I’m getting closer to finishing up a custom desk for a client. This is a large “L” shaped unit made with Black Walnut. The walnut was locally harvested, and air dried so on the “green” scale its pretty much at the top. From a design perspective the natural edge of the 6/4 slabs looks very cool, adding some awesome crotch figure really makes it POP.
A couple weeks ago this creation was a hand full of raw wood slabs. I initially started working with a #5 Lie Nielsen bench plane and made some great progress with that. The quiet swoosh and the curly shavings a sign of simple hand working. Near the end of the smoothing and flattening process the hand plane was starting to be less efficient, winding sticks and straight edges told me I needed to pull the edges down. The hand plane was having a hard time pulling off this wood, in grain direction strokes…in that plane I was dead flat. With the prospect of belt sanding a lot I instead picked up a new tool, a Dewalt, powered hand planner. This tool has been on my “to get” list for a few years, and this proved to be a good time to need one. A hand full of passes with this guy and the edges were brought down, some minor touch up work with the belt sander and presto..done and flat. While I prefer the old time hand tools, I have to admit that the power plane did save a lot of time.
On the cabin front…I picked up another 300 lineal feet of the Tongue and Groove paneling / boards and have started some more sanding. After I get this desk out of the finishing area of my shop I can start oiling up the blue stain pine. The plan is to get this 300 feet done, add it to the 120 feet or so I finished up a month or so ago, and take it all down to the cabin for the spring break trip…and If I can talk the girls into helping, get it installed.