Friday, February 13, 2015

Plane Work

 I have a couple of hand planes that I use regularly in my shop.

  I am not a hardcore hand tool woodworker but I recognize when a hand tool is the best tool for the job.  I recently had to flatten a wide cutting board for our kitchen.


  The photo on the left shows the cutting board after I used my scrub plane on it.  A scrub plane will remove plenty of material is a short time, and the cuts are smooth enough that you sometimes see this pattern on undersides and backs of older furniture. For a cutting board that is not smooth enough. Stage two is the jack plane or another smaller smoothing plane.  Since I am not accomplished enough to fully exploit a hand plane finish I usually end the process with 220 sand paper on a sander, random orbital or finishing

  Another project upon which I am working is a bench.  Years ago I bought a church pew from a junk yard, the bench is ash, I think, and comes complete with petrified chewing gum stuck to the underside. The bench is for the one side of our dinning room table. On large family occasions we are running out of chairs for guests and this bench will accommodate several children at the dinner table.

  The first job is to flatten some sections on the bottom of the pew to enable me to attach rails and legs.  This old pew's bottom has developed a bit of an arch, but it isn't necessary to flatten the whole thing, just the contact sections.

  I knocked off the biggest part of the bump with the scrub plane and then used to Jack plane to finished the flattening process.

  The top side of the pew is a different story, and needs different tools.

   You can see the random orbital sanding, with 60 grit paper attached to my shop vacuum. Since the top of the bench has some contour I decided to sand instead of scrape.  The old vanish came off in sticky little balls and revelled a pretty nice grain and one huge scratch. 

  The scratch is deep and will require filling but once the bench is sanded to 220 grit and finished with 3 or 4 coats of shellac it is going to look good.

  I'll keep you posted.

cheers, ian

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