Friday, April 5, 2013

When It Rains It Pours: Etsy Order, Class, & A Plane Seminar

     Well, you've all heard that expression and this week that proved to be true for me.  I've been talking with Christian and Jerry at Woodworker's Emporium here in Las Vegas.  They are starting a new program and plan to have a different event on the first Saturday of each month.  I'm scheduled for one tomorrow on hand planes so I've been busily preparing for that -- this is unchartered territory for me.  Although I've taught countless classes and do one on one instruction in my shop the format for this is a two hour seminar to eight participants.  Here's a LINK to that and you'll see they have me scheduled to do a similar thing with dovetails in June.
     In the meantime, I received a custom order on Etsy for someone in Michigan for two drawer/boxes for an installation in their home.  They had seen my work on my Etsy Store and wanted to incorporate some of my design for this project.  After some convo's back and forth they gave me the job and I gave them a two week delivery.  Well, if that wasn't enough to keep me going I'm also putting together a class for WoodItIs on the use of hand tools, here's that LINK, Jamie has already put it in her schedule.  So, you can see I have a pretty full plate.
     I have to prioritize so decided that the most important one for the middle of this week was the custom order.  Stock preparation was first so after surfacing the Maple down to 1/2" in thickness it was smoothed out by hand planing.

Smooth Plane on the Maple
     You can see my antique Stanley #7 Jointer plane in the back ground --- keep that in mind!  In the foreground is probably my favorite plane, a Lie-Nielsen bronze smooth #4.  It will be part of my talk tomorrow when it comes to premium planes.  As I was working the 4' length or so of Maple required for each box I noticed that the center of each board wasn't being cut on each pass with the jointer plane.  My first thought was that the rip fence was out of whack on the tablesaw but that checked out just fine. Checking the board before planing at several places along the width with a dial caliper showed it to be fine, however; after jointing the ends were off by about a 64th. of an inch.  Certainly not a huge amount but got my attention.  On closer inspection I found that the sole of the jointer plane is somewhat concave, going in by the throat and blade.  I used a jack plane instead to finish prepping the box pieces before cutting to size.
     Here they are,  dry fitted and ready for assembly tomorrow after my session at Woodworker's.

Almost Ready for Assembly 
     Before glue up the interior and bottom piece needs to be sanded.  The corners on these boxes will be  keyed with Walnut for strength and as a design element.  My two week goal is easy to attain. the plan is to glue the first one up in the afternoon and let it dry till early evening in the clamps.  Then I can assemble the second one and it'll stay clamped until Sunday.  After church I can cut the slots and add the keys which will then be dry enough to sand and start the finish process on Monday.
     Well, back to the jointer plane.  My wife tried to tell me that sometimes you need to let go of your old treasures and replace them with the new version.  This #7 is from the early 1920's and I've had it for 30 years or so.  Just for fun, I checked Lie-Nielsen corrugated sole, #7 jointer and if you check out this PRICE you can understand why I'm sticking with the old guy!
     I've turned it into a win/win situation.  Part of the seminar I'm doing tomorrow will be on rehabbing planes found on Ebay, garage sales, inherited, etc.  This is a perfect candidate for showing how to flatten a sole if it's not too far out of whack.

Flattening the Sole
     Flattening may not be the correct term here, actually, I'm just going to true it up.  The process is to draw four lines on the plane with a sharpie.  One at the toe, one at the heel, and one on either side of the throat.  For my true and flat surface I've held on to the granite back splash that came with my sinks when we remodeled 6-8 years ago thinking they would be perfect for just this application if I ever needed it.  Using some spray adhesive to attach 150 grit paper I'll be able to true the sole.  I've already worked it with 100 grit so this will be quicker for my demonstration for the seminar.  If time permits I'll use the blade for a sharpening as well.  The points I want to emphasize is that to successfully plane wood you need a properly set up and sharpened plane plus an effective technique in the use of your plane and how you control it.
     Well, as you can tell there's been a lot going on in the shop this week.  This morning was spent preparing for the seminar and getting my notes and materials in order.  I think I'm going to be glad when Sunday rolls around -- I'm ready for a day of rest!

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