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Okay, so I had 30 minutes to work on the TSDC desk organizer build challenge. I figured the first step is to prep my stock – plane, then sand if necessary. I’m hot and grumpy. It’s like 85 to 90 degrees outside, like always, and I don’t have any fan in the shop.
But my Stanley #4 seems to be doing its job pretty well. At least, until I ran my hand over the board.
So I guess I’m going to work on cambering my blade before doing anything else. Either that or go over this board with the cabinet scraper. But with more wood to prep, I may as well take the time to do this right. Right?
So yesterday I went to the lumber yard and bought all the wood I expected to need for the lego table. I was pleasantly surprised at the price. I bought 12.5 board feet of kapur (30′ of 1″x4″ and 10′ of 1″x3″) for $18.25 and a 4′x8′ sheet of 1/2″ plywood for $13.75. I tried to pick boards that were straight and not warped, and at least in that respect, I succeeded.
Today I had some good dedicated shop time. My first task was to cut the boards down to the individual components of the table. As I was doing that, I realized that I had neglected to look for one thing when at the lumber yard – cupping. One board was cupped the entire length.
Since I don’t have a thickness planer, an electric planer nor a belt sander, I dragged my knuckles over to the “workbench” (a 2″x6″ resting across my japanese sawing trestles) and tried to “knock off the high spots” as I hear people like The Schwarz say. Easier said than done. To the extent that I feel skilled in sawing, I feel that same amount of ineptitude in planing. I guess it doesn’t help that I don’t have a workbench. It also doesn’t help that my irons haven’t been honed in a while.
So I got frustrated. Frustrated that my blades are dull. Frustrated that I don’t know how to flatten a board. Frustrated that flattening a board is kind of important sometimes. Okay, often. Frustrated that this quick-and-dirty build of a lego table might take months.
But then I chilled out and decided to take a long view of my progress in the craft. Hand plane skills don’t come overnight. I need to think of this as part of the journey. I am considering whether or not to go buy another board to save me time in building this project. That would, however, still leave me needing to learn how to flatten a board. So maybe I’ll stick it out.
In the meantime, I now know how I’m going to spend the last of my Tool Fund money: I’m going to get a replacement plane iron/chipbreaker set. I think it will really help me be less anxious about planing. My #4 and #5 planes both use the same size irons, so I’ll be able to interchange them as needed. And I’ll be able to turn my existing irons into specialty blades. Maybe one will be slightly cambered (as will probably the Hock be), and the other I’ll turn into a scrub plane iron. I think I heard one of Matt’s podcasts talking about that.
Kind of a rambly post today, but that’s how I feel. A bit discouraged, but at the same time determined to get through it.
P.S. Oh – here’s a pic of the parts. Notice the yellow sapwood on what will be the legs. I chose that board partly because it was so straight, but also because, what the hey, let’s see how this ends up looking!