15 February 2012

Mission Sliding Bookstand

One of my more immediate goals is to master some important skills as opposed to completing a project.  These include pins-1st through dovetails ala Glen Huey (Cheating at Hand-Cut Dovetails); and sawing straight (this should precede the dovetails-see what Frank Klausz has to say on this!) as well as mastering the FMT jig.
Yet over the December holidays I decided to do a quick and small project just for relaxation.  I picked this project because I have a place for it, and I want to get some practice using my Peart's Punches.  I also decided to use this small & quick (read easy) project as a gateway to start using hand tools predominantly in my workshop.
By the way, you don't always make stuff for a reason.  I just have to make a Shaker bench (the variation with the backrest) because it is a very beautiful piece for me even though I have absolutley nowhere to put it.
I chose Cherry because I had small offcuts.  The plugs are Rhodesian Teak. I enjoyed doing the project because I love woodworking, for no other reason. Small projects are neither quick nor easy.  When I told my friend how I battled with this piece, he replied without hesitation "There is no such thing as a quick project."
Lesson learnt.  The Peart's Punches are very clever, but I battled to get them in a straight line. Next time I need to tape down a fence on which to lean them against.  Rounding the corners without a rasp was not fun. Working with small pieces and clamping small pieces is in many situations more difficult than working with larger pieces
The rebate was done on the router table.  And on this subject, I read a lot about predominantly hand tool workers who justify one or three power tools that they cannot do without.  Most include a bandsaw and almost none include a router table.  If I could pick only two power tools in my hand-tool workshop they would be the thicknesser planer and the router table.  The bandsaw is great but comes in a distant third before the large belt sander.
Back to the project.  I did tiny tenons as per the plans on the bottom rails and finished it with Danish Oil and wax.  The friction sysytem works very well, so you can have one or many books on the stand and they will never fall over.
Another way to approach this project is to make up 6mm MDF templates of the uprights & legs.  Then with a pattern router one could cut multiple pieces in a flash.  The rails are easy.  This doesn't sound like a hand tool woodworker now, does it!