Friday, May 31, 2013

Hard Maple - they aren't kidding

Prior to making the cherry bench, I wanted to make a slightly less serious project. We need a coffee table and I like the look of the Stickley "fireside bench", so this is loosely based on that design. 

This is my first project in maple, and for the record, hard maple really earns the title of "hard". What a difference from working with poplar and pine. I think I already need to re sharpen pretty much everything I've used on it so far. 

The first photo is of the initial laminating of the top.  While I am improving in my larger lamination skills, the required trying and truing took hours of hand planing to get reasonably flat.  I don't have a true scrub plane, but I now fully understand the utility of one.  I also picked up a nice long Stanley #7 which helped immensely for the longer runs.

This is the top of the bench withe some initial dry fitting and measurements for making the keyed tenons.  I realized after fitting that I did not do a shouldered tenon, which was a mistake.  I decided to place reinforcement blocks underneath to bolster it instead of cutting a new piece; I may change my mind before final assembly.