Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cutting White Oak and Wishing I Had a Jointer

I did manage to get into the shop after church Sunday. I started ripping all of the parts for the face frame and the sides from the white oak. I have two boards that are wide enough to get the sides and the adjacent face frame stiles for the upper case. The boards are wider than I needed, so I decided to rip the parts wider than I needed them to be. Then I could rip the beveled miters I need on the sides that were ripped apart.

I had spent an hour before I started this project making sure the saw was aligned properly. What I didn't do was check the alignment of the splitter to the blade. This would come to bite me, as you'll see.

I took one of these boards & set the fence where I needed it & ripped. Then I put the two pieces back together again, and this is what I saw.

I had put the lines across the joint so I could identify the edges that needed to be adjacent to each other, and so I could get them aligned when I cut them to final length. (I should have cut them to final length first. Not the first time I've made this mistake). The other board came out with the same space in it.

I realized that I have to figure out two things:

  1. How did that space get in there in the first place?
  2. How to get that space out of there.

The only way to get rid of the space is to joint the boards. The problem is that I don't own a jointer. Well, I do own a #7 hand plane, which is called a jointer, but my skill with the tool is non-existant. And I'm not going to buy a powered jointer right now. There's too much else going on & we just spent a lot of money to fix up the house.

So, to get rid of the space, I'm going to load the boards up into my car tomorrow night, and instead of driving straight home from work, I'm going to drive up to Norwalk, Connecticut & visit the Woodcraft closest to my home. I'll rent some time in their shop & use their DJ-20 to get joint the boards.

Now, I had to figure out how the space got in the boards. The first thing I did was re-check the alignment of the fence to the miter slot & the blade. I did adjust the fence a little bit, but I really didn't think this was the problem. Watching the edge of a board as it rode against the fence while ripping showed me that the board was pulling away from the fence at the end. I was careful to set the fence parallel to the blade & the miter slot, and my measurements showed it was parallel.

That's when I thought to check the splitter's alignment. Sure enough, it was off. I adjusted the splitter, but by now I had no rips left to make. I did rip a piece of poplar later to make the blanks for the legs, and that looked like it rode better against the fence.

Next job was to cross cut parts to length. I used my Osborne EB-3 to make these cuts. I cut the sides & stiles to final length, leaving them wider than I need. I had ripped the face frame rails to final width, but I cross cut them longer than I needed. These parts will get cut to their final dimensions later.

Here's what all of the face frame & side stock looks like after an afternoon spent cutting & cussing.

The last thing I did today was actually cut all of the blanks for the legs & glue them up. Here's what they looked like in the clamp & waxed paper. These will get ripped to final size after the glue has dried, then drilled to accept the leg leveler t-nuts.

I should have put cauls on these blanks because one or two of them slipped while I was eating dinner & the glue was setting up.

See you next time!


neil said...

Hey Tony:

Moving pretty good.

I'm enjoying visualizing your process. It shows one part of woodworking I find very interesting and that is how everybody has there own approach. Both of us would get to the same end result, but differently. Kinda cool!!!

If it's OK with you, could I toss out a procedure question without becoming a nusanse???

And don't sneak in another tool on your trip to Woodcraft!!

Tony V said...


Go right ahead, ask away! Any & all questions are welcome.

Like a lot of us doing this as a hobby, I wish I could get more time in the shop. If I worked at this full time, I'd probably be applying finish at this point. As it is, I'm enjoying the process very much.

The only big regrets I have is the lack of a jointer and the skill to use my #7 effectively. I really don't want to practice hand jointing on this piece. For that matter, I wish I had a work bench with the needed dogs for hand planing.

As for Woodcraft, I hadn't planned on buying anything except time on their equipment . . . ;)