The Zen of Woodworking #6: Respecting the wood

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Blog entry by BigAxe posted 04-05-2016 10:32 PM 951 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Blood Part 6 of The Zen of Woodworking series Part 7: A poor retiree who loves woodworking dream home »

I am in the process of cutting dovetails using chisels and a handsaw. I am not very good at it but am learning from my mistakes. I lam taking my time. No seven and half minute dovetails here.
The wood came from a local maple tree which in this part of the world took nearly nearly a century to grow. Most of its siblings ended up as firewood or to feed the local pulp mill. This particular tree found its way to a small local saw mill where it was cut up into planks, stored for two years to allow it to dry and then sold to me. I paid a premium price for it because God blessed this tree with a beautiful defect. It is birds eye maple.
I trucked it to my basement and allowed to condition over winter. My basement is very dry over the long winter months. I then rough cut out the pieces required for my project from that tree, and allowed to condition for a few more days before squaring up each piece on all six sides. I cut the pieces to final dimensions and planed them smooth. I bought a new plane just for this because I didn’t think my existing beat up old Stanley was up to the job.
Now I have to join the pieces together and I am conscious that this is one of the final steps in a long process and I am determined to do this as best as I can and show off this wood whose journey started in the previous century, to its best advantage.
In the mean time I am experimenting with various finishing techniques on off cuts to best show off the bird’s eyes.

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