Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rough dimensioning

Dimensioning the wood has been topic of this blog a lot of times. Starts to become boring. But I tried a new technique today, something gleaned from green wood working: the axe.

You've got special axes for this technique, but I tried with my recently acquired hatchet. This is in fact the first axe I've ever had. Long, long times ago, when woodworking machines didn't yet exist, the axe was one of the most important tools of the carpenter and probably also the cabinet maker. It was the fastest way to reduce wood in size. And of course using the axe every day, they became very proficient in its use. Zap forward to today and look at me. A city boy who always had the luxury of natural gas to heat his house and the lumber yard to aquire dimenshioned wood, so no need for an axe, except sometimes on hollidays in the romantic setting of a mountain cabin with a woodstove.

But I really like to explore new things in woodworking, so I got a small hatchet, a cheap one from the hardware store and sharpened its edge. Victim of my new tool is the door panel. It is too wide to fit through my thicknesser, and I don't want to rip it down in two pieces and glue it back together. I have seen this technique on youtube videos, Roy Underhill, Peter Follansbee, and all kinds of video's from log cabin builders. One big difference, they usally use green wood, while mine has been killn dried.

It's a matter of marking the sides, so I don't remove too much, then hewing into the surface at an angle, making rather deep cuts.

And then more parallel to the surface removing the splinters. This causes the axe to often slip down into the workbench, so I made sure I had a sacrifical surface.

For me this is completely new, so I'm not going to draw any conclusions, other then yes it works, and no it wasn't very fast. I'll need a load more practice. When I was about half way to my marking line I decided I needed to relax my hands and grabbed the trusty scrub plane. Always fun, and after a good workout I had dressed down the board close to the marking line. Now I let it dry some more to see if it warps, before I bring it down to the final size with a jack plane.

Sweeping the floor was the next job.

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