Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cabinet stand...cont'd

I have resumed work on the beech cabinet in the past few days. I've rethought the design of the cabinet stand and made some changes. The original design called for four upper rails mortised into the legs. I would need to have wider front, rear and side apron rails to maintain the strength and integrity of the stand. Rather than this, I have decided on narrower top apron rails and move some support to the bottom of the stand in the form of stretchers instead. The aesthetics of this are more pleasing to me, very much like dividing the load at the top and bottom of the cabinet stand.

The leg dimensions remain the same, instead I divide the original upper rails into two components per rail and use the narrower component at the bottom of the stand. The strength and integrity of the cabinet stand should be maintained with this design along with more pleasing aesthetics, and more subtle, smaller components. I should have the stand assembled within the next day or two. In the meantime, I need to replace one of the components in the stand, a front top rail. In the handplaning effort I was a bit overzealous with this particular rail and the dimensions are no longer right, a little too thin. Rather than handplane the other rails to this dimension, I would rather replace this rail instead.

With significant hand planing, it becomes more important to maintain keen edges on the plane irons. The dullness of the irons sneaks up on you, and before you know it the handplane is struggling to produce fine shavings. I stop occasionally to sharpen the plane irons, otherwise the temptation is to increase the depth of cut with dull irons and all of a sudden they grab and tearout follows.

It's amazing how much the weather has changed in the span of two to three weeks in these parts. It was early fall weather a few days ago, now I hear some wet snow is arriving overnight. It should be nothing significant and late fall will resume, I hope.

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