I do hate to think I am neglecting my blog, so I feel I need to share bit of what I have been up to in the shop:
Staked Desk ala Welsh Stick Chair inspired by a piece by Christopher Schwarz.
Or, Staked Desk for short.
This project started as an idea I got while gawking at some really wide ash boards at the lumber yard while scoping out wood for another project. I didn't buy them, and when I got home and started thinking about it, I decided that I really should have bought them, so the next day I headed back to the lumber yard.
Since there wasn't an employee pestering me to tell him what I wanted, I took advantage of some time to wander around there by myself to look at all what was available. I found some really nice wide 5/4 oak boards. The Frau wasn't so excited about the idea of an ash desk, so I figured this was the way to go.
|Too big to saw in my Kellerraum shop space, so I used the common space outside of my shop.|
|I used to have to saw boards to lengths no longer than 2 meters 30.|
The entire design of this desk was done in my preferred way: on the fly with no drawings or cut lists, creating using the dimensions of the rough lumber.
In this case, the board I had was about 18 inches wide, so that is how deep my desk top will be.
|I think this is the widest single board I have ever worked with.|
The rest of the desk needed to be made out of 8/4 stock (8/4 means two inches thick), and the best, straight grained stuff for staked legs they had was ash. I like ash, and I think it compliments other ring porous woods like oak nicely.
The only thing I should have thought about was it would have been possible to start my tapered legs at this point, saving me having to plane them tapered later. Perhaps next time.
|Since I sawed them square, it was easy to make them all four square.|
I laid this out with my 48" ruler, and started tapering with my ratty old Swedish jack plane.
|This plane has become a workhorse in my shop.|
|Pretty decent for a thick shaving.|
|All lined up, you can see the tapers on the four legs here.|
|Did I invent something? A jointing smoother.|
I chose an angle by eye, and sawed. No idea what the angles are, and I am sure none of them are the same. Those of you OCD engineer types I'm sure are horrified, but really it doesn't matter as long as it looks OK.
|Cross battens angled and sawed to length.|
Now that the undercarriage is on track, time to get the desk top sorted.
|Layout tools for a big chunk of lumber. I don't often get to use my layout square.|
|New to me crosscut saw. Nice.|
|Long boards are a bit of a challenge in my cramped space.|
|For fun I had to play with the microscope mode of my camera.|
|Even with this plane, this job took a lot of calories.|
I took a bit of a break and decided to taper the ends of the legs in preparation for going into their tapered mortices.
I got to use the drawknife that was given to me by Ray Schwanenberger for the first time. A good, sharp, full size drawknife is a wonderful thing. I look forward to really getting to know this tool. I used it to rough the thick part enough to get the leg into my home-made tapered rounder.
|Now THAT's a knife!|
|This works great. Like a big pencil sharpener.|
|Layout of this joint was greatly assisted by Peter Galbert's book, The Chairmaker's Notebook.|
|The giant problem here was once I got it flat, there was a big stripe going cross grain!|
|The dark marks here are just sweat drippings. Yuck!|