The Holtzapffel Workbench – Day 3

(Part 3 of a series)

Ever have one of those awesome days in the shop? I did this afternoon. The morning and afternoon moisture readings indicated that I had a short board ready to test my process. So this afternoon I started on my first leg.

First though, I neglected to mention the slight ordeal involved in getting the boards. I went to Home Depot early on Saturday prepared to look through the stacks of boards. Unfortunately, the selection wasn’t that great. The 2x12x10 boards were few and far between. The 2x12x12 boards were no great shakes – lots of knots in unfortunate places. There were tons of 16′ boards, but these things are super heavy and hard to move by yourself. I should have enlisted some help to sort through the whole stack. I had only found one 10′ board worth putting on the cart, and I was already sweating profusely. One of the associates there helped me move some boards around and I picked out five boards that were so-so. I tried to pick ones where at least the knots would not show on the surface.

Well, after choosing the boards and paying for them, it was time to load them in the truck. Unfortunately, I didn’t think ahead to 16′ boards being put into a truck with an 8′ bed. Oops. After thinking it would be better to cut them on the spot than to get a moving violation, we hauled them back in the store and I had them cut to approximately what I needed. I think I would have preferred doing it myself to get the best sections, but I had to take what I could get. Loaded back in the truck, we took them home and I hauled them up to the shop and stickered them to dry out. Then I needed to dry out, as I was completely soaked with sweat by this time. Perhaps having them cut was better anyway…

Back to the present.

I had the 16′ boards cut into two sections of just over 6′, and the remainder should have been around 3.5′. I took the driest of these shorter boards and started tuning up my machines. Last time I used my jointer after a long period I got a rude reminder to check the tables, as the outfeed fell significantly and I got some nasty snipe. The jointer was set at a shallow cut, and I had to change my batteries on the Wixey gauge on the planer and reset it. That done, I ran the board on edge on the jointer and took it to the table saw for the cuts. The board was way too wide to run over the jointer on it’s face. Did I mention I had to move all the boards to the cabinets? That was fun. Should have done that the first time.

After ripping the board into three pieces of 3.5″ wide, I ran them over the jointer on the cut sides to clean up the marks from the table saw. I flipped each piece on their side to get a 90º, then ran the opposite side through the planer to get a nice board, right at the size of a 2×4. I cut them to their proper lengths. I then needed to get these down to 1.25″, so I ran them through the planer, alternating sides, until I reached my final measurements. I had a few marks on the boards from the various knives, so I took my block plane and cleaned them up. How sweet is planing pine? It’s so cathartic.

Tomorrow, if the leg assembly isn’t twisted up like a pretzel, I clean up the glue joints and bring everything to it’s final dimensions. Then I clean up, make some adjustments to my work flow, and see if another board is ready. I can’t wait to put down some mortises, did I mention I’ve never done any before? Ever? Yeah. I’m excited.

Here are some pictures to keep you entertained.

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