For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oak Box III

Keeping with one operation at a time, last night I cut the dadoes to fit the shelf for my oak box. I also found out that the Spanish Cedar I want to use for the back is going to take a while come in. Either I will wait about three weeks for the cedar, or I will find another wood to make the back from.

Before the dadoes...let's back track just a bit to look at the grooves for the back. I have to use a little creative clamping in order to get the edge of the piece to hang over the side of the bench. I had my brain in auto-pilot and didn't do a good job of checking the spacing of the groove. I should have moved it in some more, as it cut into the half pins on the back of the boards. Lesson learned, moving on...

My LeeValley plow plane doing its thing. This is a lovely plane. LV did an excellent job with this tool.

These depth gauges are great for checking the depth of a groove. If you don't have one, I recommend you get one. This one is a Brown and Sharpe. Lufkin and Starrett also make them. If you are cheap like me, antique is the way to go.

Well, that's a good sign, the groove lines up!

The lines for the shelf marked and sawed. Now, I meant to do a stopped dado here so that the shelf wouldn't break the line on the front of the case. Again...after a long day...the brain was on auto pilot. I chiseled the line all the way across. No problem, it's a through dado now. Using a cross-cut carcass saw on a chiseled line is an easy \way to start  making the dadoes.

LV router plane (no, they aren't paying me to show off their tools). I haven't done this in oak before, it's tougher than in maple and takes some effort.

The finished dadoes. I didn't pick a particular dimension to set it at. There will be a chisel hanging in the shelf, so I used it to set where the shelf would fit.

Today's lessons? Layout requires having your brain in a functioning mode. I'm not so much worried about the fact that my dadoes for the shelf turned out to be through dadoes. It's more the fact that I didn't place the groove where I should have. After this, it will be hard to make that same mistake again.
While I wait on the wood for the back, there isn't much to do. I'm going to get the length of the shelf close to its final dimension, and cut two of the three pieces required for the back. The shelf and the back will go in at the same time, so I'll be playing the waiting game.


  1. Mark, just found your blog vai, Paul Sellers site, only started back at 2011, but like what i've read. Ref, sandblasting old files, I use coke cola 2/3rds 1/3rd pickling vinegar [ordinary vinegar is ok] soak for a week at least, works well. cheers cansdale.

  2. Thanks. I've tried vinegar before and didn't like the results. I'll have to try it with the coke (there's a reason I don't drink much of it anymore). I have to wait for my sandblasted files to dull first, though ;)
    I've found that my files last a lot longer when I'm lazy and don't touch any of the metal work I'm supposed to be doing! If I'd get off my arse, I'd have a lot more dull files that I could experiment with.