View Full Version : First project is done

04-24-2005, 07:58 PM
Not much but still very rewarding. I'd built a large bench sized butcher block table 20 years ago and always lamented I'd not gotten around to building a cutting board for it after all those years. The table was built from notes on a slip of notepad - no dimensions anywhere. I'd gone to the lumber yard and found some nice pieces of wood that to me looked like what I wanted: Clear fir 4x4 for the legs, clear fir 2x12 stair steps for the apron, and some yellow pine 2x4's for the slatted shelf. I used a $40 Dewalt radial arm saw for most of it. Love that saw. Just replaced the motor bearings last summer so I could build a deck and it's never sounded so good. The golden era of Dewalt.

Back to the table - the top was a laid up 26"x6"x1 3/4" maple counter top I got from a local lumber supplier for $108. Much cheaper than I could have built it from scratch. It's quite an attractive thing all held together with 1" dowels and glue - no metal anywhere. Here's where I parted with tradition for building the cutting board. That's the project I started this note with, y'know. It's maple with some nice walnet separators in for places. 20"x14"x2". This time around I have a nice table saw, a nice lumber planer, and a metal lathe. So I got a note pad and figured out a few things, bought some lumber that looked about right, pruned out the bad parts and was able to come up with enough clear lumber for the layup. What to do about the feet?

I had a foot of 1" brass bar stock itching for a home so after resawing all the wood and running it through the planer then glueing it up, I turned down some stepped 1.25" legs and just now dropped them in place. I undersized the insert sections slightly as it's my intention to knurl the brass for a press fit if my knurler ever shows up from Grizzly. I'd post a picture but it's just a cutting board much like ones you've all seen. But it's a damned nice one.

It's been 30 years since I've done a metal project - that was a drive shaft repair for a hot Chevy we were drag racing at Lyons in Long Beach, CA. I left a lot of things behind when I moved to Seattle way back when, but a love of working with my hands isn't one of them. Sometimes it takes something like new parts for the heart to get your attention and to appreciate the things that matter most.

Well, I've rambled enough - I've got a chip tray to clean up and need work on some ideas for a nice koa wood tool chest for all these new lathe parts and tools I'm getting off Ebay. And I have an idea for a tool for making Haida style bent wood boxes to try out.