First real woodworking project

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Project by JDCrae posted 05-17-2016 01:22 PM 1008 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So my wife and I moved into a new house (new to us anyway) in January. While I was always making small things before, I was more known for refinishing than making other than speakers.

This was my first real legit woodworking project. We had extra maple cabinets that matched our kitchen cabinets the previous owners used downstairs. We decided to install them to the left and right of our sliding glass doors looking out back. Needed some countertops though.

I decided to make my own using curvy maple and walnut. Using the new to me Dewalt Hybrid Table saw I picked up just after moving in, a 1979 Craftsman Jointer which didn’t work all that well, and a new, still sealed in the box Bosch 10” planer, I put these together. Was my first time milling rough lumber down to size. Learned so much and made tons of mistakes, but I rather like the imperfections. One is slightly different from the other, as even though I factored extra into my estimating of materials, I quickly ran out of walnut due to a section being dry rotted. I kind of like the difference though.

Finish wise, all I used was Watco Danish Oil- using the wet method.

Also used in this project was a card scraper, which I had never used before. Had an aquaintance help me learn how to sharpen and burnish one, which is pretty neat unto itself. Should have used a plane, but didn’t have any at that point. I now have a full set of hand planes that I intend on using in the next project and am looking forward to seeing and feeling the difference.

Was a lot of fun, and am dying to start the many other projects I want to do.

So far the list …

Outdoor table for our deck made of Black Locust.
Medium size Cutting board style countertop for adjacent wall
Huge butcher block island- have some cool ideas for that
End Table top for living room- thinking drunken cutting board style
Miter Saw Station for Shop
True Workbench for shop that will also be an outfeed table for my table saw.

The addiction is in full swing!

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4652 days

#1 posted 05-17-2016 01:30 PM

Looks like your having fun,keep up the good work.


View Andy's profile


240 posts in 1902 days

#2 posted 05-17-2016 02:28 PM

The countertops look great! Dont worry about mistakes but instead let the mistakes work for you. Ive had alot of good ideas from fixing mistakes and they cause you to think creatively. Be careful with them handplanes on curly maple, make sure there sharp enough to shave a porcupine!

-- Andy Smith

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1154 posts in 4140 days

#3 posted 05-18-2016 01:15 PM

Great work!

-- Paul Mayer,

View JDCrae's profile


35 posts in 2262 days

#4 posted 05-19-2016 03:06 PM

Thanks guys. Curious about something- when it comes to butcher block counters, is there a rule when it comes to joinery? These were put together simply with TB glue. Am planning a large island countertop and was wondering if certain sizes require some kind of mechanical joinery like biscuits etc ?

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