17 July 2009

'Shed pine...who'd have it?

Over the last couple of evenings I've been making progress with Meg's computer table and last night I was sorting out the drawer. It's been made in the usual way with lapped and through dovetails but cutting the sockets is proving to be a bit of a 'mare as the pine I'm using is soooooo soft and mushy it's proving a tad tricky.

True, the sawing is easy enough as as the stuff is so soft there's no difficulty in mushing the joints together...it's the chisel work that's awkward. I'm convinced that to do any long term work in this sort of stuff a separate set of chisels should be bought that can be honed at about 10deg so that it'll cut cleanly through it...either that or use a razor blade! My LN chisels are honed at 32deg which is just too great a pitch for very soft timber, so it's a really a bit a thankless task trying to use them on 'shed pine.

I did though try out a new (to me anyway) method of removing the waste from the sockets...rout it out! I set the router to the exact depth of the socket using the Axminster gauge blocks that I had for Christmas (and very useful they've proved too) and then set the fence so that the cutter just kissed the shoulder line. This meant that with a series of vertical plunges the waste was cleared out precisely to both scribed lines. It seemed to work quite well and left just the corners to clean out. The LN fishtails were particularly good here, but I came up against the same old problem...

...crap wood!!

I finished of the evening's activities by doing a little bit more on the shooting board project that I'm making for a good pal. To answer one specific question though, posed by a reader from far distant lands, the 'shute consists of two main large flat boards (made from mdf and ply) and the piece that can be seen on the underside is in fact a rectangular block of hardwood, so that in use it's hooked over the front of the bench (or secured in a vice) in much the same way as an ordinary bench hook.

I sorted out the first of the mitre attachments by planing it to fit onto the main 'shute. The next thing to do is to plane down the 45deg slope so that it makes a dead accurate mitre, which ought not to be too onerous, after which it's the slightly more adventurous long mitre jig...

1 comment:

The Village Carpenter said...

Looking forward to seeing the finished computer table, Rob. I'm sure it will be beautiful despite the "crap" wood.