Tuesday, 28 December 2010

My Wife's Christmas Gift...

How many kind, considerate, loving husbands give their wives a plant stand end for Christmas?

I bet not many.

I know. What the hell is a plant stand end?

Its this...


...hey, at least I didn't put a bow on it.

Ok, I didn't get my wife's plant shelving unit done for Christmas. I'll admit that I didn't get as much done as I should have. All right. I'll be honest. I didn't get as much done as I could have, but it is coming together. Honest.

This is my first shot at building a frame and panel piece by hand. As with all the past projects I have done in this manner, I'm shocked at the time and labor that goes into it. Man, hand tools are a lot of work.

I have three plow planes; the Mitchell woodie, a Stanley 50 and a Veritas Small Plow. I didn't bother with the woodie because I don't want to mess it up any more than it is. I tried the Stanley, but found it heavy and difficult to push, so I ended up using the lightest plow out of the bunch, the Veritas. This surprised me because everyone says that the heavier the plane, the better the going, but I didn't find that at all.

I plowed out 1/4" rabbets along the entire length of five 1" by 4" by 6' pieces of oak, the fifth one plowing out both edges. I then cut this last one up into 8 - 4 3/4" and 2 - 13" lengths. Using a rip dovetail saw, because I didn't think I would ever need a tenon saw, I cut the tenons on both ends of these 10 pieces.


I then did something I have never done before. Where the plans call for overlaid trim, I made up poplar spacers. I have always not bothered with secondary woods in builds like this, but I guess the possibility of easier going with the plow made me get cheap with the oak this time. There are three of these fillers along the height of this side piece, one at each end and one at the step where the cupboard section steps back to the shelving section. In truth, the poplar was a tad easier to work with than the oak.

The very bottom panel is a glue-up of three 6" pieces of 1/4" oak and the other three are single pieces. As it turns out, Home Depot sells 4' lengths of oak in multiple thicknesses. At 12 bucks a pop for 6" widths, it ain't cheap, but I'm still not ready to take on dimensioning lumber by hand yet. 

So I have one side complete and the other almost ready for glue-up. All of the shelves are also glued up and ready for beading.

While much slower than I expected, I am getting there and should be ready for assembly by the middle of next week. 

So how was my wife's reaction to just getting an end for Christmas? Well, I don't think she was as happy with it as she was with the mink coat I gave her a few years ago. Then again, these things tend to loose something when you have to explain what it is.

Peace,

Mitchell