|Forum topic by BustedClock||posted 11-04-2013 04:29 PM||664 views||0 times favorited||2 replies|
11-04-2013 04:29 PM
First off, I’m a noob. I hadn’t ever done anything, really, until I started the Intro to Woodworking class at Red Rocks Community College.
For my final project, I decided to make a coffee table. At the local hardwood dealer, I ended up getting Catalpa because the sales person said it was “pretty easy” to work. Just what I needed after a disaster trying to make a stool from curly soft maple!
Well, Catalpa does plane fairly nicely—although there is some reversing grain. Of course, reversing grain doesn’t scare me much after a disaster trying to make… My problem, however, is chopping mortises. I wanted to do this by hand, but it seems Catalpa is really really soft. Maybe my chisels just aren’t as sharp as I thought they were, but I ended up with a whole lot of fibers and not much in the way of wood chips. I used a bevel-edge chisel per Paul Sellers. I guess it’s relevant that I was chopping the mortises cross-grain.
The instructor says I can drill out, then clean, the mortises; so I guess that’s what I’ll do. But I’d still like to know whether this is a lack of skill problem, a problem with improperly sharpened chisels, or I just fell victim to an unruly species of wood. This is frustrating!
Randy in Denver
-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.