Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wood selection and preparation...

These past few days have been spent creating a cut list for the jewelry armoire and preparing some of it. A cut list is the list of wood components necessary to assemble the piece of furniture. There are typically two approaches to this phase of furniture construction.. All the components can be milled and prepared from the cut list beforehand or certain groupings of components can be prepared as the project progresses. The advantage of preparing all the components beforehand is that the lumber utilized is optimized and very little waste results. Also, certain grain orientations can be selected from the stock of lumber for the furniture piece. Personally, I like to create a cut list but tend to cut and mill my components as the project progresses. For example, I will assemble all the upper cabinet carcase components , then the door components, door panels, and so on. I typically rough cut and let the wood sit and acclimatize prior to milling, this ensures maximum stability of the wood. A large percentage of the preparation of the components of the armoire is done with hand planes. In this case, after resawing the large panels I needed to remove some accumulated bowing in the resawn boards using hand planes. The bowing is directly associated with internal tension in the boards, the boards need to acclimatize after resawing to minimize the lingering tension in the board halves.

I also spent a few hours this week tuning and sharpening some hand tools, namely hand planes. I have a fairly large selection of wooden hand planes and these typically need to be tuned through the different seasons, the bodies being of wood. I've learnt over the years to keep my tools as sharp as possible, the performance is better and less effort is needed to achieve the results needed.

We're continually dealing with the abundant apple crop we have this year. A few hours this week were spent raking apples and collecting them into small piles. This appears to be the only way to deal with the large amount of apples which have fallen. We are having guests over this weekend to help with the apples. It is interesting how the weight of the apples on some branches have actually lowered the branch to close to ground level and the branches don't break, nature's resiliency in action. In one case however, we needed to tie the branch back to the main trunk for fear it would snap off.


Uta said...

Thanks for writing this.

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am certainly delighted to discover this. cool job!