I have been very busy lately. My father called me Sunday, and wanted to make sure I was alive. When I asked why, he said, “Well, you haven’t called in at least a week, and you haven’t updated your blog either.”
It was good to learn that I have a dedicated reader, even if it’s “just family.”
So tonight I thought I would try to get something done on my workbench. I am almost ready to assemble the four legs and four stretchers of the base, and I need 16 pieces of 3/8” diameter pegs to use for drawboring the Mortise and Tenon stretcher/leg joints.
I’m going to come clean on this to the whole world (in advance). I don’t really know if I know what I am doing… I may be a victim of the right side of my brain. You see, I’m a little bit artsy. It’s okay. In the modern world a guy can be the proud owner of a bag full of smelly stuff bearing the names Bauer,
I have decided to accent my massive hard maple Holtzapffel bench with Ebony. I am using Gabon Ebony pegs for the drawboring, and I am looking forward to the contrast of the black circles on the white maple. However, I don’t know if ebony pegs will work. I think it will be okay because as I drive the pegs through my Lie-Nielsen Doweling Plate…(another shameless plug, Tom…come on…let me be a hand model in next year’s Lie-Nielsen Calendar) Sorry, I was saying, as I drive the pegs through the steel doweling plate they seem to have adequate toughness. They tear/shred as opposed to split. So I think they will be great for drawboring, but I won’t know for sure until I start driving them in.
Let me tell you the other ebony ledge I am venturing out onto…(this one might get bad): I am making Ebony Handles to go in the massive maple screws that Stephen Fee made me for the front vise. Wow, turning
Tonight I spent some time making more pegs for drawboring, and look what happened. How did I cut that finger, you ask? I picked up my drawknife. That’s it. I just picked it up. I didn’t juggle it. I didn’t swing it like a cleaver and try to catch it with my left hand. I just reached down with both hands and picked it up off the bench and apparently my left hand was a little too high on the handle and managed to get hold of some of the blade. That is almost as dumb as the fact that I cut my pegs into ½ x ½ x 3 inch rectangular blocks BEFORE I started any rounding. I now realize it would have been better to keep them as long as possible and spindle turn them down closer to 3/8” before driving them through the doweling plate. But no; I created way oversized rectangles that are too short to grab hold of, and I have to shave them down to a cross-sectional area just under 50% of their 0.25 square inches. Look at all of those shavings. I have little Ebony curls EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Right now in Holland, Michigan there is a moron standing in a mountain of Ebony curls who cannot lift a tiny little drawknife off of his bench without cutting his finger, thinks he can flawlessly tap Gabon Ebony, and believes he is the next great Lie-Nielsen Hand Model. Stay tuned to see how this turns out.