December 2014

Yet another year has slipped away.  It seems that each goes faster than the previous. The weather this December has been less than stellar:  snow, rain, deep freeze, repeat.  We’ve had more rain than snow.  The few times it has snowed, it’s been wonderful.  Below is a view of the shop, seen from the edge of the woods. shop in snowOne of the highpoints of this month was going skating with my son and grandson.  It was the first time in 3 years I’ve been on skates, and the first time with a new hip.  It was also the first time with my grandson.  He’ll be 3 next month and it’s high time he learned to navigate on the ice. In the shop, I’m working on the third biggest project I’ve ever built, a 5′ x 10′ table.  My 8″ General jointer is fine for much of my smaller work, but it just can’t handle a 10″ board.  I had to go to a friend’s shop to use his 18″ jointer to flatten one face of each board, and get the edges fairly straight.  However, electric jointers will leave ripples, some snipe, and holding the last few inches of a 10′ plank down is a real challenge.  That’s where the Lie-Nielsen #7 jointer plane displays its worth.  It’s my go-to tool for light-tight joints.  The only challenge is running it square along the entire 10′ length.  I do own a Stanley #386 plane fence, which I clamped onto the plane, and screwed on a 6″ x 22″ wood fence for added stability.  Planing both edges of six 10′ boards, I ended up with more than a 30 gallon can full of shavings, and five perfect joints. plane Because of the size, I glued 3 boards at a time, had them wide belt sanded and re-glued the two halves.  Fortunately, I own 6′ bar clamps.  It’s been quite the challenge so far.  The base will be a piece of cake in comparison. 5 x 10 The #7 jointer plane is 22″ long, the width of the widest board.  I’m also having custom table top fasteners made.  If they work as intended, they may go into production.  Stay tuned in 2015. Lastly, and unfortunately,  the Shaker Legacy is officially out of print.  Fortunately, I’ve bought the last 300 hardcover copies, and they are available directly from me, signed if you wish.  Not only that, but  With the Grain is going into its second printing and will be available in February or March.  Something to look forward to in 2015. C. H. Becksvoort © 2014

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