Tag Archives: hand tool

Wraparound Dovetails – How I Fit Them

Most of us are familiar with the techniques for fitting dovetails during construction.  You cut the pieces to size, mark your dovetails, and cut away.  Even if you machine-cut, the process is basically the same.  Everything is measured from the end of the board.  However, there are times when this approach doesn’t work.

This blanket chest is a perfect example of this.  Christopher Schwarz’s Anarchist’s Tool Chest is another.  In both cases, a base or dust seal wraps around the basic structure of the chest, and is dovetailed into place.  The problems start to arise when you realize that the pieces cannot be precut to length, but must be fitted to the existing structure to ensure a good fit.  No, measuring with rule is not a substitute for a good direct measurement.  Of course, your measurement doesn’t tell you how far past the end of the casework the board should extend for the overlap that will give a good, snug dovetail.  This is how I do it:

Dovetail Tuning 1

Start by dovetailing one corner to act as a reference, leaving the board overlong.  Then, with the assembled dovetail snugged into place, mark the corner of the casework on the other end.  A marking knife will work, but I find that a pencil will angle into the corner more easily without wandering.

Dovetail Tuning 2

Next, stand the opposing board (or an offcut of the same) on edge on this board, with the inside edge flush with your pencil line, and mark the location of the outside face.  This measurement isn’t really critical – you just don’t want to be too short.  Next, crosscut the board to just outside this last line to establish the rough length.

Dovetail Tuning 3

Now comes the trick.  Take your marking gauge, which you already set while cutting the first dovetail, and place it against the sawn end of the board.  There will probably be, as shown above, a gap between the knife/pin and the pencil line.  Simply plane away the excess with your shooting board (you do have a shooting board, don’t you?) until the marker touches the far edge of the pencil line.  If your marking gauge was set correctly in the first place, you should now have the correct amount of overlap to yield a dovetail that wraps snugly around the casework.

With a little thought and modification, this technique will also work with dovetailing jigs.  Simply set your marking gauge to the base of the first dovetails, and proceed as above.  Since all you’re doing is effectively cutting a board to length, the dovetailing method is really irrelevant.  Give it a try!

Blanket Chest – Molding Fitting

At last, the time had come to fit the cove molding to the frame-and-panels.  Most conventional wisdom says to cut the trim to precise length, and then miter the ends.  While this works up to a point, I’ve found that a modified version is easier for me.  This is how I do it:

Blanket Chest 27

I start by cutting a piece of molding to just slightly oversize, and then saw to this length.  As you may recall from a couple of posts back, I marked one face of the molding to keep any asymmetry coordinated, and reduce any irregularities between pieces.  I now take care to keep this mark oriented against the frame, not the panel.  The white on the panel is primer, applied to reduce any chance of bare wood peeping if the panel shrinks.

Blanket Chest 28

Rather than trim square to precise length, I go ahead and cut a miter on one end using the miter shooting board, continuing until the piece fits in place in the frame.  The next step is to miter the other end just to a point, keeping that good fit.

Blanket Chest 29

The photo above shows how the mark on the back helps keep the pieces oriented during the various manipulations.

Once the first piece is in place, I repeated the process with its neighbor, starting with the end that butts into the first piece.  Then, I shot the miter on the other end to fit.  I’ve found that, even if you cut all the pieces to precise lengths, their interactions with each other inevitably require a bit of further shooting to get everything to play nicely together.  For me, it’s easier to fit as a single operation rather than two distinct steps.  The pieces are small enough that shooting requires very little effort.  Just don’t forget your wax!

Blanket Chest 32

Once all the parts are settled into their respective places, I applied glue to just the side facing the frame, not the panel (remember the black mark?), and then held it in place with 23 gauge pins until the glue dried.  (Haven’t I heard that somewhere before?)  That way, the panels can expand and contract freely without trying to take the molding with it.

Blanket Chest 33

With all the molding in place, the time had finally arrived.  The joints were glued, and the assembly went into the clamps.  Suddenly, the group of flat panels was starting to look like a blanket chest.

Next time, I’ll add the bottom.  Stay tuned!

What I Screwed Up This Week – Molding Miscalculation

Welcome back for another educational issue of What I Screwed Up This Week!  This time, we take a look at a molding miscalculation from the current blanket chest project.

The Problem:

Panel Molding 2

My plan was to have the panels of the blanket chest set in 3/8″ from the front of the frame.  This would allow a 1/8″ shoulder at the top to provide a visual break between the molding and the frame.  However, there was one problem.  The above drawing reflected my thinking.  I visualized the panel as a flat surface, rather than having a raised bevel.

Panel Molding 3

The reality was far different.  The sloping bevel of the panel raised the molding upwards.  While the drawing above is exaggerated, the oversight is clear.  The shoulder at the top of the molding becomes too small, giving no real definition to the transition.

The Solution:

Panel Molding 4

I played with several ways to rectify the problem.  However, the simplest turned out to be the best, and easiest to implement.  I simply trimmed down the upper edge of the molding to recreate the shoulder.  Surprisingly, it had very little effect on the appearance of the cove – much less than I had anticipated.

Blanket Chest 30

To remove this wood, I took a page from Matthew Bickford’s blog, Musings from Big Pink, and made a small sticking board.  This allowed the small piece of molding to be held in place simply by the friction of planing it.  The taper of the side support reduced the area of contact for the plane, and acted as a sort of depth stop (or at least reference) once the first piece had been planed to the desired thickness.

Blanket Chest 31

A few strokes with the plane were all that were necessary to reduce the height of the molding enough to create a viable shoulder at the top.  Here, you see a piece coming to final thickness.

Lesson Learned:

Angles can change everything.  Even a small slope or curve can drastically affect how pieces interact with each other.  Be sure to do mock-ups of any such areas, and determine if you need to make any modifications to your design before you paint yourself into the proverbial corner.

Blanket Chest – Drawing a Bead With a Scratch Stock

In the midst of finishing up the four chest frames, I decided to take a detour to the bottom.  I started with 3″ wide boards 3/4″ thick, and did a simple shiplap using the dado blade on the tablesaw.  However, I didn’t like the overly plain look, even if it was the bottom, and would rarely be seen.  What I really wanted was a beaded edge detail to dress things up just a bit.  However, I didn’t own a beading bit for the router.  What to do?

I had recently seen a Fine Woodworking video of Garrett Hack making and using a scratch stock, and decided to give it a try.  My first stop was at the box store for a long thumbscrew and a thread tap and drill bit set to match.  Then, I got to work.

Scratch Stock Holder 1

I cut a small piece of white oak to a size that was comfortable in the hand.  I laid the thumbscrew on top, and marked a line around the block just up from the end of the screw.

Scratch Stock Holder 2

I used the tap’s pilot bit to drill a hole into the end of the block stopping after I passed the line.  This would allow the tap to cut threads all the way to the slot-to-be.  I then took the tap, and carefully cut threads all the way to the end of the hole.  This long column of threads gives the screw more support, with less chance of the metal screw stripping out the wooden threads.  Marc Spagnuolo has a great video of this process available on The Wood Whisperer’s website.

Scratch Stock Holder 3

After tapping the screw hole, a saw kerf provides a slot for the scratch stock blade.

Scratch Stock Holder 4

I rounded the edges and corners slightly for comfort, waxed the screw, and ran it into the hole.  With that, the blade holder was finished.

Scratch Stock Blade 1

To make the blade, I took a small square of old saw blade and dressed the edges smooth and square.  Then, using the appropriate size of file, I cut a semicircular profile into the blade, and then smoothed the concave surface with sharpening slip.

Scratch Stock Blade 2

Actual sharpening is done by honing the surfaces of the blade to a mirror finish, much like flattening the back of a chisel or plane iron.  I’m a diamond hone fan, but any sharpening system will work.  Repeating this process will usually restore the blade to cutting shape without having to touch the profile itself.

Scratch Stock Adjustment

I mounted the blade in the holder so that the inside curve ends just at the surface of the wood.  If you were to move it outwards a bit, you would have a flat step on the outside edge – certainly an option if that is what you want.  A twist of the thumbscrew locks it in place.  I apologize for the blurry pictures, but it took five tries to get one this good.  You get the idea.

Scratch Stock Use

To use the stock, simply move it back and forth along the edge of the board being shaped.  Often, it will cut better in one direction than another.  In the picture above, the cut is being made towards me (away from you).  Notice that I’ve got the scratch stock angled slightly – it’s important that the cutting edge trails somewhat until the last gentle pass or two.  Think about the way you use a card scraper, and you’ll get the general idea.  The rest is a matter of feel and patience – don’t try to cut too fast.

Beaded Bottom Boards

These are the completed bottom boards, and you can see how the beads really dress up the otherwise plain shiplapped edges.  When I attach them to the bottom of the blanket chest, I’ll use a couple of finish nails or brads to space them so that the actual gap is the same as the groove beside the beads.  Not only will this give a good look, but will allow for expansion and contraction.

The scratch stock is an amazingly simple tool, and cost me all of $1.40 for the thumbscrew.  The thread tap and drill bit were about $4.00, and will surely come in handy adding screw threads to other projects.  The saw blade was just laying around in the way.  While it’s certainly not as fast as a router, it allows you to duplicate existing profiles easily, especially for smaller projects or restorations.
And, it won’t break the bank like a collection of router bits.  For the price, it can’t be beat.  Give it a try.

Blanket Chest – Framed

Blanket Chest 11

Once all of the mortises were chopped, it was time to start final fitting of the joints.  The first step is to decide which rails and stiles will go together to make a subassembly.  As I had selected stock for the various pieces, I kept in mind that the back side of the chest would be up against the end of the bed (or later a wall, perhaps), and parts with “issues” could go there.  Even though this chest will be painted, it’s a good habit to develop, since some blemishes can still show through.  My outfeed table was the perfect place for the selection process, as I could lay out a whole assembly for inspection, while keeping the other parts neatly stacked and organized to one side.

Blanket Chest 12

As I’ve said before, staying organized is of paramount importance on a complex project such as this.  Since all the joints are hand-cut, the matching components are hand-fitted to each other, making each pair unique.  To keep confusion at bay, I clearly number each joint pair, so that they stay oriented to each other all the way to glue-up.  Also, note the “X” on the bottom of the rail.  This denotes the edge where the haunch will be cut – more insurance.

This is also a good place to point out the answer to a question from a reader regarding how I cut my tenons.  The bottom face of the tenon in the above phto has the spacing I strive for – cutting just on the outside of the penciled groove, rather than splitting it.  The upper face is actually a bit on the “fat” side, and will require more work to bring it into line.  This task is accomplished with my router plane, as explained in a previous article.

Corner Detail

With all the rails and stiles fitted, it was time to address the corner joints.  As I mentioned previously, I decided on tongue-and-groove joinery to join the side frames to the end ones.  On reflection, reversing the joint so that the tongue on the face, and the groove is on the end wound have resulted in a stronger joint.  However, orienting the joint as shown will give less chance of a seam showing on the face.  Like most things in life, it’s a trade-off.

Blanket Chest 15

The first step was to cut the grooves.  Why?  Because I’m using a plow plane that has a fixed-width blade.  This is a good basic principle of hand tool work.  Whenever possible, perform the operation that utilizes a fixed tool first, then fit the other part to it.  When mortising, chop the mortise, then fit the tenon.  When making framed panels, cut the groove, then fit the panel to it.  You get the idea.

By the way, make sure you cut the grooves on the inside face of the stile.  Just sayin’.

Blanket Chest 16

With the grooves cut, I turned my attention to the tongues.  Fortunately, they were to be centered on the end of the stile, with a 1/4″ shoulder on each side (1/4″+1/4″+3/8″=7/8″).  I set the depth stop on the rabbet plane to leave the tenon just a bit fat, and did the final trim with a shoulder plane.  Rabbet and plow plane depth stops tend to slip, and should not be overly trusted.  Recheck the settings frequently as you work.  The astute among you will notice that I have sloped my tenon slightly from shoulder to edge.  I noticed this myself, and quickly corrected, paying more attention as I went forward to avoid a repetition.

Blanket Chest 17

Once all of the tongue-and-grooves had been cut, it was time for the first dry-up.  This is the time to walk around and take note of the things that need fine tuning, trying to get everything lined up before actual assembly.

Rabbet Plane Curlies

Now it’s time to turn our attention to other aspects of the project.  The panels have to be made, and I’ve got a couple of jigs to build.  But, in the meantime, it’s time to sweep up, and get rid of all the skew plane shavings left behind.

Stay tuned!

Blanket Chest – In the Groove

Since this blanket chest has frame-and-panel construction, the next step was to make the grooves to hold the panels.  As I mentioned in the post on cutting the tenons they, and their corresponding grooves are not centered, but offset to the inside face of the chest.  This means that the old tablesaw trick of running a board through, then flipping it end-for-end and running it through again to get a centered groove won’t work.  However, there’s an excellent way to get a groove without having to dig out the dado set.

Blanket Chest 8

A plow plane is an excellent alternative for grooves.  While not as fast as a dado, it can be set once and left on the shelf (much like a marking gauge), to be picked up as needed.  This leaves the tablesaw with its combination blade in place for such other jobs as may arise as the project progresses.  And, once set up and adjusted, the plow plane isn’t as slow as you might think.

With the 1/4″ blade installed, I set the plow plane’s fence to plow a groove in line with the tenons, and 1/4″ deep.  Notice in the photo above, the letter “I” near the tenon shoulder.  This stands for “inside”, and marks the face with the 1/4″ shoulder.  On the opposite side of the shoulder is an “O”, which stands for (you guesssed it) “outside”.  Placing these marks on every joint affords me a much better chance of staying oriented with all this asymmetrical joinery.

Another trick, as shown above, is the use of a cabinetmaker’s handscrew to keep the board vertically oriented.  I use this same configuration later when boring mortise starter holes.  Handscrews are generally underutilized by modern woodworkers, but this is just one of many uses they have in anyone’s workshop.

Blanket Chest 9

Once the grooves were plowed, it was time to layout for the mortises.  By gang-clamping matching pieces together and marking all of them at once, I was able to cut down on error.

The pieces shown above are four of the corner stiles, and the markings require a bit of explanation.  On the right, you see two lines.  The one on the outside marks the edge of the mating rail, while the inside one marks the end of the mortise.  On the left, there is a single line that marks the start of the mortise, but no line for the edge of the rail.  This edge is flush with the end of the stile, and the long gap indicates the haunch that will fill the groove to the edge.  It’s wider than usual due to the fact that these mortises will be hand-chopped, and I allowed extra wood on the outside of the mortise to help prevent any blow-outs of the end grain.

Blanket Chest 10

One of the beauties of grooved rails is that all of your mortising guides are already in place.  Just place your auger bit or mortising chisel in the groove, and you’re ready to go.  Of course, you still have to stay vertical.  As usual, I bored multiple clearance holes for each mortise to make the chisel work easier.  This step is especially important on mortises near the end of the board, as this helps to reduce the dreaded blow-out of the unsupported endgrain.

The next step will be to start bringing these various chunks of wood together.  Stay tuned!

Sawing Tenons the Wearing Way

This seems like a good time to digress slightly onto the subject of sawing tenons.  The blanket chest has a lot of them – 24 to be exact, and all are cut by hand.  So, I thought I’d give a quick look at how I saw tenons.

In the past, I had cut my tenons in the “normal” manner – near corner first.  But then, I read The Essential Woodworker by Robert Wearing.  This book, first published in 1988, is one of the best modern treatises on (mostly) hand tool woodworking.  This book turned a lot of my ideas on their ear, and altered the way I did a lot of things.

Wearing recommends starting on the far corner of the tenon, and then establishing a groove across the top before working down the near side.  This approach, for me at least, makes it much easier to saw accurately.  The saw follows the path of least resistance, the kerf, and is less prone to wander when it isn’t having to blaze two trails at the same time.  Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words so…

Sawing Tenons 1

Start with the far corner of the tenon.  If it helps, make a small notch with a chisel that gives you a starting point next to the line.  Normally, my left thumb would be against the saw as well to start the cut, but I’ve moved it for clarity.  Yes, the Bad Axe Large Tenon Saw is a handful, but to me it actually makes the cut easier.  The wide plate is less prone to angle away from vertical, and the weight makes downward pressure a non-issue.  It’s my go-to saw for any tenon over 1 1/2″  wide.

Another trick is to watch the reflection of the wood in the sawplate, and keep it straight in line with the actual wood so that it seems to be one continuous piece.  This will ensure that you stay square and vertical.

Sawing Tenons 2

Once you’ve established the corner,  slowly lower the heel of the saw as you cut, extending the kerf backwards across the top of the wood, staying flush with the line.  This is what establishes your path of least resistance, and makes the following steps much easier.  It’s much easier to go this way than to start on the near corner and try to extend the kerf forwards.  At the very least, that approach constantly obscures your line with sawdust.  In addition, you can see exactly how the saw teeth are approaching the line.

Sawing Tenons 3

Once your kerf extends all the way across, proceed as usual by sawing down the near face, while simultaneously connecting with the far corner.  Wearing recommends tilting the wood for this step, but I don’t find it necessary with this saw.  This allows me to do the first three steps above as one continuous cut, only stopping to reposition the stock before continuing.

Sawing Tenons 4

Once you’ve connected the corners, flip the stock around and connect the corners from the other side.  Once again, I keep the stock vertical, at least with this saw.  I suppose I could simply walk around to the other side and not have to reposition the stock at all, but working up against the bench like that is less comfortable and more awkward for me than standing off the end.  If it works for you, go for it.

Sawing Tenons 5

Now, to finish the cut, level the saw and cut the triangle of remaining wast left by your previous two corner connections.  As I get near the end of the cut, I lighten my stroke and bring the thumb of my left hand up alongside the waste (I’m cutting on the near side) to keep it from snapping off prematurely.

Sawing Tenons 6

And there you have it!  The surface is a little rough, but that’s because my technique is still a little rough.  However, the tenon serves it’s purpose very well.  In the one in the picture, I had already cut the end to width before the shot.  This was done after the cheeks were cut.

I hope this helps pique your interest in this method of sawing tenon cheeks.  If you’d like to see this technique in motion, Shannon Rogers has an excellent video of this approach on his site, The Renaissance Woodworker.  Check it out!

Krenov Sawhorses – A Firm Footing

With all the wood dimensioned, it was time to start the joinery.  I cut the four feet to length and laid out for the mortises at the center of each using a mortise gauge with a pair of spurs.  Having recently read Robert Wearing’s excellent book, The Essential Woodworker, I decided to use a variant of his mortising technique.

Krenv Sawhorse 9

After scoring deeply with the mortise gauge, I began by making a series of shallow cuts across the width of the mortise with a chisel using hand pressure only.  In Wearing’s example, he uses the same mortise chisel used to chop the mortise.  However, in hickory, the mortise chisel didn’t work very well with hand pressure alone, so I opted instead for a bench chisel.  The idea is to simply raise the chip a bit, forming a corrugated area proud of the surrounding surface.

Krenv Sawhorse 10

Once this is done, simply take the side of chisel and, going against the grain of the raised chips, rake them away.  This leaves a shallow rectangular recess in the surface of the wood.  This is the reason for the deep scores earlier.  You now have a pair of “fences” to ensure that your mortising chisel is properly registered, and doesn’t wander off-line.  The first cut with the mortise chisel is the most important, and defines the rest of the cut.  This technique greatly improves your odds of chopping a good mortise.

Krenov Sawhorse 11

In softer woods, I will either begin chopping directly, or bore a single relief hole.  However, in hickory, I decided to bore three relief holes in each mortise.  This extra step was more than repaid when the time came to chop.  I’m not sure my handle would have stood the strain otherwise.  Those of you who have bored relief holes with a brace and auger know how easy it is to get slightly off-center.  Once again, the recess helps by letting you lay the bit on its side with the spurs between the walls, and then stand  it up with the point in place.  It’s not perfect, but it does help.  Then, bang away!

Krenov Sawhorse 12

In fairly short order, I had all four legs properly mortised and ready for their tenons.

Krenov Sawhorse 13

I left the legs overlong.  This gave me room to repeat a tenon if I made a mistake – the excess is removed once the danger is past.  This is something I try to do whenever possible, and it has saved my bacon more than once.  The tenons were a bit rough, as mine often are.  This time, however, I had a secret weapon:

Krenov Sawhorse 14

I had seen Christopher Schwarz finish tenons with a router plane, and had wanted to try the technique.  With a new Veritas model in the shop, my chance had arrived.  The process is fairly straightforward.  Abut a piece of wood the same thickness as your piece against the end of the tenon.  This gives a support to the router, and lets you trim in the same way that you would clean up a dado.  Proceed lightly, alternating sides and checking the fit, and you’ll have perfectly centered, straight-sided tenons.  Of course, this assumes that your mortises are also perfectly centered.  If not, you’ll have to modify the technique somewhat, as I will on the blanket chest project.

Krenov Sawhorse 15

I finished up the feet by cutting away a small amount on the underside to make two contact pads on each foot.  This makes for much flatter sitting, especially on irregular surfaces.  A simple 45 degree miter on the top corners finished everything off.  You could, of course, finish them any way you like – ogee, roundover, leave ’em square.  But for me, in the end, it’s just a sawhorse.  I just didn’t want to be stubbing my toe.

Now, the feet are ready to be joined to the legs.  But first, I’ve got to do the through-tenon joinery for the stretchers.  We’ll do that next time.  Stay tuned!

Krenov Sawhorses – Getting the Bow Out

Truth be told, straightening bowed stock isn’t as hard as you would think, especially with hand tools.  Unlike power tools, no special jigs are required, only the skills you already possess.  The following is the way I generally go about it.

Bowed Board 1a

The first thing you need is a reference line.  Since there’s no straight surface to start from, a straightedge of suitable length or a chalk line is the tool for this job.  I always start with the concave edge, but that’s just my preference.  In the drawing above, the curve is exaggerated for clarity.  If I really had a board that bowed, I’d go back to the lumberyard.  Once you have a straight reference line, it’s simply a matter of removing the waste.  Conventionally, this is done with hand planes.  However, if the waste is wide enough, I see no problem with removing most of it with a ripsaw.

Bowed Board 2a

Either way, you eventually wind up using one or more hand planes to finish the job.  For initial stock removal, I like a scrub plane or jack plane, switching to a jointer plane as you get closer to the reference line.  In the drawing above, I show starting from the far end and working backwards.  However, depending on the grain, you can start from the near end and work forwards.  In either case, the body of the plane bridges the gap of the bow, and said gap grows smaller as your cut progresses downwards.  Do this equally on both ends, paying attention to the grain, and you’ll end up being able to take one long shaving the entire length of the board.  Check with your straightedge – your edge should be straight.

Bowed Board 1b

Once one edge is straight, go back to your marking gauge or panel gauge and mark a line parallel to the first one. This ensures parallel edges.  Whenever possible, mark directly from your reference edge to reduce the chance of error.

Bowed Board 2b

Convex surfaces are generally considered more difficult to plane straight than concave ones.  As shown above, a concave surface allows the plane bed to “bridge” the gap, restricting cutting to the higher areas at the end.  With a convex surface, the plane can follow the curve without reducing it.  If there’s enough room, I highly recommend removing most of the waste with a ripsaw to gain a flat area parallel to the line.  If not, a scrub plane or coarse-set jack plane will get you close.  In this case, start in the middle, establish a flat area, and work outwards and downwards, trying to stay parallel to the line.  When you get close, switch to a jointer plane.

Krenov Sawhorse 6

I mentioned earlier that all of the parts for these two sawbents comprise a series of pairs.  The last step is to clamp a pair together, and plane them to matching width.  I use small handscrews to hold them together, and then clamp the whole assembly in the tail vise.

Krenv Sawhorse 8

With this operation completed, I have a stack of matching parts to assemble two sawbents.  There are, left to right, two pairs of uprights, two bottom stretchers, two top stretchers, and two pairs of feet, all 3″ wide.  Next time, I’ll start foot joinery.  Stay tuned!

Krenov Sawhorses – Roughing the Stock

Once the boards had acclimated, it was time to rough-dimension them.  I have learned from hard experience that it’s better to make the initial rip cuts somewhat oversize, especially in flat-sawn stock.  Boards with this grain orientation have a greater tendency to twist or bow when cut, and an oversize piece gives more room to correct this.  Also, I prefer to rough-dimension stock prior to planing to final thickness.  Wide boards often have some cup to them, and ripping them to near-final width means that less wood thickness has to be removed to flatten them.

I begin the process by doing a rough layout of the pieces required for the project, picking the best combination to give good grain, while avoiding any obvious trouble spots.  I’d rather throw some stock away than include bad wood.  Then, I crosscut to workable sizes.  In this case, all the parts are going to be 3″ wide, and I picked stock in excess of 6″.  Since all pieces were paired (I’m making two bents), I could crosscut and get two matching parts from each piece.  Don’t forget to allow some extra length on each piece for later finish planing (snipe) and unexpected problems (end checking).  Life isn’t always this simple but I’ll certainly take it when it is!

Krenov Sawhorse 2

The next step is to get one reference edge on the board.  Since these edges are rough, I start with a scrub plane set light, and then finish with the jointer plane.  I’m not worried about a reference face yet – that will come after everything’s cut to rough width.

Krenov Sawhorse 3

Now that I have a reference edge, I can lay out my rip cuts with a marking gauge, being extra-generous on this first pass.  This was a good precaution, as you’ll see later.

Krenov Sawhorse 4

Now for the hard part, ripping to rough width.  A good, sharp rip saw is worth its weight in gold here.  Mine is a 6.5 ppi Henry Wilson & Sons that I sharpened not too long ago.  A coarser saw, 5 ppi or so, would make things go faster, but this one did well enough.  I used my paired saw benches to support the opposite ends of the board, giving a sawing space between them.  Fortunately, this was short stock.  Any longer, and support of the ends would have been a problem.  Oh yeah, that’s why I’m making these saw bents!

Krenov Sawhorse 5

With the cuts completed, the boards go back on the bench for a look.  Yep, as I feared, there was some bowing in some of the pieces.  That will have to come out, but we’ll save that operation for next time.  Stay tuned!