Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Woodwright Workout

Seeing as I am an overambitious, yet obessively compulsive, woodworker I recently found myself in an uphill battle with a massive slab of oak. The bench in the shop at work has been used and abused for as long as I have been alive. Word on the street is that it hasn't even been flattened since it was first built...so I took the liberty of flattening it myself.

20+ years of grime, sweat, and I am pretty sure some blood.

I started going transversely with the grain with a flat iron and things were going well, that was until I reached the far left hand side of the bench, which has been used as the sharpening station for quite a while. All that oil, metal particles, sandpaper grit, rust, and god knows what else really sunk into the wood because after five strokes my iron was dull as a doorknob.

Windows open with a nice cooling breeze, I can think of a lot worse things to be doing.

Switching to a heavily chambered iron sped things up considerably, and even when the iron dulled, the heavy chamber helped to muscle through with the initial planing. After one pass I switched to 45 degrees with the grain, pushing the plane body at a skewed angle helped slice through some of the rough grain and knots.

Getting a bit closer, you can see the scalloped track marks from the last flattening.

I finished up going with the grain (as best I could) and planing the front of the bench to be square with the top. Overall it was an exhausting project...most people aren't stupid enough to flatten a knotty, old, 16 FOOT!!! workbench their first time around the block, but I am just the right kind of stupid.

There is still plenty of character in this bench, but now you can use it reliably to try boards!

So if you are ever looking for a new workout routine, I would recommend going into the massive workbench flattening business.

My workhorse plane, I might follow up with a longer jointer in the future, but I am not sure it is necessary.

PS. I am just being melodramatic...it really only took about two hours and one sweaty t-shirt, and that included re-honing my iron twice.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! I like your digital hoarding link....makes me wonder if I too may have a hoarding problem. :)