Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goodbye Maple Cabinet!!

Well here I am . Six years into this wood working thing. I was inspired to do this blog by a number of blogs that I saw done by current and former students of the IP school.

I just finished this small cabinet for my sister. This is my tenth cabinet. It had a fiddleback maple door on it. I bought that piece. The body of the cabinet was Norway maple that came from a tree that was diseased and taken down in a local park - I harvested several huge planks over 30" wide from that tree. The remaining woods all had significance for my sister and I, they were either havested by me or the wood was given to me by family members or family friends. Arbutus, cherry, cypress, kiawe & crabapple.

Part of the ethos I learned at the IP school was to use a hand plane as much as possible to finish the wood, rather than sanding. Certainly all of the woods on this cabinet were eminently plane-able. I found planing the fiddleback maple was beyond my skills though. The arbutus, cypress, and crabapple planed very nicely, the cherry had some figure in it and he Norway maple had some interlocked grain, so were at the limit of my skills, but I was happy to get them done (mostly) with a plane.

The cabinet was supposed to be a Christmas gift. I 0nly missed it by five months, total elapsed time on this was close to a year. My sister came by and took it home with her to Kamloops a couple weeks ago. It was originally going to have only one drawer, but I made a boo boo and had to add a second drawer to cover it up. I kind of lost my passion for it with the second drawer still unfinished. It really did sit around for too long. But I buckled down and got that second drawer done finally, it all turned out well, she was happy with it and I was happy too. I thought the design was good, but I need to leave boxyland now and get comfortable in curvyland with my next projects.

Next up: Bookcase for my wife in sapele and elm, from a design I saw in Fine Woodworking. Won't have any curves on it either, but we need a nice bookcase (actually we need several) so that's a good enough reason.

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