Lumber run

A took a day off work last week to make a trip to the local lumber yard…

I’m gearing up for my next big project (6′ sideboard). It’s pretty exciting for me as I haven’t really been in the game lately.

The design process usually takes a good amount of time for me, and that’s where I am right now. The design is in it’s final stages, just working out all the fine details (joinery). I should be finished with the design soon. Once finished, I’ll post it and include a link to the 3D Warehouse like usual. The sideboard will feature both drawers and doors, and should end up somewhere around 100 bf of lumber.

The photos below depict all the lumber I should need for the project. There’s about 50bf of Eastern White Pine on the top of the pile, which is intended as the primary wood for the project. On the bottom of the pile, there is about 70 bf of Poplar intended to be used as a secondary wood for all the internal structures.

The lumber is just stacked for now, but it will be stickered once I start to surface it. Right now, everything is in the rough.

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This was my first trip to this particular lumber yard. The verdict is still out; I’ll have to see how the wood works. The guys out in the yard were very helpful. One of them brought me to the stack of Eastern White Pine and helped me located the boards I was looking for. He then pulled down the stacks with the fork lift and helped me sort through the stacks, board by board, until I found some 16 footers that would work. He then offered to cut them in half so they would fit into my van…I thought this was pretty good service. So, I’ll see how things go with this new supplier over the next few projects. If all is good, perhaps I’ll feature a post on them.

Stayed tuned for the new project design…



It’s been quite some time


Well, it certainly has been a while since my last post…it’s approaching a year now.

There’s a plethora of reasons I could come up with: it was just way too cold in the shop this past winter (it barely broke 35F in the shop all winter), there’s the kids (lots of work there), the P90X3 challenge (90 consecutive days of intense exercise), and a much needed hiatus (needed the time to re-focus).

However, even though: it was frigid, and I didn’t have much time (P90X3/kids/hiatus), I did manage to get a couple of small projects completed so far this year.

Saw Sharpening Vise

One of the first things I set out to do this year was build myself a saw sharpening vise. I based the design off the one that I believe Lie-Nielsen uses/created.The concept is basically two pieces of wood hinged together that clamp the saw blade in place.

I just drop it into my moxon-like vise, which provides all the clamping pressure I need to hold the saw plate steady. To help with the holding power, I glued a couple of strips of leather to the inside faces of the saw vise. Not bad for some extra scraps taking up space in the shop.


Shooting board

I also made this shooting board from scraps around the shop. The base is made out of MDF and the rest are scraps of cherry and maple. I’ve been meaning to make this one for a while. I should get a lot of use out of it.


Tool Rack

Again…here are some more scraps. I had these nice strips of cherry left over from the Chiffonier project. It is not eveident in this photo, but there are strips of walnut sandwhiched in-between the strips of cherry. The walnut strips were strategically placed according to the tools you see in the photo (ie. each chisel has it’s own home). The walnut creates a gap large enough for the small end of the tool to pass through rack. This helps keep my bench neat & clean, and in addition, positions the tools I use most at close range.


Pine Shelf

I did manage to get one non-shop project finished. This shelf is made out of some type of pine. It’s held together with cut nails and glue. There is no fancy joinery – dados, rebates, dovetails, nor mortise & tenon – just the nails. A few chamfers and some shellace & wax and it was ready for it’s new home.



Hopefully won’t be too long for the next post-


Plate Rack – molding…paint…shellac…done!

Might as well just cram it all in, because I’m done…


I went with a simple round-over for the bottom molding. It anchors the base just enough, and it gives the plate rack the ability to stand on it’s own…if it were not hung on the wall. The top is a fairly small crown, which is perfect for this size project. I am not sure how to describe the crown…it is like a large cove that rounds over into a smaller cove. Whatever it’s called, it came out perfect.

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I prepped the back bead boards with some shellac I whipped up. It’s really dry this time a year. As a result, I was able to apply 5 coats in one evening. After a couple of days of curing, I rubbed out the shellac with 0000 steel wool. Then I applied some butcher’s wax and buffed to a shine.

The rest of the plate rack was intended to be painted. Yes, I will be covering up all that beautiful hard maple..including my hand-cut, half-blind, dovetails. I was a little disappointed, until I saw the results.

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This was a fun little project. See you next time…


Plate rack shelf and back

Get that router plane again…and get the tongue cutter too…

The shelf that holds the second set of plates is set in a standard dado. My plan of attack is standard as well:

mark with knife
saw side walls
chisel out waste
clean up with router plane

It was a little bit of a tight fit. To ease the fit, I planed down the end of the shelf with the No 3 smoother…perfect.

Before gluing the shelf in place, I cleaned up some tools marks with a scraper.

Then I started work on the back. I used the tongue cutting blade to make all those tongues. Then, all the tongues got a bead from the beading plane.

Here’s a look-see.







Looking good. I think it is time for some moulding.

– JR

The plate rack problem solver

I had to call on another new tool…

I needed to cut a 1/4″ groove in the bottom before gluing the carcase. Well, I guess I got a little ahead if myself. I glued up the carcase without plowing the groove.

I started to cut the groove with a chisel. After some frustration, I called on the problem solver…A.K.A the Veritas router plane.



It is such a dream to use. I was able to cut the groove in no time. With the fence and bullnose configuration, it really was too easy.

Say hello to my little friend

Here’s my new smoother…

It’s a 1930’s Stanley type 16. I pick it up from an online vintage tool dealer. I keep them secret so you don’t get the good stuff before me…sorry.

It was a little rusty and dirty when I got it. I spent a night cleaning it and another night sharpening the blade. I didn’t flatten the sole…I think that’s over-rated.

I love this thing.

– JR

Here it is: the first pic is how it arrived; the rest are post clean; the shaving is hard maple





Plate rack joinery begins

On with the joinery…

After planing the hard maple , and gaining a couple of inches on my biceps in the process, I did some grooving.

Oh, BTW, there’s a trick to planing hard maple…eat your Wheaties!

Anyways….the grooves to accept the back ends are made with the plow. I set it up with a 1/4″ blade and set the fence in 1/2″ to receive the offset tongue on the back. It’s fairly straight forward…used the plow before…such a great tool.




Next I dovetailed the four corners of the carcase. I decided to make them half blind dovetails. I wanted to have the sides clear of end grain because I think this project will be painted. I also have never cut half blinds before, and I am always looking to improve/learn some skills.

I am more than happy with the results. There is only one of the joints I might consider too loose. If after glue-up I still don’t like it, I think I might add some wedges.



Here’s how it looks so far…just a lonely carcase. Next up: I have to add some grooves for the plates, and cut a dado for the shelf.


– JR