Dining Table Bench – a top is selected and some milling

Earlier this week I was perusing some of the older projects on Jack Plane’s blog Pegs & Tails (if you don’t already read it I recommend you start) when I noticed his Ash Cricket Table.  I had been trying to decide what wood to use for the bench seat and after seeing the beautiful color Mr. Plane was able the to achieve I decided to go with an ash for the top.  

Saturday morning I drove to the wood store in the city to look for a 5/4 board (they had no 6/4 ash when I was there last weekend) that would be long enough to provide both sides of a glue up for the seat.  When I arrived I was pleasantly supprised to find they had received a small shipment of 6/4 ash and that it included quite a few wide boards, some up to 18 inches wide.  

All of the wide boards had “cat face” grain changes so finishing will be interesting.

In the end I narrowed it down too two boards, one that was just barely wide enough but had some curly figure plus some of what Mr. Plane called olive coloring and one that had almost an inch of extra with but had a couple of knots.  In the end I took the board with the less interesting figure because the extra width  gave me peace of mind.  

I also picked up some 8/4 popular for a chalked chair seat and then hurried home to take my some to swim class.

The saw actually sharp enough to use when i got it home.

On the way home from swim glass I noticed a garage sale that appeared to have some rusty tools so after we got home I walked over to have a look.  What I found was a weird mix, shoe cobbler tools, axes, rusty metal working tools, and other odds and ends.  I found a few items that may be salvageable.  One of the carpenter’s side axes had a loose handle so it has already found an electrolysis bath.

The rest of the afternoon was spent rough milling the parts for the bench’s base, my Wood Slicer band saw blade continues to amaze me.  Going to be a lot of planing work this weekend getting everything squared up for joinery.

I have trimed off the knots at the end of the seat board (and the checks ) but I cannot decide which section of grain I want to use.  I really like the look of the knot but I think it will complicate finishing and I’m already going to be using some new tequnique soft this one.

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