Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Melbourne in Spring

The only thing you have to know about Melbourne at this time of this year is that everyone wishes it would stop blowing! We've had a succession of strong low pressure systems through here and it's driving everyone mad. Not as bad as the west coast of Tasmania though. They reported sustained winds of 80 knots at one stage last week!
I haven't managed to do another session in the Savage Classic yet - my instructor has had a rough time over the last couple of weeks and the last thing is that he's now nursing some cracked ribs! I'll keep you posted as soon as the next session comes along.
What I have been spending some time on though is making a table top. I fossicked around and found a piece of reclaimed river redgum. It's about 1200 x 600mm and around 38mm thick. It's a beautiful piece of timber. Like many of these slabs however it has a cup across the width.
So I've been planing away the sides to make the top flat. I've been using a low angle smoothing plane. Removing the heavy stock with the mouth wide open and then closing the mouth up to get a finish.
As you can see from the photos (sorry about the quality) there is beautiful fiddleback figure in the wood. But that of course means that the grain goes every which way. I've sharpened a secondary bevel on the plane blade to bring the included cutting angle up to around 50 degrees. I tried to remove the first major cut with a scrub plane but I got too much chip out so I reverted to slower work with the jack plane and the smoother.

My old man started out life as a carpenter and joiner. He reckons I don't need to remove all the cup - just make sure that it's "flat enough".
This is great cardio vascular exercise and it's doing wonders for my upper body and fore arms! I'll have to find another piece after this to keep up with the exercise regime!

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