Sunday, February 24, 2013

Starting on the joints

Planing is now finished for a while, and this is the result:

Or beter said, the other side of the result. It's not waste! Someone in the neighbourhood is interested in my shavings and wants them for smoking meat.

But now the next job is the joinery. I need to attach the legs to the rails. I think I haven't yet shown the design of this table, but I keep it as a surprise for a while.

These are going to be bridle joints. After marking out, I use a backsaw to cut the sides.

Then I chop out the corners of the waste area. Just to give myself some room for the next step.

Chopping out the waste with a wide chisel. This is a pretty rough operation. I work in thin layers, and from both sides to avoid spelching the other edge. Last cut is with the chisel in the marking line.

And then smoothing out the cut with my new paring chisel. No hammers or mallets for this one. This is a brilliant chisel, long and very thin. The back was slightly hollow, so it was very easy to sharpen. Other old chisels often have convex backs. To get them reasonably flat is always a chore. But not so on this one.

I check the flattness of the joint with a small square, and correct where necessary with the paring chisel. Using a router plane would be a possibility too, but it works fine this way.

Another planing video

I got some great feedback on the previous planing video from the guys on In short, the idea was that I was working too hard with the foreplane and the jointer, because the shavings were too thick. That's a fact, for sure. I measured one of the jointer shavings at 0.2 mm, which translates to 8 thousands of an inch. Pretty thick indeed!

I made another video, edited it a bit, and added some text. It is about planing the long rails, the ones I resawed in the previous blog. They bowed quite a bit in the length, but I am not really concerned about that. More important is flat across the width and avoiding twist in the boards.The ends, where the joinery goes, need to be square and flat, the middle isn't so important, because they are hidden under the table. The top edge needs to be straight too, because this is where the tabletop will be attached.

Nothing instructional about this video! I am still learning myself. This is just me, documenting my progres. I am very happy with the wooden planes so far. They work very well, the blades hold an edge for quite some time and they are not so heavy. I am no big burly guy, so I don't really want heavy planes.

When you wonder why I have such a serious expression on my face all the time, well, it IS a serious business isn't it?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And then there were two.

The long rails, to connect the two pairs of legs, don't need to be so thick. And because my wallnut boards are 5cm thick, there is enough material to cut two boards from one. But this is a resaw operation, the worst case scenario of cutting a board, in the length, through the depth of the board.

First sharpen the saw. With a triangular file in my makeshift sawvise, which works perfectly btw. I didn't reset the teeth, there still was enough set left after this quick sharpening.

I layed out the marking lines on both sides. And then there was nothing else to do, but sawing. Because it is very easy to saw out of plump, I first estabilish a groove on one side, flip the board over and do the same at the other side. And then remove the material in between.

I didn't time my self. I guess net sawing time was less then an hour. I took a long teabreak in between. But everything went smoother then expected before hand. And I managed to cut pretty straight too!

And then there were two:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ladder for my nephew

For my little nephew's new room. I made the ladder some time ago and today I installed it together with the railing. Also finished the electrical work.

Monday, February 11, 2013


At the moment there is not much for blogging. Just planing pieces of wood. So to make this blog worthwhile I decided to shoot a new video of me thicknessing one of the short rails. After flattening one side, squaring the edge, sawing and flattening the other edge, it was time to plane them to the desired thickness of 4cm. When one of the two short rails was finished in a reasonable time, I grabbed the camera and installed myself for shooting the video of thicknessing the second one.

The board is 80 * 7 cm large and 4.6 cm thick. I want it 4 cm, so 0.6 cm needs to be removed. That is quite a bit of work.

What you don't see in the video is how I mark the desired depth with a marking gauge, but from then on everything is captured. Of course this doesn't make a very exhilarating show, but for someone who never thicknessed a board with handplanes before, it might be interesting to see what is involved. And for everyone else it is a nice opportunity to criticize my planing technique.

First I chamfer the far edge, to prevent blowing chunks of wood out of that edge. Then I use a German scrub with a very narrow, heavily cambered blade. The edge has an almost round curve to it. I traverse the board, because wood planes much easier across the grain. The chips (not shavings) are very thick. Next up is the foreplane also with a camber, but much more mellow. I use this to remove the ripples and ridges from the scrubplane and to get even closer to my layout lines. Finally the jointer to finish the work, checking with the winding sticks to see if the surface turns out reasonably flat.

Overall, it's about 12 minutes of hard work. It leaves me out of breath a bit. With an electrical thicknesser, you would be ready within a minute or so, but it's not a race. It's all good fun and it makes you humble when you think about the woodworkers of the past who did this kind of work for a living. They were probably a lot better at it though.