Saturday, September 12, 2009

Frame Side Table - mill work

So the "real" work begins. Here is a set of "negative templates" for the side table. The templates are cut to the finished dimension of the stock desired and allow you to easily see the grain and adjust for grain graphics of components. This is how I map out components in planks. Before going to IP I didn't spend nearly as much time in the milling process. Being in a school for the industrial cabinet shop I was concerned with minimizing waste and time. Of course one should still be mindful of such things.

The component search doesn't stop at whatever surface you have. Every axis is open for interpretation. This is why, to others, I make a big deal out of getting at least 2" thick stock. What I'm doing above is re-sawing at and angle to get a pair of rift-sawn components out of a pretty flat-sawn piece. Getting a higher angle of annual rings shows a more calm and orderly surface grain which is also easier to "predict".
For sure this milling takes a fair bit of time, but this is what your project is made of! heh. Yes it's more "wasteful" and yes it takes longer but this is a "different" product. I am trying to use the best aspects of the material and help not only the furniture but the tree "sing" as it were and reach a level of harmony in it's new life.

After about 18 hours of milling this spread of rough components showed up. It's about enough for 4 side tables. Kwila on the left and Shedua on the right.
It took up almost all the 20 board feet of each species I had! I went through about 10 b/f just to get the 8 legs of each set!

This is what I have "left". Kwila on the right Shedua on the left. The shedua is about 22" long. The scary thing is that I don't even have all the pieces I need! I need a couple stretcher pieces out of each. I decided to wait just in case I have a mishap on the way. I don't like to be this close, just scratching by, but now I know that I should get more than 20 b/f per pair.

Back to milling... round two. I rough out the stock a fair bit oversized. This allows for movement in the wood to happen still be able to get the stock straight again and for any slight adjustments in grain graftics. Each piece of this run was roughed and squared, then let rest for about 2 days. Squared again and brought within a 1/16" of final dimension, let rest, and I have one more round to go. This succuessive milling takes for less time than the initial milling though I believe it is still important.

After I set the pieces to rest again I started a plywood re-saw fence for veneer cutting on the band saw and I came back to this little guy... a scraper plane. I started this a while ago in anticipation for this project and plain old needing it in the future. I had it all done except a wedge. Well now, I've heard a number of people with mixed feelings about these wooden scraper planes. The common suffering is that the blade doesn't stay at a set cut depth. It just scoots up due to all the chatter of scraping. I do not know but my feeling is that they may be using too hard of wood for a wedge. It may look funny but I tried a wedge in poplar because it is relatively soft. The give in the poplar really lets you jam the wedge in there and absorbs some of the vibration that a matching cocobolo wedge would not. I have only used it in test scraping for about 5 min but the depth was quite consistent and I bet if I went down there again with out adjusting it I would get a similar shaving. That's a lot longer than I've heard other people re-setting their planes. Who knows maybe it will start acting up on me with more use... one way to find out. Maybe a Walnut wedge would look better?


Nick Brygidyr said...

wow thats a lot of wood to go through for the pieces you need! interesting about the re-sawing the flat-sawn, i've never had to do that yet...i've only turned 12/8 flatsawn into 8/4 riff, now thats wasteful haha!

i had an 8 foot long piece of maple and only have about 3 feet left of it after getting my parts for my coffee table...with all these weird tapered flatsawn pieces leftover.

oh grain graphics! the crazy things we do to get them!

Anonymous said...

I like the solution you came up with to stop the blade from moving up. It sounds good to me. I'll give it a try on my end and see what happens. yellow cedar maybe?

DTNK said...

That's interesting to use soft wood for plane wedge. The completion of wedge might help holding the iron in position.

My Japanese scraper plane works pretty good, too.