Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mill lumber - check.

At the beginning of the week I cut into the plank of Arbutus I had set aside for the box. I mentioned last week how I was aiming at a section with great color in it. It was difficult to get the size of material with grain graphics that worked. There are a number of small knots and defects that seemed to be spaced just a little too close together to get what I wanted. I found one section to looked like it would work. Well, when I opened it up I found a crack in the middle of what I needed!
I was crushed. There is no where else in the plank that I could get that color. I took off for a bit and came back too it to have another look. There was one other relatively clear section that was lighter and more constant in color but got just a little lighter towards one side that also exhibited a subtle curl figure. That is now what I am working with!
Above is a line-up of planes and irons to be sharpened, all of which I'll need on this small box. From left to right they are: block plane, smooth plane, jointer plane, 1 1/2" coopering plane, 1 1/4" coopering plane.

Here is the "roughing out" of the inside curve of the box walls.

This is one of the most technically important procedure of the box, refining the inside curve. The inside wall of the side is the base of the joinery. I have made a curved chopping block and a cradle to hold the work piece that match this curve. Everything needs to match the same curve for the joints to be successful.
Probably the most accurate way to check a surface is a simple one. Light. If there is a deviation of even 0.001" one can see it with a straight-edge or template with light at the "horizon" of the measured piece.

Though some wood has been milled, it has only been for the box "carcass" I had a piece of Plum in mind for the bottom panel but it is now being used by another student. I searched the whole inventory and found this interesting piece. No one seems to know what it is. This board plus 3 more of it's kind were sold to the school by a woman said it was part of a crate! It is a hard wood, the grain structure looks similar to Kwila though it's not as brittle. It feels a bit like Hickory and exhibits striping that looks similar to some streaking found in Hickory as well though not the same colors. This plank is has colors of blond, pink undertones, and dark brown stripes with a seeming purple hue. I think it will create a nice contrast while maintaining the "temperature" of the piece.

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