Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Three Steps in Making Anything - Step One

   At this moment I have two woodworking projects on the go and two D.I.Y. home owner projects on the go and I am planning some baking for tomorrow. Doing all five of these tasks requires the same basic steps/stages.  As I was working on a planter for the back deck and a canoe paddle for my Grand daughter I had the 3 Step Inspiration.

 This blog is about STEP ONE:

 Step one is the step where many projects/tasks go irretrievably wrong. 

Step One is: material preparation.  

  In the woodworking shop material preparation is were the lumber is dressed, squared and cut to size. If are not careful and accurate or you trust to the lumber yard's thicknesses you can find yourself in trouble later. The First Step/stage also is where you look for flaws in the wood, like cracks, loose knots or poor colour.

  When baking Step One is also material preparation. A baker gathers together flour, sugar, salt, oil, leavening agent and other ingredients like herbs, fruit or candy. These ingredients are measured out as dry or wet ingredients ready to be assembled in Stage Two. This is where a careful inventory is made to ensure that nothing gets left out.  

 To make my planter I needed cedar boards that were 8 inches wide. To get those boards involved edge gluing two boards together. Since I was using 5/8 fence boards I decided to cut matching rabbets on my boards and then edge glue them with waterproof glue. 
you can also see the dado I cut on each panel
so it wood fit the stopped dado in the leg.

  This project's preparation meant that I had to begin the project one day and wait for the glue to dry overnight.  I could have rushed,glue can dry pretty quickly but it is a good idea to give the glue time to set and fully cure. Once the glue was cured I jointed one edge and cut the cedar to length. 

 This planter has oak legs with dadoes into which the cedar panels slide.  The oak needed to be squared and the dadoes cut using a straight bit on my router table.

the oak is reclaimed, so old and hard a stone.
I cut the dadoes by making four passes to cut 3/8 inch deep
  To successfully complete Step One you need to have accurate measuring tools and sharp cutting tools. For me to get materials ready for the planter I used a table saw, a sliding mitre saw, a router table and a 3/8 dado bit, as well as a 1/2 straight bit. Not to mention rulers, pencils, squares, a centre finding jig and a depth setting jig

   I usually use a ruler instead of a tape when practical, I strongly suggest all shops need a good quality 28-24 inch ruler with easily read markings. Also of course you need a Try Square,or a good quality Combination Square. A Carpenter's Square is a must for larger projects using sheet goods. What ever you do, keep one square as you would the holy grail, you must have One Square to rule them all. (especially carpenter's squares, they can become untrue really easily)

  I use a marking knife, which I made while on a two day blacksmith workshop sometimes, but find that a sharp pencil is as accurate as my eyes most of the time. 

   Once I got the four cedar panels cut to size and the oak legs' stopped dadoes cut I did some initial sanding, to knock the sharp edges off and was ready to move onto Step Two.

  Tomorrow- Step Two

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