Learning to use more power tools, and/or use them better, is ever reminding me that I am an out of shape lard blob who normally sits in front of a keyboard.
The work surface project consists of two massive leg panels, rather than four individual legs, and two rails. They fit together with matching slots.
Yesterday’s learning projects were:
- How to cut a dado using progressively deeper passes with the router.
- Cutting parallel slices from a shrinking sheet of plywood with a circular saw. (Hint: that end bit hanging 2+ feet beyond the saw horse needs to be clamped to the fence or the saw base will just slide under and you get disgusting curves and wasted lumber.)
- How to use a round-over bit in the router to trim all the ‘hand’ edges.
- This was rather more linear feet than originally expected – rail top (4 edges each), rail bottom (10 edges each), and legs (16 edges each)
- How to calculate and draw an 80° angle, to create a pattern to use for cutting the ‘splay’ slots in the rails. Surprisingly challenging; I actually had to dig out trigonometry memories.
- More measure twice cut once lessons.
- Glue is a wonderful, wonderful thing, but I need more clamps.
One of the dados will need to be done again today; I apparently was insufficiently careful in making sure the cut was smooth and true on the long rail, and it did not pass the dry-fit testing before gluing. But I can do that while the next set of gussets are glued, clamped, and curing (24 hours, but I am only leaving them clamped for 12.)
Hopefully that will be enough effort to work the stiffness out of my shoulders; yesterday’s work left me a bit sore from the unaccustomed efforts. This project, which for a reasonably equipped shop (and reasonably skilled woodworker) should have taken about 8 hours is approaching a full forty hour work week. But each period in the shop seems to be getting more productive than the last.
My list of “really need it” tools is dwindling for the moment. Before I would tackle this project again (and I probably will) I would like a 10″ table saw, which was clearly the number one missing tool. Before I complete the dinghy project I will need to reconstitute my plane sharpening kit. The router really needs a vacuum fitting, rather than jury-rigging the hose nearby with tape and clamps. And I need about 20-30 8-10 cm spring clamps, a half-dozen or so bar clamps, and two clamps which fit the work/router table. Plus a zillion pretty hand tools.