Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frame and Panel (and spoons)

 Here's a photo of a frame and panel that I've been working on the last couple of days.  The frame is Cherry with the panel in Curly Maple with bug stains.  The Maple came from the pallet stack at the lumber yard about a year ago, I don't know whether I posted much if anything about it then.  It's been sitting in my basement since, and is dry enough to use now.  I chopped the 1/4" mortises with my Narex mortise chisel and used my Ryoba to cut the tenons, and I got quite a bit of use out of my Veritas plow plane for the grooves and rebates that allow the panel to sit flush with the top of the frame.  For the cross grain rebates, I scored deeply with my marking gauge (pin filed into a knife edge) and ran the first dozen passes carefully to preserve the visible edge.  This worked out fine, and saved me have to make or buy a rebate plane.  The Veritas only works for rebates up to about 3/8" wide (the widest blade), but that was fine for this application.  For a wider rebate, you could simply plow a groove and then use a bench plane to remove the relish. 

On the panel is a collection of spoons I've been accumulating the last couple of weeks, most in Black Birch.  I've been building up a collection to bring to a couple of stores, and after reviewing the terms on Etsy again, I'm considering selling some there as well.  This was my first time using Black Birch for anything but walking sticks as a kid, and it's interesting to work.  It's harder than the Paper Birch I'm also using, and the grain is a little more distinct.  Most of these spoons are made from vertical grain wood, split radially from a small log.  A couple are made from bent or straight branches.  I found one branch that worked nicely so that I ended up with some curly grain in the bowl.  Overall I'm pleased with where the spoons are going.  They're getting closer to the spoons I've been trying to create from the start.  A new hook or two would help me get the inside of the bowl right, I still only have the small radius Mora hook.  I'm talking to a blacksmith friend of mine about a couple of ideas.

Here's a picture of me with the panel, to get a feel for the size of it.  It's about 18x18", not including the untrimmed ends.  I'm thinking this would make a nice little tabletop.  Some finish will help the grain really show up, and I'll probably let it sit in the sun to darken the Cherry up a bit.

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