Wood Prep, Part 2

July 30, 2011

Its a love-hate relationship. When starting a project, I love the anticipation of starting something new and working out design details, choosing wood and getting the shop all ready to go, I hate the process of preparing the rough wood stock. Perhaps hate is too powerful of a word, strong dislike would be more appropriate. On small projects like boxes, I will usually prepare the stock using a band saw and then clean up with hand planes. This process is pleasant and often very rewarding. It allows me to really get a chance to examine all of the nuances in a piece of wood as they are revealed one thin shaving at a time. On a larger project there is usually a lot more prep work and the need to break out the planer. It is noisy and loud and creates a huge mess. Part of this problem is that I do not have room for a dedicated planer in the shop with the proper in-feed and out-feed tables and good dust collection. So I haul my lunchbox planer out onto the driveway and set it up on a Workmate bench with an added bed to help with snipe. I stack up the wood, get my sled ready, don the earmuffs and glasses and just dive-in. Eventually I end up with a large pile of shavings and a much smaller pile of surfaced wood.

Perhaps it wasn't so bad after all. The surfaced pile of wood looks mighty fine. I hope it doesn't move around too much as it acclimates to its new dimensions and awaits its new life. Now the fun part begins!

 


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