Surface Prep

With all the shaping completed and the joinery fitted on the desk stand, I've moved on to surface preparation. I use the bright flashlight and Optivisor to search for any small areas of grain tear-out from planing that aren't easily visible to the naked eye.

The curved end stretchers take their turn under the plane iron.

Next are the legs.

Leg 'B' has an open knot. This small branch was self pruned at some point in the tree's history. After planing the surface, I use a small carving knife to soften the edges to make them more friendly to the touch.

Straight edges are softened with a block plane.

Curved edges are softened with a spokeshave.

The final series of passes on the rounded-over edge produces a nice set of curls.

One thing about this black walnut is that it has a lot of mineral deposits in the pores. These break free while planing and show up as reflective specs on the surface of the wood. Click on the image below for an enlarged view so you can see what I see.

The minerals have done a number on the sole of my smoothing plane. Check out those scratches! You can probably imagine what they did to the cutting edge of the plane iron. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to the sharpening station for a fresh edge.

Assembly isn't too far off. Next I'll be making up some cauls to protect these surfaces during the glue-up procedure.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig