Monday, July 11, 2011

2 tables for sale, and $500 up for grabs

I'm experimenting with social networking as a sales tool.

The two slab tables are for sale! And 10% goes to the person who finds me a buyer.

Details here:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gratuitous wood porn.

So, I've shown pictures of the slabs already. But now that they're finished, and shiny, and the shellac is providing all of the optical benefits that I wanted, the tables look really, really good. So, I felt like showing off.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hand plane use in a modern shop

Last week I found an example of one of those times when nothing else will do but a traditional tool.

The curly maple for these tables is very curly. But the larger piece was a little bit wound.

We don't have a functioning jointer that's large enough for this board, even if it wasn't highly figured. And I'm not dumb enough to shove the thing through my DW planer and hope for the best. We do have a drum sander. It's not great, but it works well enough. Like thickness planers, what you put in, is what you get out... only thinner. I needed to flatten one face of the board before the drum sander would make a parallel flat surface. So I turned to my hand planes, and a couple of T-track scraps to use as winding sticks.

Most of my planes are bedded at 45 degrees, and they made for a lot of tear-out in either direction. But then I pulled out my high angle smoother, which is bedded at 50 degrees, started working at an angle (as opposed to in-line with the grain) and found the wood to be a lot more cooperative.

A smoother (short-ish plane) isn't what most folks would consider to be the ideal tool for jointing. Something longer would be called for, etc. This is true, but even with that knowledge, the smoother worked well enough. I just wanted to take the wind out before going to the drum sander, without getting a lot of tear-out. And it worked just fine for that. It took me a good hour or so to get this particular slab under control... and that was just planing down two high corners, so I could take it to the drum sander.

Happy with the performance of the high angle plane, I sent a quick email to Lie-Nielsen after I was done, inquiring about the rumored 55 degree #3 smoother. I got back the following from Kirsten:

"Good morning, James.

Excellent timing!  We actually just released our 55 degree frog for the No. 3.  It should be appearing on our website within the next week or so.  The cost is $85."

So, for those of you who have been waiting/hoping... they're now available, and will be on their website this week.

Of course, that frog would only help me if I had a L-N #3, so the real cost will be a lot higher when I get there.