So, I should be working on my workbench project. But I’m putting off dimensioning the stretchers, which is the next step. I really like working with hand tools, but when it comes to mundane stock dimensioning I think I might like to go power. Scandalous, I know.
I have some odds and ends of wood that I’ve collected with a few specific projects in mind. In particular I have two short pieces of 8/4 mahogany from the off-cuts bin at the local wood store. My plan is to make a small three-legged “milk stool” as shown in Paul Sellers’ book. This has a couple of good things that I need to practice. First, using a gouge to hollow out the seat. Second, using a plane or spokeshave to make round tapered legs.
First things first, I cross cut, edge planed and glued up one of the scraps to make the seat.
Flattening the first side was easy, but for some reason I really struggled with getting the second side flat after I’d thicknessed it. I did just what you’d expect – scribed a thickness line and planed down to it. That took about two minutes. Then I spent another ten minutes chasing out highs and lows so it would lay flat on the bench.
Then I made a fancy pattern for the seat shape. I have using corrugated cardboard for patterns, but it was all I had on hand.
I cut off the excess with my band saw. I don’t have a good hand tool for cutting curves, I want to make a turning saw one day soon. Maybe I’ll do that before my workbench stretchers…
I laid out and drilled three angled 1″ holes (using my bit and brace, thank you very much). Kolya was using it to make his tool rack, and it turned out my bit was really dull. I sharpened the spurs and cutters with a small file and it cuts like gangbusters now. Then I got out my gouges and started hogging off material.
I had some problems with tear out in the deepest section, where the curve is the tightest. Lighter cuts, and rolling the gouge through the cuts seemed to help with that.
I switched to a flatter gouge and used lighter cuts to clean things up.
And then a flatter gouge still, followed by 120 grit sandpaper. The contour is OK, but it’s not as even as it should be around the periphery. I’ll work more on “even” next time I get into the shop. And make some legs for it.