Saturday, October 6, 2007

Shiplapped & Beaded

One of the best things about woodworking is that you have several choices of techniques and tools in making any given cut. And when you're a hobbyist, you have the luxury of choosing the technique that suits your safety needs and preference. My preference is to use hand tools, unless I'm in a hurry (which seems to be never). So in making the back for my partner's bookcase, I picked up one of my antique beading planes and my Stanley #78 antique rabbeting plane. Sharpened and honed, they are two very sweet tools.

Why use a beading plane when I could my router table? Several reasons: 1) sawdust makes me cough 2) by working with handtools, it seems more like you're shaping the wood rather than a power tool creating the shape 3) you don't waste wood making practice cuts 4) faster set up time 5) it's quiet 6) it's a great workout 7) it's safer 8) wood shaped with handtools seems to have more character (but my power tool buddies would beg to differ! : )

In fact, it took me only a little longer to bead the boards by hand than it would have taken me with a router. I averaged 2-3 minutes per each 7' long board with 11 passes with the molding plane.

Once the beaded edges were done, I started on the rabbets with the Stanley #78. The first board took 30 minutes to plane the rabbet to width and depth. I've got 12 boards to rabbet, front and back. That's 24 rabbets x 30 minutes. 12 hours! table saw's looking pretty good right now....

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