Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Split Ends

I’ve been incredibly busy with work this last week and a half…so much so that I spent most of last weekend working on a project at the office.  I did listen to a couple woodworking podcasts while toiling away in Excel though.

I was able to sneak down into the shop tonight to start laying out some of the parts for the CO State Fair cabinet build.  I had selected the shortest pair of book-matched Padauk boards for the doors, as I was thinking I would make the body of the cabinet 24” tall.  At 30” long I was planning to get the two doors and enough for a drawer front from this pair of boards.  I also liked the curves in the heartwood/sapwood transition there in the top 24”.

As I was measuring and getting ready to start marking the boards I noticed that one of the end checks extends further into the board than I had originally noticed.  There goes my 24” of clear, solid stock!

I’ve marked my 24” lines and then traced out the checks.  You can see that the longest one encroaches on my doors pretty significantly.

You can also see that the checks extend a little bit further on the back, rough sawn side.

It looks like this pair will find its way back onto the wood rack for now, destined to wait for a smaller scaled project.  Fortunately I could turn to its bigger brother.

This pair is about 2 and a half inches longer and is free of any end checks or cracking within the boards.  As with many things in life, sometimes a disappointment leads to a happy accident.  These extra couple inches may actually come in handy as I’m tinkering with the idea of incorporating two drawers in the design.  While the curves are not as pronounced as in the first pair of boards, I really like the book-matched emphasis of the small knot in these boards.  Their symmetrical position and sizing really enhance the mirrored image effect of the book-match.

I’m not sure yet how, or if I even want to, incorporate the book-matched pattern into the drawer(s).  I’m thinking of edge joining the boards (after cutting the doors) to make the drawer fronts, but I’m worried about them looking a bit too “heavy.”  Maybe a tapered vertical pull down the center would clean the look up a bit. 

Oh boy!  I definitely need to set an evening curfew when coming down into the shop.  It’s so easy to lose track of time down here and find yourself posting a blog after 1:30am!


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