Tuesday, October 20, 2009
New woodworking project
In my last post I showed the lumber I bought for a couple of projects. Here is the first project started. It will be a little bench, similar to the one I made before. It was always my plan, if the first bench turned out well, to make a second one out of better (and more expensive) lumber.
This wood is 5/4 (five quarter, meaning that it is 1 1/4 inches thick) flat sawn white oak about 10 inches wide. I purchased 11 board feet milled S2S 1E (surfaced on two sides, with one edge) for about $50. (length x thickness x width = board feet) This is definitely more expensive than the 3/4 inch poplar I used for the first bench.
The board had a knot in it which I did not want to use but I knew I could get the lengths I needed while working around the knot. As is generally the case, I cut a few inches off the end of the board where it was split a bit. Always take this sort of thing into account when planning how much lumber to buy for a project or you'll buy too little and have to get more. I wanted the entire project to be made from one board. The color of the wood will match exactly, the grain is the same, and it seems like a more period approach.
I chose flat sawn oak instead of quarter sawn because I wanted the finished width of the wood to be 9 inches without piecing, which it just isn't possible to get from modern lumber yards (if someone knows of such a place please tell me!). White oak is less easy to find where I live than red oak, but I like the color better and it is closer to the European oak used in period. It is still not the exact same species but it is as close as I can get.
The photo above shows the apron of the bench roughly cut out with a band saw. I'll further shape and refine with hand tools. I am basing my design on several medieval era examples as shown below (larsdatter.com was the starting off point for my research). I drew a template for the apron on brown craft paper, then taped that to my wood and traced around it on both apron pieces. Then I cut them out.
Next I will repeat the process for the sides of the bench but that will have to wait until next week. I won't be back in woodshop class until then.