21 December 2008

Thank God for A2

Now don't get me wrong, I'm enormously grateful for any of my pals on UKWorkshop that contribute timber or tools to the cause (and I hope in some small way that I can reciprocate) and such was the case with my very good friend Waka who generously let me have one or two off-cuts of timber that would have otherwise been disposed off, or at best continue to take up valuable space in his 'shop. This is how I came to be the owner then, of a small parcel of kiln dried American White Oak, which I have to say is one of the most difficult timbers that I've had the misfortune to try and work with. Maybe it's the kilning process, but it seems to consist of layers of bullet hard, dense timber alternating with softer mushier stuff...and all of it has this 'carroty' feel to it under the edge which makes it quite unpleasant to use, 'specially if your trying to chop anything with a chisel as in dovetails pins and sockets. Contrast that with a decent English Oak that's been properly air-dried...it feels like you're cutting a very hard cheese, the tool just seems to slice effortlessly through the timber. Anyway, this little project is coming along reasonably well now in spite of the timber, it's just a case now of cleaning up the inside faces, finishing and then the big glue up, which'll be fun!
All I can say is thank God that all my chisels are LN with A2 steel!


Anonymous said...

Indeed Rob...

Thank the spirits of the woodshop for A2.

Mind you a nice piece of 1940's, Marples Carbon steel can go through English Oak as if it were a quality cheese. It all has to be sharp though!

Merry Christmas and a Good New year.

Ar' Kid

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