The rest of the Sapele I ordered to make the side table commission arrived the other day. On the way home from the lumber store, I decided to document how I dimension lumber. I know it’s probably been documented on every other woodworking blog on the internet, but I feel my method is unique. I also feel it gives me a better chance of successfully handling any issues that occur during the process. Thus, the following is how I dimension lumber.
Once I’ve gotten the lumber home and verified I didn’t miss any major defects during the selection process, I spread it out so I can plan my cuts. For this project it was easy because the lumber was flawless, and fairly close to the actual width I needed. If I need to, I’ll spend a significant period of time determining the best way to cut around a knot, or orient the parts to maximize the impact of the grain. Unfortunately this is one area that’s hard to give tips on as its very subjective, and board specific.
layout the boards and examine them closely.
Bandsaw throat plates and tables saw inserts, both play a significant role in determining how much tear-out is created during the sawing process, but bandsaw throat plates receive very little lip service compared to their more common brethren. I assume this is because bandsaws aren’t as common in home shops, and in my opinion aren’t used as extensively by your average weekend worrier as they could be. I use my bandsaw almost as much as I use my table saw, and thus have put a decent amount of effort into extracting every last bit of performance from it. Continue Reading…
A co-worker of mine, recently commissioned me to make her a simple side table out or ribbon stripe Sapele. I knew going into the project that I needed to keep the cost down, but I still wanted the piece to have some flair. After some quick modeling in sketchup, I came up with the design shown below.
A significant amount of the piece’s presence comes from the legs, they have a gentle curve on two sides that thins them at the bottom to half their width. Two other details that add to the piece, are the under chamfer on the top, and the apron set back. The Chamfer makes the 3/4″ top look thinner, and helps keep the piece light and airy feeling. Setting the aprons 1/4″ back from flush with the legs, creates shadow lines that catch your eye and act as a focal point.
Top & leg detail
Work has been keeping me really busy lately, but this weekend I was able to get into the shop and have a little fun. I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, so I decided a dedicated stop block would be quick and fun. I decided to make it pretty, so I garbed a little chunk of Spalted Maple, and started milling it. It’s 3″ high by 5″ long and a little under 3/4″ thick. Both ends and the back have a 3/16″ square rabett to prevent saw dust build up form hindering part registration.
The other night I was preparing a cutting board blank, and while walking from the out-feed side of the planer to the in-feed side is slipped out of my hands. Instinctively I reached to catch it, and got reminded how sharp would can be. As I grabbed it, the freshly milled 90 degree corner sliced off 3 or 4 layers of skin about 1/4″ wide by 2″ long on my right index finger.
I didn’t even realize what happened at first, then 20 or 30 seconds later I felt what I thought was water or sweet running across my palm. When i looked, I realized it was blood and that the edge had cut me like a razor blade. This isn’t the first time I’ve been cut by a chunk of wood, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If you Learn anything from my blog, I hope that its to always be safe, because even something that seems benign can hurt you.