Looking back to move forward

For the past couple of days, I think I would have been fine working in the shop without electricity. Granted, I would need light, but I certainly have not needed it for my power tools. I don’t know what it is about the Chai-boy project, but it has been a hand tool intensive project. I truly have been looking back to move forward.

The top of the Chai-boy has been my main focus lately. It needed to be smoothed flat and shaped. As you may, but most likely will not remember from oh so long ago, the top is composed of four walnut boards glued up. The top has to look like the top of the Hebrew letter “Chet” so the top has to be thick and shaped correctly. My LN #4 made quick work of the seams and getting the sides flat and smooth. They were not kidding when they said you really can go straight to 220 grit sandpaper when you are finished planning. Thus, I save money by using less sandpaper, and save money by not having to use as much electricity. However, I have felt like the “Karate Kid” with; plane left, plane right, sand up, sand down, wax on, wax off etc….

Next, I needed to bull nose the right side of the top. I did not have a round-over bit for my router that was large enough for the bull nose, but that was okay. My Stanley block plane made pretty quick work rounding over the edges. All I had to do was find the right sized circle to trace, which turned out to be a roll of packing tape.  The tricky part was figuring out how to make the “spikey” part on the top of the left side. That piece of wood needed to have the grain running in the same direction as the top because I did not want a cross-grain glue up to cause future problems. Then the shaping was going to be a bit tricky too. The shape of the spike had to echo the shape of the bull nose curve. But once again, my little block plane made quick work of the outer curve, and a piece of sand paper rolled over a large piece of dowel stock took care of the inside curve.

The "spike" after basic shaping

Before shaping, my LN#4 got the bottom dead flat so it would fit perfectly against the top.



The shape of the top

Beside my Mac sits a jar of amber shellac flakes dissolving in denatured alcohol. I really do want to see what the walnut looks like with a coat of amber shellac vs. clear shellac applied to it. So I need to get a piece of scrap walnut, sand it down and apply a coat of boiled linseed oil (BLO), let it cure, then do the shellac test. I am hoping the amber tint will bring out more of the warmer tones of the walnut. Guess we will just have to wait and see how much of a difference it makes.  If the difference is slight, then I will start assembly, but if does what I hope it will do, I’ll have to start applying the BLO and amber shellac on the walnut parts, then start assembly.


More to come…..


About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in Chai Boy Journal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Looking back to move forward

  1. Bob says:

    I have found that it does bring out richer color in walnut.

  2. paloarte says:

    i love the cove detail you’ve done on walnut piece—very nice detail!


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