The saw till

Prepping wood

First order of business: flat and to dimension, which is the perfect job for my ML 392 combo jointer/thicknesser. I loathe donkey work, except for small pieces or stuff that’s too big for my machines. Thankfully, for this project I could outsource some tasks to the green Kerberos I have in my shop. Here is an image from another project:

One of the planks was a bit too narrow, but I decided to use it anyway. A bit of live edge remains, and I thought that could be a feature. It is a piece of shop furniture, so who cares? That being said, making the shop furniture look nice is a good idea. Which is why I chose to use quarter sawn white oak and teak for my “humble” saw till.

I grabbed a spoke shave off the spoke shave rack and cleaned the live edge up a bit.

I then squared the edge of one board on the shooting board, then used it as reference for the other board.

Here is a neat trick to prevent tearout when shooting an edge. Even with a good shooting board, it is very easy to tear off fibres at the far edge of the board being squared. But if you plane a small chamfer at the exit edge, a stroke or two beyond the target line, you can shoot the edge clean without tearing out at all. Just pay attention and stop as soon as you reach your line. You will possibly leave a small chamfer at the very edge, but it is so small it is completely insignificant.

Flip the board, angle it slightly (I put a finger between the shooting board fence and the board, about two hand’s-breadth away from the edge) and shoot a chamfer. One or two strokes past the line, depending on the setting of your plane.

With the oak planks 6S (six square, meaning that all six sides are flat, straight, parallell and square to each other), I moved on to the teak plank. I measured out the 29cm (111/2”) plus two times the thickness of the oak planks, plus a couple of millimeters for good measure.

If you haven’t heard of the “knife wall” before, check out my article on the technique. I made knife walls before I cut the planks to length.

I wish I could make this article smell like my shop did when I cut the teak planks – it smells LOVELY! My Veritas cross-cut carcass saw chopped the planks like a hot knife through butter!

And after a short while, I had my planks ready. Three teak planks for cross-members and two oak planks for the sides.

It is not often I have shavings this lovely – look at the colors! Chocolate brown teak shavings mixed with pale white oak shavings – lovely! This is one of the privileges we woodworker have – smelling the perfume from the cut wood and admiring the shine and luster in the shavings we make.

Then schlooooooorp, and the dust collector gobbles them up and the shop is again clean! Good riddance.

The shavings will be put in our compost. What a luxurious way to grow food – planed and quartered compost for our strawberries, veggies and plants!

Time for another page and some joinery!

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