I've met with a number of distractions from the current Vidar's Chair project as I prepared to cut into this new Canadian-supplied plank of white oak. This included one solid week of restful vacation, but now it's time to get back to the cutting. This plank from A&M Wood Speciality in Ontario remained stretch-wrapped until now. I wanted to make sure the moisture levels within the plank were as balanced as possible before the cutting began.
The plank I received looked perfect; exactly as I'd requested: straight grain, flat sawn w/ at least 2 1/2" on either side of the flat center. It all looked good. I couldn't see any advantage in any particular portion of the plank, and the cut was so perfectly flat, that I decided to make two crest rail attempts to increase the odds of success this time around.
On the outside, and even with my first transverse cut down the midpoint of the plank, everything was looking excellent!
Then, I squared-up the ends. Here's what I saw; the first sign of honeycomb checking.
Well, with my usual blind optimism, I proceeded to prepare each of the two blanks, hoping all would somehow be well.
After milling the 3" square profiles, I marked all of the checks that I could find. Some obvious, some less so. I then tried to position the templates to optimize the blank, but it was tough.
After cutting out the two rough crest rails, what follows is a pictorial sampling of what I found within just a few minutes of making the cuts on the bandsaw.
Here's the worst of what I found.
Some are a bit less obvious.
So, here I am, swimming in a pile of sawdust and off-cuts, tallying up two more obsolescent crest rails.
Let's see, what next, what next? I really appreciate that my Canadian contacts have worked very hard to help solve this ongoing issue with the white oak. But, perhaps it's finally time to pull out all the stops and dispatch "Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties" to the task? What do you think?
Hej då and happy shavings!