Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stress reliever

Once I found wood I liked, my biggest concern about building this bench was whether I would be able to get the top flat without removing too much material.  I have never flattened a surface this big and the prospect is somewhat daunting.  I want holdfasts to work on the top without gluing in blocks, which proved to be a problem for Bob Rozaieski.  Tools for Working Wood says the Gramercy holdfasts will work on surfaces 1 3/4" or thicker.  My top boards are just under 2" as sanded by the mill, but not jointed.

So, today, I installed the bearers on each end and laid the boards on the base with my fingers crossed.  The boards don't rock!  What a relief. For some reason, the boards aren't quite the same thickness but, as best I can tell, I'll need to remove less than 1/16" of material.  It looks like most of it will be front to back, which seems more straightforward than trying to take out twist.  Reason for optimism anyway.   

I confess that I also wanted to see what the bench is going to look like.  Here it is:

I'm more than pleased, thrilled really.  I have more work to do on the base, so the top boards are back on stickers.  Assuming that I can in fact flatten the top successfully, this bench is going to more than meet my expectations going in.

After this, I went back to installing and planing bearers.  I have been doing a fair amount of planing the past few days and was tiring.  I thought I should stop and sharpen but, on a whim, I applied some paraffin to the base of the plane.  I literally almost fell and, for a second, thought I was going to lose the plane off the other side of the base!  My old wartime #7 has a corrugated base and I just don't understand how a little paraffin can make this much difference, but it does.  I have tried this before without having much impact.  Is it something about the fir?  How is this possible?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Andy, Im from Pendleton Oregon and I reciently finished my nicholson bench and love it! Do you have an email address I can contact you at?

    Kelton Goold