Shaker Side Tables in Cherry pt. 2

Didn’t I say something about a quick project?  Well, they are done, in any case.  I figured they would take me like a week, but obviously I was wrong.

First, a couple pictures of them done.

They came out OK. Like usual, I can point out a bunch of mistakes.  #1 being that I oriented the breadboard shelf the wrong way.  Or, actually, I captured the end of the shelf in the legs incorrectly. If you look at the following picture, you can see how I did it (wrong)..

It’s kind of hard to explain what the problem is here, but by not fully embedding the shelf in the leg, you’ve got the potential for some gappiness, which I had.

Other then that, things went generally pretty well. I’m still terrible at making pegs with a dowel plate, and I swear half of them busted off 2/3rds of the way through the joint, so I’m either using too much of an offset when drawboring, or not using my drawbore pins aggressively enough.

One other lesson I learned during this was about sawing.. I forget where I read it, but somewhere I learned that you should pick up your saw a little on the return stroke.  I’m sure there are ancillary benefits, but the main one is that you wont’ get sawdust all over your knife or pencil line.  So, I tried to do that, and it actually made quite a bit of difference.  

Picking it up on the return stroke:

Not picking it up on the return stroke:

Mainly, it saves you a lot of huffing and puffing blowing the sawdust clear of your line every few strokes, and speeds things up.  It’s the little things, I tell ya…

I picked up a load of soft maple and some more cherry while up at my uncle’s last weekend, so hopefully I’ll get started with some more projects soon!

– Matt

ps. My Uncle Denny VERY generously gave me his grandfathers mint, almost unused and still in the original packaging with all the cutters and accessories Stanley no. 45 plane.  I am very very happy, and any tool that has some family history behind it makes it all the more special.  I’ll post some of my experiences with it shortly.