Friday, February 29, 2008

The Bench

So, after working for the company for 3 years, I found out that we get paid vacation. And since I had several weeks stacked up, I decided to take advantage of my new found wealth...so to speak. I took a week off, and went into work.

Now, normally one would not go into work while on vacation, but I tend to defy normal convention from time to time. Mostly, I had this idea for a fireplace bench. Something big and sturdy, slab-like. I also started this fascination with hand tools. While power tools are fast and accurate, they are also noisy and dusty. Hand tools are elegant, or they can be, as well as having a longer history.....but I digress.

These two ideas collided into my desire to hand carve a solid fireplace bench. Well, mostly hand carved. I ripped, glued and planed my walnut and curly maple 8/4 into the slabs.

And I cut most of the mortise with the panel router, and shaped a tongue and groove (pinned, of course) for the arm caps, and finally cut the rough curves with the bandsaw.

From then on, I spent a week with my newly turned carver's mallet pounding away, shaping those raw slabs.

I had two gouges, a #10 30mm, and a #7 18mm, an idea of how to go about it, and the shape I wanted at the end.

It took a little getting used to the technique, but it wasn't terribly difficult. It's quite fun actually. Being able to control every aspect of the cut; depth, direction, speed, and to be able to change any and all in the middle. Satisfying too.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Awesome job with the bench buddy! I'm going to have to order some custom piece of furniture from the snake sometime soon...

this is aaron...