I know that my recent blog entries have been lightweight at best – thanks to Jeff Burks for picking up my slack. I’m determined to finish writing this “Campaign Furniture” book by Dec. 31, and so all my energy is going into the laptop.
And the benchtop.
Today I’m finishing up the collapsible bookcase – the last (I hope) project for the book – and none of the boards were behaving when I planed them. That usually means something is out of kilter – the plane’s sole or the benchtop. It was, of course, the benchtop. This bench is the one I built during the French Oak Roubo Projects in Georgia this summer. Until recently, the benchtop was settling in gently.
During the last two weeks, things got ugly. The benchtop itself has shrunk more than 1/16” in thickness – and shrunk even more near the dog holes and planing stop. This is, of course, totally expected because the holes expose more end grain to the atmosphere.
That doesn’t bother me. What’s distressing is the glue joint has opened up a 1/32” at the surface of the benchtop for almost 24”. The opening isn’t deep – less than 1/4” – but it looks like a gaping maw when I think about everything I did to get that seam airtight while gluing the benchtop.
It is what it is. Chances are it won’t fall to pieces.
But I have to get the top flat tonight so I can finish up this bookcase before the snow arrives. (It’s no fun to spray shellac in a snowstorm.)
— Christopher Schwarz