Project Gloats

Ok. Ok. I combined some stuff in this picture. The two projects are the maple end table and the walnut with maple inlay lady's hat rack. The two tools are an IT dovetail saw and an Adria Tools tenon backsaw.


First the tools....

The saws are a delight. Both have rip teeth and are VERY aggressive cutters. It took me awhile to get used to the cutting action, but then again I'm a beginner. The trick was to cut lightly. These saws want to do all the work themselves and don't need any assistance from a ham-handed operator like me. The handles are different but both are visually striking. The tools have some heft to them. I heartily recommend both. I purchased one from each company for the variety in makers and to support both small business men.

The walnut hat stand was made for a friend of mine who has lots of old hats. She's big into Victorian clothing like I'm into Victorian era tools. The walnut is an absolute joy to work. If I was forced to work with only one wood it would be walnut. The only drawback is the slight discoloration on my hands from the dust. The reason it has three maple-inlay plugs is that they look good, design-wise, and break up the monotony of a single wood. That and I messed up. Drilled too deep.

The other item is my epiphany project. An end table. You can see a collapsed four-fold rule on the table for the scale. The table took so long for me to get around finishing, it spanned a lot of intervening education. The problem is I learned on this table and could not apply my new knowledge without making another table. That is sort of by design. My intention was to improve myself enough on this end table to make a really nice coffee table. I haven't started that yet. What I learned....

1. If you're gonna do breadboard ends, do em right. There isn't enough meat to mine and I fear for the long term prognosis on those ends. Besides the full length tongue, three longer through mortise tabs would have been superior. I did know not to glue the whole thing but pinned the outer edges in over size holes in the tenons.

2. My surfaces have a lot to be desired, lotta tear out. I learned to tune a smoother too late, but was prepared to do a lot of scraping. Scraping is hard. First the learning curve must be conquered to get a decent burr, then you gotta deal with the thumb pain. The time investment to make gossamer scraper shavings to get past the tear out was longer than I anticipated. I'm still not happy with it. I now own a #12 (scraper, Jeff) and have to overcome ITS learning curve. I'll attack a similar project with a tuned Bedrock smoother next time.

3. When making turning blanks for table legs, make a extra. I ruined one leg with a catch and had to make another late in the game. The mortises in the surviving legs had been made with a drill press and paring chisel. The new leg got only the mortise chisel treatment. The pig sticker was faster and more satisfying.

4. The tenons on the apron were a little messy. I can only hope a little more experience will improve future ones. You can't see the gaps if you squint. When I get a picture on my galoot web site you won't be able to see 'em either.

5. Ordinary maple looks ordinary until you put a little linseed oil on it. Very nice. I followed the oil with some hated wipe-on poly urethane. I'd have shellacked the whole thing but I'm gonna perch a beer or three on this guy and I wanted extra protection.

6. If you let a project sit awhile expect some wood movement. There was definite twist in the top despite the bread boards. I calmed a little after I weighed a clamped it down. I must finish future projects quicker.