Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Express woodworking

The muse hit me last night. To be more accurate the muse had been nagging at me ever since the GOM got back and found all the available footstools too high for the comfort of his bionic hip, but last night it had enough and booted me out to the workshop to do something about it.

Time, 17.30-ish. GOM ETA to chair around 20.00...

A large bowl blank that I've had skulling around for years spoke loudly "top" to me. As ever I have no idea what it is but it was horrible to turn in the other bowl blank examples I got in a mixed bag, so I had no qualms about sacrificing it to flat work. Except it was far from flat, so out comes the technical jack with a fair bit of camber as detailed here.

Can't spot it? Oh all right then:

That made short work of the job, and given this isn't exactly fine woodworking that's as posh as the planing got.

Then I marked out a circle of reasonable size with the trammel heads (valuable time spent trying to find them...), cut it out on the bandsaw, faired it up with a spokeshave (more valuable time trying to find that - I've got to sort out the tool storage), rounded the edges a bit and then thought maybe a disc sander would be a good idea. Hence the burning. Ack, blasted powered sanders... No matter, time presses and so do drills... (gettit?)

So to the offcuts box to hoick out three likely-looking pieces of oak for the legs. It was at about that time I glanced at the clock, gave a quiet scream and stopped pausing to take pictures. So assume I turned some 1" tenons to fit the 1" mortises, fitted them, used a piece of scrap to measure a suitable looking leg length, marked same, cut same, glanced at clock, panicked and cut saw kerfs for wedges. At which point my mum pops in, concerned at this unusual evening workshop activity and was I lying in a pool of blood? Obviously not, but careful of your finger with that saw...!

Of course saying that put me off and I damn nearly did saw my finger - but didn't. Even as she was saying all this I seized the glue bottle, applied it to the legs and started the glue-up. Me, who for preference likes total silence and no-one within 10 miles during a glue-up. At some point she must have gone again, but that visitation meant it must be after 19.00. Holy smoke.

Luckily I'd remembered to cut some wedges first, trimmed them with the chisel and now applied them to the saw kerfs with rigorous use of the Birmingham Screwdriver. Lovely job. Flip it over and apply the random orbit sander to all the under parts to give the glue a bit of a chance to stick before I trim the protruding tenons. Okay, long enough. Flip it back over, trim the tenons, sand 'em back. Forgive me galootdom, for the senseless slaughter of electrons... Glance at the watch. Disston's Bones, it's nearly eight!

Leave the bench in a mess, dash out of the workshop, remember to dash back, turn off the lights and lock it, dash into the house, place the object at the foot of the chair and saunter casually into the kitchen bang on the hour. "What have you been up to?" "Oh, you'll see when you go and sit down."

It's not a thing of beauty, not even after a coat of oil applied this morning (when I took the pic) - "rustic" is the best that anyone's been able to say about it - but it is the right height and he did use it all yesterday evening. After that rush I'm not so sure I didn't need it more than him...


  1. Great Job ALF!! Looks very good to me, and done in such a quick time - superb!

    Really enjoyed the '24' style action blog post, very entertaining.

  2. Lovely job, Alf. It looks really nice and a very entertaining write-up.


    Paul Chapman

  3. Hi ALF,

    I like that thick slab lying low over the ground. Three legs are good too--not gonna rock. Just sits there being flat and heavy and still and workmanlike.

    Hip replacements are no joke either. My sister-in-law had one last year; toughed it out through the physical therapy and all. It's tough duty. Am sure that footstool eased a lot of pain last night.

    Good for you.


  4. ... and when the hip's better, you can use it as a butchers block!

    Good job!



Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.