It’s hard to believe that it’s been a been over a month since I’ve posted. I’ve been very busy with work and had little time in the shop.
After the near catastrophe with the glue up of the gate, I took a week or so off to plan how to recover from the setback. There were two issues that I needed to figure out how to solve:
- What type of lumber to use to remake the board that broke, and
- How to layout square ends to on this 2″ x 12″ board.
The first issue was fairly easy to solve. I quickly decided to use Southern Yellow Pine for this component. SPY is heavier than I would have liked to use, but the strength of the lumber is more than adequate.
The issue of how to layout the square ends was more of an issue. A little background may be useful here. About a year ago, I bought a 12″ square at Woodcraft. The problem is that the square isn’t really square (the angle is slightly less than 90°). I don’t know if this was because of a manufacturing defect, or because of the square falling off my workbench (either reason could be a cause). The square also wouldn’t span a 2″ x 12″ (the blade of the square is 12″, but the reference leg of the square takes up about 2″ if that).
To solve the layout problem, I decided to make an English layout square ala Chris Schwartz. This project ended up taking a couple of weeks to finish, because I had to be out of town for work work for the better part of two weeks (it should be a weekend project at most). Here is a photo of the square right after I put a second coat of Danish Oil on it.
I decided to make my square out of cherry. The two legs are around 18″ long. I don’t really know the exact number because I based the length on the the distance from the crease of my elbow to the tip of my middle finger (I prefer not to use standard measurements if I can help it; a preference made much stronger by by George Walker and Jim Tolpin in “By Hand and Eye“). The thickness of the square is a little over 5/16”.
I am so glad that I decided to make this square. With it, laying out the ends of the board was a piece of cake. Last weekend (labor-day weekend in the U.S.) I was able to remake the broken component of the gate finished the final assembly.
On Sunday, I was able to finish painting. All that needs to be done now is to take it to our friends house and hang it.
My wonderful wife, Amy, has been working on getting our basement cleaned up and ready to start the remodel we’ve been planning for about a year. The reason for the remodel is mostly to provide me dedicated (although small) shop space. Currently, my shop space is right in the living area of our basement. I don’t expect to get much woodworking done until the remodel is finished, but I may make a few small shop projects. I’ll post updates about the remodel and any projects as they happen.
Until next time . . .