Live-Edge Birch Smoothing Plane

When I was breaking down yellow birch for the last production of moulding planes for Time Warp Tool Works, I ended up with one block about 3 inches square and 10 inches long, with a partial live edge along one surface.  It was too small to use as a moulding plane and it seemed to fit nicely in my hand, so I set it aside with the idea of making it into a hand plane.

This was the result.

Live-Edge Smoother, Right

Some experimentation was required to make the back of the plane comfortable to hold.  I swept the sidewalls in behind the blade on both sides and rounded over the top of the heel.  I wasn’t concerned with the checking seen in the heel.

Live-Edge Smoother, Left Low

I carved the bed and escapement from the solid blank and fit the wedge and a Veritas PM-V11 blade.  Although I have worked a little with this new powdered steel, this is the first piece of it that I have owned.

Live-Edge Smoother, HighI used West Systems epoxy to attach a lignum vitae sole for smooth planing and a hard-wearing surface.  (I first tried a PVA glue after wiping the Lignum vitae with mineral spirits, but the bond wasn’t very strong and I was able to peel the sole off the body.)

Live-Edge Smoother, Right Low

I’m interested to know what you think of this plane.  Do you like the look?  Let me know in the comments section.

Links:

Flattening Big Pieces of Wood

One of the most common questions I am asked is how I flatten the large pieces of wood I often use in my work.  This table top, for example, is approximately 45 inches wide and 96 inches long.

Relationship Study

Relationship Study

Machinery is Not the Answer

Perhaps one of the quickest ways to surface a board is to feed it through a thickness planer which removes material from the top.  The bottom of the board rests on the bed and the cutterhead above removes material until the board is of an even thickness.  However, the thickness planer is ineffective at making material flat unless the bottom is already flat.

Thickness Planer

Thickness Planer

When flat is the objective, the jointer is the answer.  This machine specializes in making one face flat, and one adjacent edge straight, flat and square to the face.  The board is slid across the flat tables and over the cutterhead between them.  Although you can establish four flat surfaces with a jointer, they likely will not be parallel.  The jointer and thickness planer need to work as a team to produce flat material that is even in thickness.

Jointer

Jointer

Another drawback of machinery is capacity.  To thickness the top of Relationship Study, I would have needed machinery with 48″ of capacity.  Most woodworkers have never seen a thickness planer that size, and I’m not even sure that a jointer that size even exists.  Machines also require the material to be brought to them and handling large pieces of wood gets tiresome quickly.

Hand-Held Tools Have No Limits

Unlike the jointer and thickness planer, hand-held surfacing tools have no capacity limits (but to require more skill and stamina).

When I am faced with a lot of material that needs to be removed, especially over a large area, I start with my power planer.  This one is made for large-scale work and is capable of taking a cut wider than many small-shop jointers.  It has a long sole which helps ensure that it leaves a flat surface.

Power Planer

Power Planer

After having done the preliminary flattening with the power planer, I use hand planes to refine the surface, removing any ridges or tearout.  I start with a long plane equipped with a convex blade which allows me to work fairly quickly, then I progress to a shorter plane with a straighter blade for a more even surface.

Hand Plane

Hand Plane

To get the second face parallel, if required, I use a cutting gauge or combination square with a pencil to mark the desired thickness on the edges.  Then I turn over the material and plane down to those lines.  It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s all worth it in the end.  It’s also a great fitness regime.

Pencil, Sliding Double Square, and Cutting Gauge

Pencil, Sliding Double Square, and Cutting Gauge

Hand-held tools, while not always as efficient as machinery, allow me to work with any size and shape of material I choose.  If I were to limit myself to working with material that I could surface with machinery, my work would look very different.

Machinery has its place, but so do hand-held tools.

Some Ideas Require Great Patience and an Open Mind

This table is for sale and has just been added to my Gallery.  It is one piece which almost never happened.

Maple T Coffee Table3

An Odd Start, If You Could Even Call it a Start

A few years ago, my wood guy, Dave Kilpatrick, stopped by unexpectedly.  From his trailer, he unloaded a live-edged slab of maple roughly 7 x 4 feet.  It was a miscut and, as a result, was severely bowed, cupped, twisted and tapered in both width and thickness.  “This is for you, Chris!  If anyone can do something with it, it’s you.” Dave announced.  Although I saw no potential in the wood – I did not think that it was worthy of even a photograph – I accepted it anyhow.

I let the piece sit just outside my shop doors for a while, hoping that it would speak to me and give me some indication of how I might use it.  Being as warped as it was, not to mention tapered in both directions, it would have been a formidable task to flatten it – only to end up with a 1/2″ thick board.  Sure, I could have cut it up into smaller boards which would be easier to flatten and produce a greater yield, but that didn’t seem to be the right thing to do.

A Big Step Backwards

Eventually, tired of having it sit around with no use in sight, I decided to move the slab to a corner of the yard.  To make it easier to carry myself, I cut it in half across its length with my circular saw.  Then I moved it into a corner where I didn’t see it for a few years, although I thought of it occasionally.

A Giant Step Forwards

Then, one day while working in the shop, I had a sudden vision of the perfect use for the slab.  I found the two halves of the slab and brought them into the shop to acclimatize to the drier environment.

Making It

To fair the complex surfaces of the wood, I used short-soled planes and sanders (some day, I want to make a plane with a 2-3″ sole specifically for this purpose).  I joined the two pieces with a long sliding dovetail which was rock-solid.

Image 2

Rethinking It

My initial vision was to make a table base as seen in the picture above.  However, when finishing the table I needed to turn it over and I realized that it looked good with the long live edge facing up, too.  Ultimately, I decided to display the table in this orientation, although it could still be flipped for a different look.

Image

The Result

I could not be happier with the end result.  The design is very functional and the glass top showcases the uniqueness of the wood.  I brought the table to Gallery Bistro where I took the finished photographs and it got very positive feedback (and some serious interest).  It’s amazing to think that such an amazing table came from such an unpretentious beginning.

You can see more pictures of the completed table, as well as the specifications, on its product page.

Sanding vs. Planing

One of the questions I am frequently asked is how I achieve such smooth, even surfaces.

Planing and sanding are two methods of removing material and smoothing surfaces. Each technique is completely valid and has its advantages and disadvantages.  When deciding which to use, consider the following.

Planing

Plane when:

  1. you want to achieve a flat surface and crisp edges;
  2. you are using a wood with varying densities and you want it to feel flat and even;
  3. the material tends to clog or quickly dull sandpaper, making sanding impractical; or
  4. the most perfect surface is desired.

Sanding

Sand when:

  1. the flatness of the surface isn’t critical or you need to blend curves or surfaces;
  2. you are using softwood and want the surface to simulate wear or create undulations;
  3. the material is too soft or difficult to work with a plane; or
  4. it is undesirable to have cleanly cut fibres and a highly polished, bare wood surface (e.g. to reduce the sheen).

New Grips for My Veritas #5-1/4 Bench Plane

Of all the bench planes (bevel-down) I have acquired, the Veritas ones have been by far the easiest to adjust and for that, I love them.  Blade adjustments have always been responsive and predictable; I could set the mouth to let through only a sliver of light quicker than you can read the upcoming quote, all without using any tools.

However, I never found their bubinga totes very comfortable.  To me, they felt too flat, too upright, too narrow, and the sharp horn made it uncomfortable to brace against my stomach (as I do when drawing small pieces of wood across the plane’s sole).  Rob Lee, president of Lee Valley Tools Ltd. (Veritas is the manufacturing arm of Lee Valley Tools Ltd.), once made this comment:

“You all should be modifying all of your tool handles to suit your own handle preferences in the first place.  Any single design will only suit a part or the population in the first place.”

(Find this quote, among many others, on my page titled Quotables.)

I have made custom totes and matching knobs for most of my tools but a few have only seen minor modifications such as a touch with a rasp or the removal of the shiny plastic finish with a spokeshave or coarse sandpaper.  Shiny handles suck!

Suck:No Suck

Three years ago, I made a new tote and knob for my Veritas #4 which is my favourite bench plane.  I used some really unique dogwood and the result was not only comfortable and non-fatiguing, but also beautiful.

#4 Bench Plane

Last Sunday, I had some free time in the afternoon so I decided to make a better tote and knob for my newest Veritas bench plane, the #5-1/4.  For Veritas bench plane totes, the recesses and bores were a little more complicated to make than with others, but all it took was some careful layout and a little creative jigging.

Drilling Veritas Tote

Making the knob was simple in comparison.

IMG1949

I tried to find cherry with some character but was disappointed, especially so for the tote.  Once I was done, I noticed that the light-coloured grips reminded me of Lie-Nielsen planes.  Does anybody else agree with me?

IMG1953

I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  I compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 5:50).

Deconstructed, Session 4

In Session 1Session 2, and Session 3 I began working on an exploded shelf I’m calling Deconstructed.  I finished the last session by pouring clear resin around the wood parts set in a mould made of waxed melamine.

IMG1509

Tuesday, I unmoulded the casting.  If everything had gone perfectly, all that would have been required would have been to apply a finish.  Alas, that was not the case, so I continued work.  This was my first time working with resin (Crystal Clear by Smooth-On) and, considering that, I’m happy with the results.

As always, I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  I also recorded my build in time-lapse and compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 9:36).

In the next session, I expect to complete the shelf.

The Block Plane

Most woodworkers think of a block plane as a hand plane about 6″ long without a tote (rear handle) that can be held in one hand easily.  (Most non-woodworkers call this a “planer” which, to woodworkers, is something else.)

One definition of a block plane is a hand plane with blade installed on a low-angle bed (commonly 12 or 20 degrees), bevel-up.  By that rule, this Primus 6″ wooden plane, made by E.C. Emmerich Company, whose blade is installed bevel-down on a 50-degree bed does not qualify as a block plane, yet it is described as one.  Yes, it is a small plane easily controlled with one hand.

That rule does include low-angle (bevel-up) smoothers, jacks, and jointer planes in the category of block planes.  This is how Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Inc. classifies their planes.  That means each of these planes could be called a block plane.

But I cannot think of any way to stretch the definition to include a plane such as this one.  Can you?

Maple Trestle Table, Session 27 – Flattening the Top and Completing the Edge

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session;
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons;
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs;
Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving;
Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base;
Session 20 – A Little Sanding, then Lots More Sanding;
Session 21 – Preparing for a Big Glue-Up;
Session 22 – Fitting and Joining the Table Top;
Session 23 – The Bottom of the Top;
Session 24 – Profiling the Table’s Edge;
Session 25 – Completing the Bottom Edge; and
Session 26 – Installing the Base.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Welcome to the much-anticipated Session 27 of the Maple Trestle Table build! #flairww-1:13 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve flipped the table top over and I now need to level the joints and reflatten the top. #flairww -1:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks woohoo! I’ll be back in the shop following along soon! -1:16 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks According to my longest straight edge, the top is fairly flat but I want it flatter. #flairww -1:20 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I’ve been planing by hand for most of the week (seems that way at least) I’m going to start with this. #flairww -1:23 PM Jun 16th, 2012

 luggermatt @FlairWoodworks That Makita planer is a fab bit of kit! I have a very old English electric handplaner. She’s a beast, but fantastic too! 1:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Break out the blue chalk! #flairww -1:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks oh snap! trestle table build back in progress!!  -1:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks The dreaded blue chalk hey? Have fun ;-) #flairww -1:32 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After half a dozen passes…#flairww -1:37 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This side is almost done. I’m going to move the table over to work on the other side. #flairww-1:47 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks umm…where’s the flair?! ;o) -1:52 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Haven’t you heard that checkers are in style?  #flairww RT @Tumblewood: @FlairWoodworks umm…where’s the flair?! ;o) -1:52 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my power planer to get close to flat. I’ll finish with hand planes. #flairww -2:11 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So who’s out there following along today? #flairww -2:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks progress is progress #flairww -2:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks now the real work begins…. #flairww -2:16 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks I’ll be in and out… Nice to see the table so close to done. #flairww -2:17 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I ground a light camber on the blade of my #6 hand plane. #flairww -2:18 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks why so? #flairww -2:19 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks “…close to flat…” Do you know it *is* close because winding sticks show it to be so? The short sole of it makes me wonder how flat it is. But no experience here with power planers. Great to hog wood, though. #flairww -2:20 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DozersWorkshop It will allow me to take a deeper cut to be more aggressive because the corners won’t engage. #flairww -2:20 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard I checked with a 6-foot straight edge and winding sticks. The sole of the planer helps, but does not guarantee flatness. #flairww -2:21 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks Correct! Only winding sticks will reveal it. So you *did* check progress as you went… #flairww -2:22 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard I would not produce a good result if I just went end to end with the power planer mindlessly. Because of the relatively short sole, I needed to focus on highs. #flairww -2:22 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After grinding the blade, I spend a few minutes on my 600x diamond stone, then my strop charged with honing compound. Ready to go! #flairww -2:24 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks @woodbard I think I saw your stick in a few photos… Winding stick that is…  -2:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks Therein lies the secret to use of that nice power planer, Chris. Well done! Wanted to make sure others just starting would also get it. The secret: Always use winding sticks on large surfaces, to get a surface flat. #flairww -2:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard In other words, no tool will work on its own – it requires a knowledgeable and skilled operator for the best results. #flairww -2:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard Does that sound accurate and fair? #flairww -2:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Moi! RT @FlairWoodworks So who’s out there following along today? #flairww -2:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks You bet! A well thought out process, and also knowing how to tackle it, Chris. You, sir, are accurate and fair :) #flairww -2:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Looks more just on the outer edges, right? RT @FlairWoodworks I ground a light camber on the blade of my #6 hand plane. #flairww -2:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks And knowledgeable and skilled operator. I was digging a bit deeper, for others who might not read it all, Chris. #flairww -2:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The edge of the knives of my power planer leave tracks. I could camber the blades to avoid this but I prefer having plane tracks because they show exactly where the planer starts and stops cutting. #flairww -2:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood When I ground the blade free-hand, I aimed for a gradual curve over the entire edge of the blade. #flairww -2:32 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Must just be the photo. #flairww -2:32 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m planing across the grain to remove the power planer tracks. #flairww -2:35 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I love the sound of a sharp plane blade running across the grain. #flairww -2:37 PM Jun 16th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks Agreed! RT @flairwoodworks: I love the sound of a sharp plane blade running across the grain. #flairww -2:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So much for a break from hand planing… #flairww-2:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

@SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks Frankly, all hand planing sounds make me happy. -2:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Want a turn? #flairww RT @SMeekWoodworks: @flairwoodworks Frankly, all hand planing sounds make me happy.-2:42 PM Jun 16th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks Sure, bring it on over. :) -2:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For that, I have no answer. #flairww RT @SMeekWoodworks: @flairwoodworks Sure, bring it on over. :) -2:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I’m working on a task that doesn’t require a lot of mental focus, my mind tends to wander. #flairww -2:48 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s these times that I get some of my best ideas. #flairww -2:49 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks What would a table look like if the opposite ends were nowhere near being parallel? I’m thinking twists. #flairww -2:52 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m reminded of this piece – Why Knot – by Kino Guérin. #flairww -2:53 PM Jun 16th, 2012

 Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Reminds me of the piece we played with in bending class.  #flairww -2:57 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood Very impressive! Put a seat across the peak closest and you have a chair! #flairww -2:59 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks I can’t wait to finish this outfeed table. Time to start playing with form! #flairww -3:00 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This section is flat but not yet smooth. #flairww -3:08 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks @woodbard I guess I’m out ;^} RT @FlairWoodworks @woodbard In other words, no tool will work on its own – it required a knowledgeable and skilled operator for the best results. #flairww -3:09 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks I must leave. Have a great weekend, Chris. Glad to “watch” it happen. #flairww -3:11 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood Off to Lowes for a couple items. Go have lunch, Chris. I don’t want to miss anything. #flairww -3:17 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This end is almost flat. #flairww -3:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard Thanks for hanging out and contributing, Al! #flairww -3:26 PM Jun 16th, 2012

@ToddInMontana @FlairWoodworks This is quite possibly the most perfect joint -3:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Todd! #flairww RT @ToddInMontana:@FlairWoodworks This is quite possibly the most perfect joint -3:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @ToddInMontana I’m both relieved and exuberant that it turned out so well. #flairww -3:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

@ToddInMontana @FlairWoodworks Man you do nice work! -3:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thank you, Todd. Your work is impressive as well. #flairww RT @ToddInMontana: @FlairWoodworks Man you do nice work! -3:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Someday, I’d like to analyze what makes my work nice. #flairww RT @ToddInMontana: @FlairWoodworks Man you do nice work! -3:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

ToddInMontana I learned not to over-think it, just let it flow when it feels good & it all works out -3:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a good start! #flairww RT @ToddInMontana: I learned not to over-think it, just let it flow when it feels good & it all works out -3:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Does this texture enhance the surface or detract from it? #flairww -3:34 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve switched to a plane with a finer setting to begin smoothing the surface. I’m still traversing the grain. #flairww -3:37 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks detract I think. But I’m a decorator at heart so a smooth finish is in my blood  -3:39 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks Nice work  -3:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon Textures can add visual depth and tactile interest. In some cases, I really enjoy textures but not in others. #flairww -3:42 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon Any ideas how you would finish this table? Don’t hold back on me! Here’s another picture. #flairww -3:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks detract. What’s your take? -3:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks very much agree. Not till I saw the wider picture. In my line of work that texture costs me -3:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke Crap. I went back to the table to look at the texture in person but I’d already planed it away… where’s that pic… #flairww -3:45 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m with you. #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke:@FlairWoodworks detract. What’s your take? -3:47 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks what a cracka!!! Shellac? a dark wax? satin lacquer? Danish oil? Nothing too crazy. What you thinking? RT FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon Any ideas how you would finish this table? Don’t hold back on me! Here’s another picture. #flairww -3:51 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon I’m really not sure what I’d like to use. I want more protection than wax and I’m not going to paint the whole table. #flairww -3:53 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks matt oil varnish? -4:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a possibility. #flairww RT @JosephandSon: @FlairWoodworks matt oil varnish? -4:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just this side remains to be smoothed. #flairww -4:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my power planer to flatten the top length-wise. I’m using my #6 plane to flatten it the other way. #flairww -4:06 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ugh. My arms are getting tired. #flairww -4:09 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Even without sweeping them into a pile, the shavings on the floor are up to my ankles in some areas. #flairww -4:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tote handle and knob on my Stanley #6 bench plane are the most comfortable of all my planes. #flairww -4:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks spray it -4:19 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m almost done planing this last section. I could sure use a break so I’m off for lunch. #flairww -4:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks I think it takes away from the subtle curve the grain is headed in. But to get down that far you’d be removing tons o’ wood -5:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Progress on the table resumes now. I’ve got a little more hand planing to go. #flairww -5:36 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There’s a fair amount to remove here but I’m using my finely-set plane to avoid tearout around the knot. #flairww -5:42 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just this one patch of tearout remains to be planed. #flairww -5:56 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Planing is quicker than sanding and it is harder to dish the surface. #flairww -5:57 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And that’s a wrap! Hand planes are back on the rack. #flairww -6:08 PM Jun 16th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks are those magnets and cork on your plane rack? That’ll let you get a nice steeply angled rack. Gonna steal that good idea! -6:10 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn Yes, they’re 3/4″ rare-earth magnets in cups. Just don’t bump them because you can knock them off the rack. #flairww -6:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn That’s why I have a cabinet below it. #flairww -6:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks yeah there’s a cabinet below mine too, and a lip. The magnet will just be insurance. -6:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to put a small roundover around the top edge of the table. #flairww -6:18 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think that this 3/8″-radius bit is big enough, but I’ll try it anyways. If it’s too small, I can always enlarge it. #flairww -6:18 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This roundover profile actually looks pretty good. It needs refinement but it’s a good start. #flairww -6:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A roundover makes the edge more durable, safer (not sharp) and is aesthetically pleasing. #flairww -6:38 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to blend the two curves and eliminate the flat spot in the middle. #flairww -6:41 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll need to find a way to make these two chip-outs disappear. #flairww -6:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The chip-outs were from hand planing, not from the router. The grain is surprisingly nasty in that one area. #flairww -6:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve finished sanding the profile with 80-grit. I’ll sand the top surface next. #flairww -7:19 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks it begs to be felt up -7:28 Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks nice I would call it an “anvil round over” it definitely looks like the front end of a large anvil -7:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Has anyone tried to nap while sanding? I have. I think I succeeded. (I’ve sanded 3/4 of the top with 80-grit.) #flairww -7:49 PM Jun 16th, 2012

tsangell @FlairWoodworks Dude, scrape that mug. I hate sanding. -7:58 PM June 16th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks what did you sand it with? Hand or machine? -8:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @tsangell When working with curves, I find sanding the easiest way to get all the surfaces uniform. #flairww -8:10 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke I used my Mirka random orbit sander with a 3/8″ interface pad. #flairww -8:10 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I turned off the overhead lights in favour of a raking light to highlight surface defects. #flairww -8:13 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Unless that’s a halogen, it’ll keep the shop cooler, too! #flairww -8:15 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood They’re all fluorescent lights – both this one and the ones in the ceiling, so likely no difference. #flairww-8:15 PM Jun 16th, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks just catching up on your progress. Looks great! Ready to see it all put together! #flairww -8:21 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Wattage adds up to heat, whether it’s fluorescent, incandescent or other. -8:24 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Final inspection before switching grits! #flairww -8:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks you look like 1 of those guys on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier -8:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks by the way that’s an awesome pic!  -8:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m doing a light hand-sanding on the edge with 80-grit before progressing to 120-grit. #flairww -8:33 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @roncbailey Only now did I realize how close I am to finishing the build! Wow! #flairww -8:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks! #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks by the way that’s an awesome pic! -8:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Switching to 120-grit! #flairww -8:45 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The rest of the work should go pretty quickly. The first sanding stage takes the most time. #flairww -8:46 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve sanded the top with 120-grit. Now I’m sanding the edge. #flairww -8:59 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Next up: 180-grit! #flairww -9:13 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Done sanding the top! #flairww -9:38 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks What do I do now? #flairww -9:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time to clean up all the shavings I made today. #flairww -9:47 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Apparently I did some planing today. #flairww -10:03 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @MansFineFurn @flairwoodworks maybe just use two magnets… -6:29 AM Jun 17th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks do you still have the chips? #flairww -6:33 AM Jun 17th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks ready for takeoff, captain? ;-) #flairww -6:43 AM Jun 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks looks great. -7:34 AM Jun 17th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks That is just a beautiful piece. I can’t wait to see it all put together with a finish on it! #flairww -8:27 AM Jun 17th, 2012

I’ve put 27 days of work into this table so far and it’s hard to believe that I’m almost done.  But there is still more work to do!

Click here to leave a comment.

Maple Trestle Table, Session 25 – Completing the Bottom Edge

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session;
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons;
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs;
Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving;
Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base;
Session 20 – A Little Sanding, then Lots More Sanding;
Session 21 – Preparing for a Big Glue-Up;
Session 22 – Fitting and Joining the Table Top;
Session 23 – The Bottom of the Top; and
Session 24 – Profiling the Table’s Edge.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Time to get some work done on the Maple Trestle Table! #flairww -10:24 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The table is here somewhere under all this yellow birch#flairww -10:28 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I picked up my Domino XL June 1st. It’s still in the box, unopened. The tenon stock is in the other box. #flairww -10:32 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks To start, I’m going to use my block plane and spokeshave to transform the wide bevel into a roundover. #flairww -10:53 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I first added a low bevel along the edge. #flairww -10:57 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then, just a little more work with my spokeshave finished shaping this section of the roundover. #flairww -11:00 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I push my spokeshave across the endgrain at a skewed ange for a clean cut. #flairww -11:07 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks good to see new photos. I was missing the updates. Can’t wait to see it finished -11:16 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I agree on all points! RT @roncbailey: @FlairWoodworks good to see new photos. I was missing the updates. Can’t wait to see it finished -11:17 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The toe of my spokeshave is too hot to comfortably hold from the friction produced by running it over the wood. #flairww -11:22 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I applied some Boeshield (lubricant) to see if that will reduce the friction which is causing the heat buildup. #flairww-11:23 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The Boeshield did work to reduce friction and heat buildup, but I needed another application just now. #flairww -11:32 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The difficult grain of this section prevented me from using my coarse spokeshave to establish the shape. #flairww -11:36 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I was grateful that the remainder of the edge had milder grain so I could use my coarse spokeshave. #flairww -11:57 AM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks One long edge is now shaped. #flairww -12:08 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because you don’t have to worry about reversing grain, working end grain is sometimes easier than working long grain. #flairww -12:16 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the other end done. Just one long edge remains on the underside. #flairww -12:25 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks is that the top? -12:36 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is the bottom. What do you think of the profile? Would you mirror it on top? #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke:@FlairWoodworks is that the top? -12:36 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before progressing to the last edge, I mixed some epoxy to fill and solidify this section. #flairww-12:37 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because of the depth of the void and the shrinkage of epoxy, it will need a second (and possibly third) application. #flairww -12:38 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

tsangell @FlairWoodworks I don’t detect any tint to the epoxy. If it’s clear, that’s also cool because you can see into the void.

FlairWoodworks @tsangell You are correct! #flairww -12:42 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

 FlairWoodworks The top sits on two cabinets with 4″ locking casters which allow it to be moved around with little effort. #flairww -12:43 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks However, when the casters are locked, everything becomes quite immobile. #flairww -12:44 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I like the profile for the bottom. For the top, it might make things prone to sliding off. -12:44 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke My thoughts exactly! #flairww -12:44 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

 FlairWoodworks I don’t see any need to fill these cracks with epoxy. #flairww -12:47 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the last edge roughly shaped. I’m switching to my fine spokeshave to refine the surface. #flairww -1:09 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is how I mix epoxy#flairww -1:21 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks All four edges of the bottom of the tabletop have been shaped. #flairww -1:23 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m walking around the table, running my hand along the edge to feel for variations that need to be blended. #flairww -1:23 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using my random orbit sander with the foam interface pad and 80-grit to blend the surfaces. #flairww -1:33 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Make no mistake – it takes considerable effort to get a curve just the way I want it. Flat spots are difficult to remove. #flairww -2:03 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve finished smoothing the first long edge. Hopefully the next three will go more quickly.#flairww -2:21 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I finished smoothing one end. I’m working on the second long edge, trying to eliminate a flat spot. #flairww -2:40 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just this one section remains to be smoothed. The epoxy is dry so I’ll start that now. #flairww -3:09 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Upon closer examination, the 5-minute epoxy is still a little soft, so I’ll break for lunch. #flairww -3:14 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before leaving for lunch, I mixed more epoxy to finish filling the void. I used duct tape to make a dam. #flairww -3:23 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Lunch is done and gone. I wonder if the epoxy is cured yet… #flairww -4:22 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The epoxy is not fully hardened yet. The duct tape dam worked perfectly! #flairww -4:23 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I was able to peel back the duct tape easily, leaving behind a smooth surface. #flairww -4:25 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks While the epoxy is curing, I’ll sand the newly-profiled edges with 120-grit paper. #flairww -4:33 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks do you use a shop vac from the underside to help pull the epoxy into the void? (@WoodWhisperer tip) -4:36 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Nope. Gravity is enough and the glue is thin too. I don’t need full penetration and it’s not a crack that goes through the slab. -4:37 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

Carvingsbysean @FlairWoodworks Chris that is really starting to look awesome! How is your day my friend?

FlairWoodworks @Carvingsbysean Progress is slow but steady so I’m happy. I also had a good lunch so that helps too. How’s your Sunday going? #flairww -4:51 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

Carvingsbysean @FlairWoodworks Pretty good :) want to get some carving done tonight. -4:54 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Suction from my dust extractor seems lower than usual. I’ll check the bag. #flairww -5:19 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s not completely full, but pretty close. I’ll empty it. #flairww -5:21 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks leave [the cracks] be. As long as you don’t think they will spread… -5:23 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks can you reuse Festool bags or are they disposable? -5:24 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

Carvingsbysean @FlairWoodworks I keep my wood shavings and then throw them on my wifes flower gardens. Makes great mulch -5:25 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

Carvingsbysean @FlairWoodworks You can always let friends or family know you have it, hehe they will I am sure come and collect it eagerly :) -5:30 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster You can buy reusable Festool bags but I just use (and reuse) the disposable ones. #flairww -5:33 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks what do you use to “re-close” them? I use duct tape. (Tip courtesy of @TomsWorkbench) -5:35 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I use little metal clips similar to binder clips. #flairww -5:40 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I replaced the dust extractor bag and the suction has been restored. #flairww -5:42 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks where did you find them? Office supply store? -5:42 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I got them from Garrett Wade. I looked on their site but couldn’t find it. #flairww -5:43 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Here’s a link from another supplier. #flairww -5:44 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks While I wait for the epoxy to cure and ponder if I should fill the cracks, I’m going to go do something else. #flairww-5:50 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I installed a Wixey digital readout on my thickness planer while waiting for the epoxy to cure.#flairww -6:44 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The epoxy is still a little soft so I’ll continue pondering what to do with the cracks and voids. #flairww -6:44 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks black tinted epoxy for the voids. I’ve been doing a mesquite headboard with that technique. picture when clamps are off

FlairWoodworks @roncbailey How long until the clamps can be removed? #flairww -6:51 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks instead of hiding [the voids], is there a way you can accentuate them? -6:59 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster They are not being hid in any way. I just need to stabilize them. That’s all. #flairww -7:00 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

TomsWorkbench @BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks If it moves and it’s not supposed to… duct tape. If it doesn’t and it should, WD-40. -7:01PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @TomsWorkbench Oh, Tom – you’re so helpful. #flairww -7:02 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

TomsWorkbench @FlairWoodworks Someone has to be! ;-) -7:02 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @TomsWorkbench Do you think this is good enough? ;) #flairww -7:05 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

TomsWorkbench @FlairWoodworks Good enough? Dude, that’s INSPIRED! – 7:06 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks @TomsWorkbench just write “fixed” in magic marker on the duct tape and call it a day! -7:11 Jun PM 3rd, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks overnight. But here is a shot of a leg blank -7:14 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks and a sample for finish. The void was all the way through. -7:15 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

tsangell @FlairWoodworks Butterfly dutchman from the same material? Subtle. -7:34 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s what I’m thinking. It’s also the underside. #flairww RT @tsangell: @FlairWoodworks Butterfly dutchman from the same material? Subtle. -7:34 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Still waiting for the glue to harden so I swept and vacuumed the floor. #flairww -7:50 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I made a jig to cut dovetail keys at the bandsaw. #flairww -8:30 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I resawed the dovetail key into three, each a fat 1/2″. I need the top one. I may not need the others. #flairww -8:39 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use double-sided tape to secure the dovetail key in place while I score the perimeter with a knife. #flairww -8:41 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I remembered to mark which end goes where and which face is exposed. #flairww -8:54 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I drilled out most of the waste with a forstner bit. #flairww -8:54 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a chisel to gradually chop back to the knife lines. #flairww -9:03 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Finally, I used my small router plane to flatten the bottom. #flairww -9:12 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I lightly chamfered the underside of the dovetail key with a chisel. I’m ready to install it now. #flairww -9:14 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I get to wait for more glue to dry. #flairww -9:25 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The epoxy is finally hard. I’ll finish the edge now. #flairww -9:37 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my block plane to remove most of the epoxy on the surface. #flairww -9:40 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks After levelling the epoxy, I’ll polish the surface with my sander. #flairww -9:43 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The two small shiny spots are low areas that have not been touched. Just a little more sanding is required. #flairww -9:47 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since it’s nearly 10pm, I’m going to stop work in the shop at this point. Thanks for following along with me! #flairww-9:51 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This looks great. I’m very happy with this section. #flairww -9:52 PM Jun 3rd, 2012

Gsharptools @FlairWoodworks looks a great idea [for the dovetail key jig]. Could you spare more detail as that’s one of my next jobs. 500yr old oak dried/split on my table top:-( -3:28 AM Jun 4, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Gsharptools For the cutout, the long angled cut is to the angle of the dovetail and the bottom cut is square to it. That’s all! -9:39 AM Jun 4, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Gsharptools Then, just mark the midpoint in length and saw to that point, flipping and turning the key to make all four cuts. -9:40 AM Jun 4, 2012

Only a little more work remains before I can flip over the table top and finish the top surface!

You can leave a comment here.

Maple Trestle Table, Session 24 – Profiling the Table’s Edge

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session;
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons;
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs;
Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving;
Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base;
Session 20 – A Little Sanding, then Lots More Sanding;
Session 21 – Preparing for a Big Glue-Up;
Session 22 – Fitting and Joining the Table Top; and
Session 23 – The Bottom of the Top.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Welcome to Session 24! I’ll continue work on the Maple Trestle Table by cutting the ends, then working on the edge profile. #flairww -12:48 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m ready to make the first cut. #flairww -12:58 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cut the curve with my jigsaw. Now I’m using my low-angle block plane to clean up and fair the curve. #flairww -1:22 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This joint is nice and tight. #flairww -1:25 PM May 27th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Now THAT’S a joint! How thick is the wood there again? -1:29 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s 2-1/8″ thick. #flairww RT @gvmcmillan:@FlairWoodworks Now THAT’S a joint! How thick is the wood there again? -1:29 PM May 27th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks That’s substantial – what did you use to make that much thickness so perfect? Surely not a hand plane? -1:31 PM May 27, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan I used a router to get it close, then a handplane to get it perfect. #flairww -1:32 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The curve looks and feels fair. Therefore, it must be fair. #flairww -1:38 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I’ll cut the other end. #flairww -1:39 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s another angle of the cut end. #flairww -1:40 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When using the jigsaw upside-down, I find it helpful to carry the cut line down the edge. #flairww -1:49 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I completed the cut. I have more control with the jigsaw set to not orbit. #flairww -1:58 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Again, I’m using my block plane to fair the curve. The light areas are the low spots. #flairww-2:21 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The end curves are fair. The next step is to lay out the edge profile. #flairww -2:28 PM May 27th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks have you figured it out? -2:31 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke All the edge profiles in the base are convex, as are the ends of the table. I want to mimic the profile of the legs. #flairww -2:34 PM May 27th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks good plan. -2:40 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before I start profiling the edge, I’m going to tidy up the shop. #flairww -2:47 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I unscrewed the particle board cauls. The materials may be reused or tossed. #flairww -2:48 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve used more than 22 sanding discs so far. They cost about a buck each. #flairww -3:03 PM May 27th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks they don’t seem very long lived -3:07 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke Some still have life in them, but they do tend to wear quickly when working on sculpted surfaces. #flairww -3:08 PM May 27th, 2012

 Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke Yea, it seems a big difference between finishing a surface and creating a surface, in terms of longevity. -3:09 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To cut the edge profile evenly, I’m going to first cut a wide bevel. #flairww -3:27 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To lay out the bevel, I made two simple jigs. They guide a pencil to draw a line parallel to the edges. #flairww -3:29 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second jig marks the other guideline. #flairww -3:41 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve started establishing the end bevel with my biggest gouge and a mallet. #flairww -3:51 PM May 27th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Yep, that’s a pretty big gouge! My biggest is 1″ -4:00 PM May 27th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks are you still going for a cove vs a bevel? I can’t think of an expedient way to do that. #flairww

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan This one is a 9/25 (#9 sweep, 25mm mm wide, for the non-carvers). #flairww -4:03 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood No, I’m doing an elliptical roundover. #flairww -4:03 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood The quickest way to make a large cove on something like this table top would be a series of passes with a router… #flairww -4:04 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood … then sandpaper to finish. #flairww -4:04 PM May 27th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks oh cool. The round over would’ve been my choice, too.  #flairww -4:10 PM May 27th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks I think I’d be tempted to knock of the largest bits with my jig saw set at a 45 degree angle. #flairww -4:11 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan The only trouble with that is the bevel angle is a 1:2 rise/run ratio. #flairww -4:11 PM May 27th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks yea with a big cove bit. Would still require a LOT of extra work. #flairww -4:11 PM May 27th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks Yes, but, ahem, who decided that? ;) #flairww -4:12 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood Some extra work for sure. How would it be compared to the alternatives? #flairww -4:13 PM May 27th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks I think your approach melds w/ the base very well.  #flairww -4:15 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! I do too. RT @Tumblewood:@FlairWoodworks I think your approach melds w/ the base very well. #flairww -4:16 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve used the gouge to remove most of the waste. #flairww -4:33 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I’m using a coarsely-set block plane across the grain to refine the bevel. #flairww -4:34 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s the first bevel completed. I’ll do the other end next. #flairww -4:45 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As I’m wasting away the bevel with my gouge and mallet, “Wasting Away” by The Northern Pikes started to play! #flairww -4:47 PM May 27th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks SWEET! #flairww -4:50 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When chopping away waste, it does not make sense to be timid. When the chips break free, they fly 4-6′ from the table. #flairww -4:56 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cannot believe how long this gouge stays sharp. #flairww -5:00 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second end is shaped. I’m tired and hungry so I’m stopping for lunch. #flairww -5:14 PM May 27th, 2012

DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks what brand? -5:43 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My gouge is a Pfeil (a.k.a. Swiss-Made). #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks what brand? -5:44 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After a delicious lunch, I’m back at work on the edges of the table. I’m going to work on the long edges next. #flairww -6:19 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The curves present a little bit of a challenge but mostly they will make progress slower. #flairww-6:23 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The difficult figure won’t help either. #flairww -6:24 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My drawknife works quickly to remove most of the waste. #flairww -6:30 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cleaned up the edge with my flat spokeshave. #flairww -6:40 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As I expected, this section is difficult to work. #flairww -6:43 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The best way I’ve found to work this section is to use the gouge to chop into the edge. #flairww -6:47 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My right arm is sore from swinging my 12oz carver’s mallet but the gouge work is done here. #flairww -6:56 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got one long bevel done. Next! #flairww -7:29 PM May 27th, 2012

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks A draw knife would do wonders on such a large bevel.looking good. -8:04 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks! This is a lot of work! #flairww RT @woodshaver101: @FlairWoodworks A draw knife would do wonders on such a large bevel.looking good. -8:05 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just finished the difficult (and beautiful) section on this edge. #flairww -8:06 PM May 27th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks that looks great with the curve of the flitch -8:07PM May 27th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks looks awesome! #flairww -8:11 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m just glad my spokeshaves can handle this grain! #flairww -8:12 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I resorted to the gouge for this heavily-figured section. #flairww -8:25 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When the grain is this figured, is it any wonder it took so long to shape? The bevel is complete. #flairww -8:33 PM May 27th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m done work for now. Next, the bevels will turn into gentle curves. #flairww -8:34 PM May 27th, 2012

In the next session, I’ll continue working on the bottom half of the edge profile.  You can leave a comment here.