Sunday, October 25, 2009

Good News and Bad News

Progress has been somewhat stunted by the still wet Boxwood in the kiln. I pulled it out a few days ago, the meter said it was dry but when I cut into it on the bandsaw it did the banana. I need it for all the frame members for the sides and doors, maybe I should have made the cabinet curved, then all the bending would have been done for me, heh.

But.... the marquetry is now done and went pretty well! I don't have any finished pictures yet but here are some progress ones.

Cutting out the leaf parts.

Robert insisted that I move the scroll saw from the crowded and noisy machine room to his benchroom. It was a very peaceful week.

Joining the leaf-halves together. I think there were about 25 or more (It seemed like more).

Using the template to place the leaves on the background veneer.

I had mixed feelings about seeing the boxwood with holes in it. Seemed shameful to cut out pieces of it, but I think the results were worth it.

The finished veneers and substrates ready to go into the press.

Cutting off what will become the applied edges of the side panels.

I guiltlessly used the Lie-Neilsen #62 metal plane to surface the marquetry which worked very well. The shavings showed the leaf shapes in the boxwood.

A sort of breakthrough happened this past week. I have to admit that I was never really able to get completely enjoyable results from my wooden smoothing plane. Even after taking it to Robert a number of times to troubleshoot it, I just felt like there was something I was doing wrong. So I picked it up again to surface the top and bottom of the cabinet, determined to make it work, and something clicked. I honed the perfect edge on the iron (with a bald spot on my arm to prove it), was able to set it up just right, and the perfect, fluffy, full-length, full-width shavings came out. I was left with a flat, smooth, reflective surface with no ridges or track marks. It was one of the most satisfying and fun days I have had working on a project so far.
I don't know what changed, weather, attitude, ability, luck. It was the same day that JK's cabinet arrived at the school, maybe some of his energy was here with it.


  1. oooh mah gaah!
    that's gonna be some nice cabinet!
    hope my bent lam's turn out as well!

  2. I see a leaf theme happening in the work of Barb. I love it! Our tea cabinet is happy in its new home.

  3. Well done!! Nice touch with the maple tree seeds among the leaves, the stems look good too.;) Look forward to seeing some finished pictures.

  4. What a nice guy that Robert is heh. Good gosh that's a lot of leaves to keep track of!
    I'm still drooling over that boxwood by the way.
    Ha guiltlessly used the #62. Yeah with the grain getting all switched up with the marquetry it's a good thing to get a hand on. Try using a low angle on something cranky and rowed and see what happens though heh.
    Yes I'm bias but yay for the wooden smoother! and bald spots... it's satisfying to see those hairs jumping.

  5. isnt a low angle plane the same if i were to make a plane with a 60 or so degree bed?

  6. Hmm 12 degrees vs 60 degrees, kind of hard to describe in a concise way... In my general experience the higher angle becomes more akin to a scraper. The low angle is better at shearing end and cross grain but as the angle of "attack" is closer to that of some diving grain the force is more likely to continue in the same direction which causes more tear-out.
    This may not always be so but seems to be the trend in what I have encountered.
    Wow that sounds dry ... needs more zazz.

  7. hey barb, nice work...
    what jk cabinet arrived at school?

  8. The apple and pear cabinet that was in the gallery last year.

  9. How's your boxwood? Is it dry? I'm worrried .. we need an update.