Saturday, April 3, 2010
As the Shaker end table project progresses, I find that I'm leaning more towards hand tools than power tools and I really can't explain it. Throughout this project I assumed that I would cut the bevels on the underside of the top using the table saw. You'll see that I reconsidered.
When I started thinking through the setup for the bevel cuts and the fact that the front/back bevels are a different angle than the side bevels, I decided that it might be easier and quicker to cut these with the plane. I figured that even if I used the table saw, I would still need to use a plane to remove the saw marks. I learned how to cut a bevel with a plane from one of the Renaissance Woodworker's podcasts, "RWW Episode 81, Hand Tool Tips # 1" (Thanks Shannon!), so I had a pretty good idea of the process.
Because I had to bevel all four sides of the top I chose to bevel the end grain first so that any tearout would be removed when the long grain sides were beveled. I started with my No. 6 that I recently refurbished. I installed a new chipbreaker and iron in the No. 6 but haven't had a chance to hone the iron yet. The crossgrain bevel was showing too much tearout, so I switched to the block plane. It did the job perfectly.
Before beveling the underside, I used the No. 6 to level the top and bottom of the table top. I followed it with my Dunlap 3DBB smoothing plane and then a cabinet scraper. I decided to sharpen my scraper before starting and I'm very satisfied with that decision. The surface of the top is silky smooth, even in the many areas where the grain reverses. I can hardly wait to soak this top in boiled linseed oil.
I'll put up a better picture later, but here's the table sitting in the corner of the dining room. I still have to install the screws to hold on the top and install the drawer stop and side guides. The drawer also needs some minor tuning to eliminate a tight spot in the travel.
I'm looking forward to getting this table finished and getting a picture to Marc over at The Wood Whisperer. If you haven't yet heard, Marc will be donating $5 to the American Cancer Society for each table completed by a Guild member. Marc also has several sponsors that have committed to matching his donation. Each table will generate approximately $50 in donations. At the time this is being written, an additional $4005 has been donated by individual contributors through a link on Marc's site. It's amazing what can be accomplished when people work together.