Midnight Woodworking


High school woodworking class – day 2

Yesterday was day two of  our woodworking class. We started work on the large picture frame. Here is a link to the plans if anyone wants to see what we are going to build: Picture frame plans.

First thing we are going to do is plane all of our boards down to the proper thickness. I started with a brief lecture comparing the various types of planes that I have in my shop. I brought several examples of hand planes, some vintage and some new. One was a wooden plane that my son made a couple of years back. I also brought a hand-held power planer as well as my Rigid, lunch box planer. I pre-cut all of our boards to width but left them all in their rough cut state so the teens would have a lot of planing to do.

I showed them how to run the first board, then rotated them through different stations around the plane.

Somebody fed the board in while there was a support person at each end to keep the board level as it went through. We also had someone in charge of lowering the planer head with each pass.

All of the kids were amazed at the amount of saw dust that was generated with planing down just six boards. I had to empty my large shop vac twice. We completely filled a 40 gallon trash bag, which one person took home for their animals to bed down in.

Earlier this week, I cut a curve into a piece of scrap. The curve was an estimate of the radius of the wall.

After testing it on the wall, I determined that it was way off. My test piece was 1-1/2″ too deep. This gave me an opportunity to show the teens how to scribe a new curve by bending my test pattern, and tracing the bow of the piece of wood, at the new location.

Then I had each kid try cutting along the curve with a jigsaw. They did a remarkably good job staying on the line.

After we had it cut out, we held it in place and marked where we had high spots. The wall is not a true curve, it is more like a series of flat spots, like the side of a polygon, but our curve was close.

I had one of them cut down the newly marked high spots, then we moved on to sanding.

A 90″ long board is rather difficult to sand on a spindle sander, but we all worked together to support the board while each kid took a turn at cleaning up the curve.

Next week, we will cut the other curve, then cut everything down to the correct length, and assemble the frame, using glue and pocket screws. I think we will also start with someone turning a pen.

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