Friday, April 15, 2011

English Layout Square - Finished!

I'm still here, and actually getting a lot done in the shop.  In the past few weeks I've stashed away a small mountain of walnut, started on a new desk project, and been working on upgrades to my workbench. On top of that, I'm working with Marc Spagnuolo to design the next project for The Wood Whisperer Guild, a Greene and Greene style Adirondack Chair.  I've got a ton of pictures, and I'll attempt to catch up on my posting.

To show you that things are getting done and I'm not sitting around eating hot pockets and playing with SketchUp - well not JUST doing that anyway - below are some pictures of my completed English layout Square.

If you read back to my previous post about the class I took with Schwarz, you will see that I still had some work to do after the class.  Here is where I stopped:

Almost ready to attach the cross brace, and lots of curves need to be smoothed out.
After I got back to my shop, I was able to cut the half-laps for the cross brace and get it glued into place.  The joints came out nice and tight, and a little smoothing plane action had everything nice and flush.  This was my first time working with walnut, but it certainly won't be the last since I recently bought a pile of walnut.

Here is another shot showing the progress I made on getting the curved details completed.  I don't have a large selection of rasps, so I had to make do with some small chisels and a dowel with some sandpaper rolled around it.  The end result turned out pretty good, I think.

Working on the curvy bits
After that it was time to get the square adjusted so the corner is exactly 90 degrees.  There is a video on the Pop Woodworking site that shows how to do this.  I ended up clamping the square onto my bench on its side and just shooting along the edge with my smoothing plane. 

First one edge, then the other.  It's easy to adjust one edge at a time and get very accurate results.
After I tested and adjusted it a couple times, this simple wooden square is now more accurate than my metal framing square.  I've already used it a couple times, and it's nice to know I can easily correct things if it ever goes out of square.

Here is the final product after a couple coats of danish oil.  I've got it hanging up on one of my cabinets, and I kind of like that it looks like a big "A" for Aaron.

"A" is for Aaron, Aardvark, and Apple Pie.
It's been a while since an update, and things are getting hot in Georgia!  Is this your busy woodworking season or do you play outside in the summer and come back into the cave in the fall?