29 May 2008

Where no man has gone before...

What a complete and utter disaster the last few days have been!...(weather wise that is) Here we are at the beginning of Summer and we've had nothing but bloody rain for days on end, so that meant that I couldn't get out and do the garden.
What it did mean though was that I could spend all the Bank Holiday (plus a couple of extra days) in the 'shop. The first thing I did was to get the door on the Elm Cabinet II to hang properly with the right shadow gap all round (approx .7mm) and after that it was a good bit of detail sanding followed by a couple of coats of Osmo - PolyX .
I then started on the stand and I think by COP last night I'd just about cracked it, with all the mortise and tenons done and the legs shaped. I decided to do something particularly cunning with the lower stretcher rail (the one right at the bottom of the stand near the floor) by shaping it in two planes so that there's a double curvature to it...the thinking was to try and make it appear much 'lighter'. If I'd left it as a solid rectangular block I think it would have looked too heavy. The main stretcher rail joints were Bird's Mouth m/t, something I hadn't done for a very long time (30 years), so it was good to refresh those skills and as it happens, they've turned out really well. The side joints were wedged and exposed m/t's exactly the same as I did on Elm Chest I...some care needed to do them, but fairly straight forward. The next thing to do will be to sort out the shaping for the cross - rail front and back together with the bearer rails that the main chest will sit on, so a lot more to do yet.
I've decided that from now on I'm going to 'stretch the envelope' and 'explore the boundaries', 'tread boldly and go where no man has gone before....' of what I can do...so often I just seem to do square, slabby sort of stuff, which is tricky enough but ultimately quite boring, so from now on, my stuff will have a lot more curvaceous elements to it, that's the plan anyway.

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