After a lot of resawing, scrubbing, and milling, I finally have all of the frame components milled to size:
It was a moderate amount of work–less than I thought, but still non-trivial. One of the biggest problems that I’m having is that the board I’m using has quite a bit of tension built up inside. Flatsawn 8/4 beech will do that to you. In any case, whenever I resaw (and sometimes when I rip), the board moves and I end up with some cupping. My reference face would be flat before the resaw, then afterwards, it would get cupped again–sometimes almost as much as 1/32″. By the third time this was about to happen to me, I wised up and took a slightly different approach so that I minimized the amount of waste and work that I had to do:
- Use the scrub plane to get the reference face flat.
- Use the jack plane with the heavily cambered blade to even out the scrub marks. A fore plane set up the same way would work fine, too. After this, the board should be pretty flat. Don’t break out the jointer yet.
- Scribe a line around the edges of the board from your reference face. Set the gauge 1/8″ thicker than the thickness that you’re ultimately aiming for. The line probably won’t be super-straight, but it will be straight enough.
- Resaw along that line. If you’re using a hand-powered saw instead of a bandsaw, do not forget to grunt and/or growl occasionally. The least you can do is scowl.
- Your reference face is no longer flat because some of the board’s tension was released; sigh if necessary.
- Reflatten your reference face, using the scrub first if necessary. This time, use your jointer, winding sticks, and all that jazz to get it totally flat.
- Scribe a line around the edges from the reference face, this time to the intended thickness, and mill down the opposite face as you normally would.
So in theory, I’m ready to cut some joinery. However, before I go crazy and start chopping mortises in the wrong place again, I have the the drawer, panel, top, and shelf components to mill. I’m using the wood left over from the resawing for the drawers and panels so that they match the frame:
There’s enough wood here for all of the drawer and panel parts. Unfortunately, I have to do a lot of hogging and flattening on these pieces, too. The good news is that I don’t have to resaw any of these.
With these pieces all earmarked, that means I have (practically) nothing left from this board for making the top and the shelf. I’m a little surprised; I thought that one 6′ 7-inch-wide 8/4 board would be enough, judging from its weight and what I was visualizing. What I didn’t count on was how much all of the cupping and re-cupping from resawing would use up so much wood. This is fine, though; I grabbed another board from my stash and cut off a piece today. Perhaps it’s even better this way, because now I know that the top will be have consistent-looking wood, because its components will all come from the same part of one board.