/4 inches. Once it is flat, I joint one edge. Gauging from my true face and edge, I establish the thickness and plane from the other face until I reach it.

The final cutting is done 1/4” away from the knife line. (It takes me between 1/8 and 1/4 ” to straighten an edge unless its really crooked, in which case I plan for more). I arrive at dimensions by planing to the line.

If you use pine boards from lowes or home depot, they can be so unstable and warped that indeed, you can lose a significant amount of thickness. With stable well dried rough lumber I usually have less problems.

-- Yves

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cellophane

42 posts in 1112 days


#5 posted 1030 days ago

I assume you are using winding sticks? Do you use a fence when you edge joint or go by eye / measuring?

I’ve used lumber from HD and some of them had a wicked twist. I can work out a cup / crown without too much issue but the twist was a nightmare.

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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


#6 posted 1030 days ago

Yes I use winding sticks for the faces. Ive gotten got enough now that I can joint an edge in a few minutes. I do not use a fence. I move my plane left or right with a slightly cambered blade to cut left or right for corrections.

I then make passes centered in the middle (look over so that you see the tote right center) until I get a full shaving the length of the edge. It took me a long time until someday it clicked.

I was having trouble producing flat edges because I was not applying the right pressure on the plane. You have to start the cut by pushing like a mule on the front of the plane, really hard while your thumb contacts the true face to act as a fence.
A quick check with the straightedge and I finish it off.

After the plane is engaged 2/3 of the way, start releasing pressure up front and push real hard on the back to keep it totally flat and avoid making the ends uneven. Doing that consistently always works.

Boards that are twisted are not worth using in my opinion. Its too hard to fix.

I had exactly the same experience you had with lumber from HD. Twisted and bowed big time. So now, I just buy raw lumber from a local lumberyard and even though its raw, Its quicker to mill because its neither bowed or twisted any significant amount.

-- Yves

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cellophane

42 posts in 1112 days


#7 posted 1029 days ago

Thanks =D

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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


#8 posted 1022 days ago

This is where I am at now, a dry fit of sides and lid. Of course, I cut one of the dadoes in the wrong spot, on the front face… No problems, change of plan again. I am thinking cutting a piece of walnut and embed it in there as an inlay.. I also have my tails in the short boards whereas the initial design called for them in the long side board. As I said initially, I rarely end up with the initial design sketch..

-- Yves

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cellophane

42 posts in 1112 days


#9 posted 1017 days ago

Do you have a larger picture? I’ve every so slowly been learning hand-tool work and I’d like to see your joints. Mine so far have been… rough. I didn’t have the flatest stock (lots of free scrap from a local shop) however and was simply working on sawing & layout more than perfect joints.

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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


#10 posted 1017 days ago

I will take more pictures when I finish assembling it and plane the joints smooth. Still working on it.

-- Yves

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tomfidgen

38 posts in 2343 days


#11 posted 987 days ago

Yves,
the tool chest pic is looking good. I would love to see some finished pics-;)
good luck with it!

-- tom fidgen, www.theUnpluggedWoodshop.com

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yrob

340 posts in 2256 days


#12 posted 983 days ago

Thank you for the comment Tom. I will definitely post pictures when I am done.

-- Yves

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Byron

92 posts in 984 days


#13 posted 983 days ago

This is the best initial project in woodworking in my opinion, looks good so far though. Hand tools are always my go to and let you understand how to intimately work with wood in a way that gives you further understanding while using power tools as well. I would recommend everyone to take up a project like this.

I had this assigned for my first project, using only hand tools for every project. I have it posted in my projects.

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, http://byronconn.com

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