School of Hardknots

Maple, potentially Bird’s Eye Maple is a hardwood, both scientifically from the species and on Janka hardness scale and experienced that first hand this weekend.

I am trying to make a better version of a jewelery shadow box based on two that my wife has. First I tried using some scrap wood picked up on the cheap at a local lumber store. These pieces were two thick and the box ended up not being square as I tried using a simple half lap joint at the corners. It now holds my dual marking gauge, sanding block and a chip breaker from the wooden plane I purchased a recently.

This weekend I purchased some 1/4″-3/8″ thick oak and maple stock from a different woodworking store. These dimensions are closer to the originals I am using as a guide. The first attempt was made and the plan was to use finger joints. On Friday I tried a 1/2″ joint which was much to large for these thin pieces. Saturday I tried 1/4″ joints and while these look right my cuts were all wrong nothing was square and the joints would not go together. So later that day I tried a simple 45 degree miter. These will work as the pieces align and should make for square corners. This time however I struggled with getting the box clamped well enough for gluing. So as it stands now I have the pieces cut and standing by.

On Sunday I glued my first two pieces together for my workbench top and have 9 more to go. Since I have today (President’s Day) off I am going to try to glue up three more. This is going to be slow going.

Other upsides were I got to use my planes and I continue to impress myself with the shavings and smooth surfaces these leave behind.

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