THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING

MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2011

This is my idea of time well spent in the shop
Today in my shop, I realized that I was proving the point that I made yesterday about when I choose to use power tools over hand tools and vice versa. Today I was preparing legs and aprons for finish and I chose to do this with hand tools rather than power.

Here is what I did:

removed all the machining marks with a smoothing plane
removed the arrises on the corners - effectively applying a 1/16" round over
applied the first coat of linseed oil to all the parts

Parts are oiled and waiting for more
All of this took 90 minutes to complete. Now had I decided to do this with power tools things would have been different. The sanding alone would have taken 1.5 hours and I would have filled the shop with dust and noise. Not to mention the challenge of sanding narrow surfaces like the tapered legs without ruining the facets by rounding them over. If I used the router to put a round over on all of the edges, I would have had to set the router up, did some test cuts and then shape the edges - the whole time hoping that the router bit didn't rip out a huge chunk of wood that could ruin the piece.

The legs are made of cherry with a maple edge band seen
 in the shaving - ever take pictures of sanding dust?

The legs are made from cherry with an edge band of hard maple seen in the shavings. Ever seen someone taking pictures of sanding dust?

This is why I do the last 40% of the work at the bench with hand tools instead of with power. It's faster and the surfaces are superior, letting the chatoyance of the cherry through - not to mention the lack of dust in the shop and the only noise was 'The Black Keys' coming from the stereo.

 - To understand, you must do.

V