Just for Fun... #71: The longest, shortest month of the Year...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 03-19-2013 06:41 PM 1926 reads 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 70: Some Tray Play... Part 71 of Just for Fun... series Part 72: Sometimes, the ideas just fall from the Sky... »

A cold shop, repeated life interruptions, and the Winter blahs conspired to keep me from getting a lot done in February. The beginning of warmer temperatures is slowly getting things back on track…
February did see a first for me though, I went out and actually bought some Lumber!! Debbie and I took a trip down to Highland Hardwoods in Brentwood, N.H., a Woodworker’s Paradise…
It’s difficult to decide what to purchase, with the wide selection that they have, but I ultimately came home with some Walnut, Sapele, a piece of very curly Yellow Birch and a largish slab of Bubinga…First Wood I've ever purchased!!

The stuff has sat untouched until the last couple weeks… There were a few “Preparations” that had to be made first, before I could start milling it to usable size.
The bench that the lumber is sitting on needed some work (I was tired of barking my shins on the ends of my old scraps!) so I made a shelf for the bottom… Also, the bench was good from front-to-back, but racked a little from side-to-side… Some diagonal bracing was added to eliminate that…A quick shelf under the bench...Adding some diagonal bracing too...

I also ordered some decent Re-saw blades for the Band Saw, and while I waited for delivery, made a quick Fence for it…The new Band Saw Fence...Another view of the fence...

When the blades finally arrived, it took a couple of tries to re-adjust all the rollers to the new size… And the new fence needed a couple pennies worth of shims to be square…My two cents worth...

I began by slicing the 13” wide slab of Bubinga down to 6”...
This Stuff is HEAVY!!
I don’t have machines heavy enough to handle it, so I resolved to cut the length down to a manageable size, about 18”...
But this, in itself, is problematic… Can’t cut it on the Band Saw, too long… The toy Table Saw I have would probably break… The Scroll Saw wouldn’t do it, it’s too thick and way too heavy…
I might have used the circular saw, and cut from either side, but the blade is dull and it wouldn’t give me the best of cuts anyway…
The answer finally came to me, the Antique Miter Saw! It was a bit of work, and took about five minutes, but it worked like a charm…Set-up for cross cut...Making the cut... The results...

The Piece was finally small enough to be compatible with the “Mill”, 6”x 18”x 2 1/4”...The Shop getting a Work-out...

And after Re-sawing, and some planing, the first boards emerge… I simply must make a box…:) After re-sawing and planing...
19 March 2013

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

24 comments so far

View ~Julie~'s profile


617 posts in 3641 days

#1 posted 03-19-2013 06:50 PM

Nice wood, looks like something creative is on it’s way!

-- ~Julie~

View littlecope's profile


3076 posts in 4108 days

#2 posted 03-19-2013 07:10 PM

Thanks Julie, Debbie actually picked the slab out, and it’s a Beauty!
I’m going to start with a box out of this, but I’ve been asked to make a sign for somebody’s up-coming Birthday first… Duty before Fun, always!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Lenny's profile


1645 posts in 4134 days

#3 posted 03-19-2013 07:12 PM

The end certainly justifies the means Mike. That is some beautiful bubinga.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#4 posted 03-19-2013 07:32 PM

I see a progression here Mike. Getting into nice woods that is. I think you are brave to resaw with such a narrow blade, especially walnut, but it looks like it came out good anyway. Looking forward to seeing your new box. Have fun!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lew's profile


12936 posts in 4362 days

#5 posted 03-19-2013 08:03 PM

Man, Mike, you made me tired just reading about sawing that piece of Bubinga!
Can’t wait to see the box!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3910 days

#6 posted 03-19-2013 08:28 PM

where you wrote i simply must make a box, when i first read it i thought it said i must take a bow…and i would have agreed , that is some beautiful bubinga..and yes it is some heavy wood…but…it will make a beautiful box, looks like your getting your shop organized and now with warmer weather coming, some shop time…were around 70 today, not bad huh…im getting some shop time myself…cant wait to see what you come up with….bravo on getting some nice wood…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5007 days

#7 posted 03-19-2013 08:47 PM

Great mike. Way to tackle and overcome the challenges of wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3463 days

#8 posted 03-19-2013 09:57 PM

Mike that was a task cutting that slap
The fence is brilliant idea especially the cut out I need to upgrade my fence
Your Shop is also starting to look really good


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View littlecope's profile


3076 posts in 4108 days

#9 posted 03-19-2013 10:34 PM

Thanks Everybody!
I didn’t weigh the thing but wrestling it out of the car, and down the stairs to the cellar, I’d guess that it was very close to a hundred pounds intact… I think I’ll avoid slabs that large in the future!
Grizzman: 70° huh? We’re in the middle of another snowstorm! About 7 or 8 inches on the ground already, and it’s still falling…
Jamie: It was Brother David’s (the Patron) brilliant idea. He sent me a picture of his Band Saw Fence, and it included the cut-out… I made my version in a morning, and am very glad that I did! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3520 days

#10 posted 03-19-2013 10:58 PM

Wow! very cool Blog Mike, I am amazed out how you guys work with such big lumber!
Very nice piece of Bubinga, can’t wait to see what you make with it!
Great work!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4906 days

#11 posted 03-19-2013 11:18 PM

A very nice purchase Mike!

And using your noggin by adapting to the old miter saw.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3297 days

#12 posted 03-20-2013 01:53 AM

Mike, You still amaze me! Handsawing that was the last option I would have gone to! Your cut looks cleaner than any machine though so ya done good! I like the notch in the resaw fence. David is full of good ideas and always willing to share. He has saved my butt (and fingers) several times. Enjoy your fancy wood. Looking forward to seeing what it becomes.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3526 days

#13 posted 03-20-2013 02:01 AM

I loved reading this blog, Mike. You are really getting things working nicely. It is all a process, and I think the time it takes to fine tune your shop to your own needs is part of the joy of woodworking. I think our shops are like our fingerprints – unique to each one of us. Keith and I have purchased some slabs like that from the lumber place in Halifax. You’re not kidding when you say how heavy they are! And re-sawing them is another story altogether!! But isn’t it a pleasant surprise when you see what lies inside – such beauty! That’s one reason I love planing wood. It is as if you peel back the layers one at a time to reveal the inner beauty. It is always so exhilarating!

It was great to finally sit down tonight after a long day and read your story. I am so happy that you are having a good time with your shop. We are getting the same snow as you are I think! Soon it will be spring though.

Have a great night! Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18784 posts in 4282 days

#14 posted 03-20-2013 03:34 AM

Glad things are getting on track Mike. I’m building up some inspiration myself ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Boxguy's profile


2864 posts in 2874 days

#15 posted 03-20-2013 03:50 AM

Mike, I know what you mean about the blahs and life getting in the way. I have begun working in the shop again and am feeling the urge to sweep and clean a bit too. I started a couple of boxes today and they are coming along nicely. They too took some re-sawing and planing. The shop is starting to feel and smell like a shop once again. I am eager to see how your box turns out. Beautiful potential so far. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

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