It’s been a busy few months. At my day job, we went on overtime for several weeks to complete a project on schedule. Things have settled down a bit there, and I’ve been busy in the shop.
I don’t think I mentioned anything about my workbench since January, but it was completed some time ago. The bench finished out at 38” tall, 36” wide (two 13-1/2” tops with a 9” tool well between), and 5’ long. The top is 2-3/4” thick, and the legs are 3” x 3” with a 10” apron on each side.
I have a quick release face vise installed on just my side right now. I added 2 shelves at my left end, to store my sharpening supplies, bench hook, and a couple hold-fasts. I’ve only drilled 1 hole so far.
Every now and then, I will troll the ads on Craig’s list. I hit the jackpot 2 months ago. A guy was selling over 1000 board feet of white oak, with about 250 BF of yellow poplar mixed in. It is rough sawn to 1” and most (90%+) are wider that 6”, with a good deal over 10” wide. All are at least 8’ long.
I got back into practice by building a few things. I made a small dovetail caddy for holding sandpaper quarters and a couple of chisel trays.
Here is a pencil box made from spalted American Beech. The box is dovetailed with a sliding lid, featuring a raised panel. I liked making this box so much. The beech is just a wonderful wood to work, and because taking this picture reminded me of that, I had to go to the urban saw mill and get some more.
Here is a wall clock I just finished, also from quarter sawn red oak. It has 2 coats of shellac, and will be waxed tomorrow, most likely while the Browns are beating the pants off Jacksonville. At some point, I need to get to Woodcraft and buy a clock insert.
If you remember, while I was studying under Paul Sellers last year, I built a really nice rocking chair. It was partially built in class so I could stuff it in the car to get home. I finally got around to completing that. Here it sits, with a shellac and wax finish.
My matching coffee table was brought out of storage today, and it will be completed in the next few days as well. Same story as the chair; partially built and unfinished. I need to clean up the glued joints on the leg assemblies, then glue up the dovetailed aprons and through tenon stretcher.
I made a picture frame from pine. It was a learning experience, that’s for sure. The entire length of stock was planed true and square, then beaded. I used the Paul Seller’s poor man’s beading tool. Look him up for more details, but it worked great. The miters were cut with a makeshift miter box, and then planed on a shooting board. Once the corners were perfect, a dovetailed key was cut in for strength.
I have a To-Do list of projects I want to get moving on. I went to the saw mill today for some beech (only). That changed, of course, when I started hunting through the timbers. I brought home 2 pieces of American Beech (1 is spalted), 1 piece of European Beech, 1 piece of clear, 12” wide red oak, 3 pieces of Linden, 1 piece of Red Elm, and some Catalpa.
The Catalpa will become a hall table. I bought an 8/4, quarter sawn, natural edge slab for the top, and a 4/4, quarter sawn length for the aprons. The legs will be made from the 8/4 Red Elm. I wanted Catalpa for them, but the only other thick boards were just so perfect, I couldn’t bring myself to cut them into pieces.
The beeches will become more picture frames and boxes. I may also try a small cupboard, with a frame and panel door. I have a stash of curly, Eastern Cottonwood I could resaw for the panels. Just an idea.
The oak will become a step stool, so my daughter can reach the bathroom sink easier.
I have several pieces of mulberry, still in log form, from a tree that was removed in the neighborhood. I want to split it and rive some blanks for spoons and spatulas. Being a fruitwood, it will be a great use. I also got a 4’ long, 12” diameter piece of hard maple from my neighbor. She had a tree come down a few weeks ago. I will cut that into turning blanks, and hopefully get some bowls and platters. I’ll turn them green, let the dry over the winter, and finish them off in the spring. Good thing I got my hands on a chain saw. It was being thrown out because it would not start. Nothing some fresh gas and a new spark plug couldn’t fix!