Sunday, October 18, 2009

So far so good

Ahhhh I've been waiting for this for a while. No, they aren't done. Still plenty of work to do. After all that joint fitting this is the first time the tables have been dry-assembled and already they are quite solid! Most the "rough work" has been done, from here on out it's mainly cleaning, refining, and fine tuning.

After gluing the tenons into the all the rails I felt I should turn my attention... or maybe avoiding some final commitments heh. Anywho I started a shoulder plane which I will use to clean adjust the frame rebates and got to re-sawing veneer for the table tops.
It takes a while to learn the behavior of your machines often not really getting to know them until you test there limits or needing to make very critical cuts. This re-sawning was a bit of both. This band saw has an 8" re-saw capasity but the planks I cut were both about 6". For a pretty entry level saw 6" of Oak heart-wood aiming to cut at a conistsant 3/32" "slice" I think is asking more than most of the users in mind for this product. It performed fairly well. Not perfect but I don't think I could have expected better.
The plank pictured above is actually Narra, which went easier as it is not nearly as dense.

The Oak one the right is going to the Shedua tables and the Narra to the Kwila tables. Oh man this Narra is beautiful! It is so chatoyant. Glimering tones of honey and gold. It's difficult to capture with my camera but in person it shines! I originally only had one plank of it coming from Gilmer Wood Co, but when I decided one of the coffee tables was going to be Kwila like the side tables I knew I needed more. I called Jim up and ask about more Narra and he said he already had a plank set aside ha! He said he set his #2 pick for the first plank aside incase I called looking for more. Awesome! Thanks Jim.
The first plank had a little more red than the second. The new one is a more even golden tone which would be good for a needing to do a couple edge joints. So the new one is becoming veneer and the first one is on deck for the next tables.

The legs are finally getting some attenion to shaping. I chose to do include subtle curves in these table components. The amplitude of the "arc" of the outside faces is only about 1/4" and the relief at the bottom inside of the legs only about 1/8". I find that it's more difficult to fare a slight curve than a radical one. In a slight curve you have less referance for a curve and slight deveations are more pronounced due to the curve's "porportions" if you will.

When coming to this kind of stage in a project it's hard for me not to look forward to the next. I do enjoy the refinement of the basic structures but this is were things slow down. Slowing down is not a bad thing at all but I guess it gives one more time to think and for me projects are always on the mind. In this case I'm also excited to work with some of the wood I have gotten a hold of :) In the photo is most of the material for the batch of Pedestals.
Two will be of Walnut, though two different Walnuts. I got material from a large scale lumber yard - kiln dried Black Walnut. The other from a small scale operation located about 40 min from me. This Walnut I believe when through a DH kiln (dehumidifying). The color is much more varied and lighter. Much more mauve with reddish highlights and purple leaning lows.
Another table will be of some lovely air-dried Black Cherry found at another small operation located just 10 min from where the Walnut came from! ha. I'm hoping I can present these pieces in a way that some out there will be able to tel the difference between "cooked wood" and its more "natural" state. Not to say that "cooked wood" is all bad. Sometimes you can only get a certain hue and consistency from it.
The fourth Pedestal will be of the Narra from Gilmer. Another reason I'm looking forward to these is becase the wood will all work "better" than what I'm using now. Except perhaps the Narra as it has reversing grain.
I haven't quite decided what to use for the panels but I think a couple of them will get some air-dried maple I got from the same place as the Walnut. Buuuuuut I'm really getting ahead of myself here but it's good to get excited :)


Nick Brygidyr said...

awweee look at those tables, they're so cute! all nestled together!

haha! hey thats a nice wood pile, mines growing once again. whats your take on ordering online? sketchy or worth it?

im starting to be increasingly disappointed with my dealer in town...i mean running out of poplar...and having caca planks all the time.

hey i still haven't gotten the saw, but are there any tune ups i should know how to do to the saw? or is it great out of the box?

Oh one more thing know that chinese elm cabinet of yours? what did you use for the back panels, 1/8th bending poplar or something?

Nicholas Nelson said...

There's got to be some small operations around. If you can find them and make some kind of connection it's a nice way to go. Luckily the U of M is up on their forestry department. I even found a list (though a bit dated) of metro sawyers. At some point I'll be making some calls.

Ordering wood... well it's tricky. I'm a bit hesitant to do it but the couple experiences I've had have turned out pretty well... of course it wouldn't take much to shake that up. Luckily the school has had some luck and made connections with a couple suppliers which I call upon and have been treated well. The one other place I have worked with was suggested to me by one of my classmates. It took a little more discussing to get at what I was looking for which is fine if the person on the other end sincerely would like to get you what you're looking for. Now I call any of these places, they remember me and what kind of things I might be looking for. It's a nice feeling, kind of touching heh.
All that said it still doesn't beat being there yourself heh but until I can fly myself around the world I will keep looking for more people I can put my trust in.

Ha sorry for the long response.

Saw! The only thing I did was make any adjustments to get a straight blade. I haven't found the need to address the set or anything.

Cabinet back panel. I just used a couple plies of 1/8 Baltic birch. The curve is pretty soft so it didn't need to go far. I'd say the choice depends on project and personal preference. The bending ply does cost about twice as much and is often a special order item. So there's that :P
What do you have in mind?

Nick Brygidyr said...

hey! i checked out northfield bandsaws. they look pretty intense, what are prices like? But one thing i dont like is...the power switch is like all the way up on top of the guide post? sup with that?

Nick Brygidyr said...

oh god i just found the price list :|

9000 bucks? christ!

also im gonna try out something crazy dovetail wise, cut the tails first...

Nicholas Nelson said...

2nd hand, good sir, 2nd hand. One day I found a 20" in very nice looking condition... asking $2500.

Tails first. I think I've done that before. It's been a while. I don't know how that would go for me anymore heh.

Nick Brygidyr said...

yeah i wanna see how one of us would wrestle a 2000 pound monster into our shops!

and tails first seems to be everyone's choice. i like pins first cause the pins are usually in the nice wood and the tails are in the expendable wood. Also marking the pins from the tails is sure interesting...

Nick Brygidyr said...

oh its me again! tee hee. got the saw and damn sam it cuts WAY better than my other one! it's so small and light!

oh and tails first sucks. i tried both and pins first is way better. carry on.