Here is photo of what I got done in three hours.
What I have is four boards of roasted maple 7/8 think, 5 inches wide and either 12 or 16 inches long.
How can that possible take hours. Well....I confess I am a hobby guy so I did occasionally lift my head and have a sip of coffee. I did not drift around the shop and waste a bunch of time, honestly, I didn't.
I did take a short side trip to finish a small project for a school teacher friend of mine. I made a replacement handle for his Foosball table. I needed to be drilled, shaped, sanded and painted. Not a huge project but one that needed doing, and one that took time.
I began my big project with rough lumber and after the initial layout I had to joint and plane the material. In the process of using my planner I had to stop work and empty the dust collection system, yes, that directly affects the time it takes to complete a project. Emptying dust collection is like the time you have to take out to sharpen tools, it is a task directly related to the project upon which you are working.
To prepare the stock I used:
a planer, joiner, table saw, mitre saw, hand saw, router table, block plane, sanders, hand sanding, square, making gauge, etc etc.
If the final product is to be premium quality every time you touch tool to wood there must be careful measurement, and also careful machine set up. Both these things take time, not a tonne of time but lots of little bits of time. This current project is not designed around approximate measurements it is designed to a space and purpose that will be best if everything is especially accurate.
This project's assembly involves mitred corners. These mitres are going to be seen, so they have to be right on, close and fudged with glue won't cut it this time. I have yet to work out a method that will allow me to breeze through mitred corners, they just require time and care and I can't figure out anyway around that. The real challenge is the gluing and clamping of these corners, that is for tomorrow.
I have sanded and finished with shellac the insides of this project. It is now smooooooooooth on the inside, shellac and 400 grit sand paper smooth. This is a bit of over kill, maybe. I think that it is a good idea sometimes to go the whole nine yards, do the job and then over do it just for personal satisfaction.
What is driving this project?
I have a piece of wood, that is going to be featured and it deserves the best supporting cast that I can supply.
This is an amazing piece of spalted maple that is going to be the front face of this project. I bought this slab of wood 5 or 6 years ago and have saved it for a WOW project. This is going to be the WOW project.
I suspect that it will take me a while to get this thing done. I still have a couple of technical challenges to work out and that too will take time, but it is going to be worth it.
Speaking of a WOW project, that took time and made me a little more crazy. In December 2011 I assembled a wooden clock kit. Something that I learned is that my wooden clock does not work in the high humidity of our summer months. I think that the contact surfaces just swell enough that the gears won`t turn. The last week has been cool and though rainy our humidity has dropped, in fact it has dropped to were the clock is ticking away happily once again. I guess that summer is well and truly over, sigh, alas.