Saturday, December 6, 2014

Oak Feet, and the tale of Two Planes.

 This holiday we are expecting a real gang for a couple of dinners.  Our dinning room table will not be adequate  for the crowd and so we'll use a second table as an add on. In the past we have put these tables together and ignored the uneven joint that comes from the tops not aligning. Finally I got around to matching the table top heights. Initially I thought I would cut 3/4 inch off wooden legs of the other table. The prospect of hauling the table down to the shop didn't attract me much, so instead of lowering one table I decided to raise the other. Such an obvious and easy solution, why didn't I think of if sooner?? 

 This afternoon I picked a piece of oak out of the rack, jointed, squared and planed it before cutting four squares to use as feet.

  Initially I drilled a two inch recess into each foot with a Forstner bit.  The recess means that the table leg is not likely to fall off its foot as the table gets moved around.

  I chamfered the edges of the feet with my block plane. Cutting across the grain in the very dry oak did cause some tear out, but not enough to be a problem once I planed with the grain. When doing something like this always make the cross grain cuts first, just the same as you would if you were using a router table to chamfer the edges.

  You can see the rough vs. smooth finish.  For many years I have had two block planes on my bench, one plane is set to cut quickly and the other has the blade set to take a shallow cut with a narrow throat opening. I also have two  smoothing planes set up the same way.  With pairs of planes I almost never have to take time out to set blades, I'm sure that it doesn't save much time but I find it efficient not having to reset the blade as I work none the less.

   The plane in front is the fine cutter and the one in the back is for rough stuff.  I have written about my old block plane before, it's been dropped, broken and repaired.  It wouldn't be 'my' shop without it.

  I got these planes a decade ago when I was the national importer for Anant planes. The 'R' and 'S' are there for obvious reasons. Though these are reasonably priced tools I have not felt moved to replace them, with a plane I think it is mostly about the blade and how sharp you keep it.( my humble opinion).

  Christmas is coming, I hope the presents you are making are coming along as planned.

cheers, ianw 

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