[Medal Chest] Trimming the Fat in Style

*Note to my readers—this is the secret project I’ve mentioned a few times.  It has consumed my shop time since February.  That’s why it’s been so slow on the blog for the last few months.  Now that it has been delivered, I can post the details.*

Well, I went and got the new hand plane (the WoodRiver #5 Jack I wrote a review about already). Now that I have my new planing stop installed in the bench and my new jack plane in hand, I put the carving down and gave the assembled medal chest (such as it is) the old hairy eyeball and prepared for the showdown.

It actually was more of a slaughter.  See, where the maple had killed the Groz plane and laughed while telling the store to the walnut last time….this time, I was the one laughing.  Like a mad man as the new jack plane destroyed that maple that was sticking up above the walnut.  Just sliced through it like a hot knife through butter.  About five minutes of schnik schnik and fluttering curls of maple later, I had a flat, level surface on the first side and I was grinning like a ‘possum eatin’ a sweet potato.

20 minutes after the WoodRiver plane set eyes on the medal chest for the first time, the box was leveled and glass-smooth.

New plane 1, medal chest 0.

Then I noticed that on one side, the dovetails just didn’t fit right—the walnut side didn’t recess into the maple well enough and so the tailboard was sticking up above the pins.  I figure I had 2 solutions…cut out some more waste from the pins on both the front and back of the box to allow the side panel to sit deeper (we’re talking about 1/16″ of an inch), or….(says I, eyeing the new hand plane sitting there with a smug look after it just put the smack down on the maple) plane the thickness of the entire side panel down to fit flush.

I chose option 2.

Because I am crazy.  And planing with this thing is just plane fun (da dump dump tssssh).

And I noticed that (of course) when I glued up the side, the grain is running in opposite directions.  Did the plane care?  Like the honey badger, this plane didn’t give a…well, if you saw the video you know what I mean.

5 minutes of grinning later I had a thinned plank of walnut, glass smooth.

I LOVE this plane.  It may not be a made in America Lie-Nielsen, but it didn’t cost $400, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever used!

New plane 2, medal chest 0.

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About Marcus Richardson

Marcus attended the University of Delaware and later graduated from law school at the age of 26. Since then, he has at times been employed (or not) as: a stock boy, a cashier, a department manager at a home furnishing store, an assistant manager at and arts and crafts store, an unemployed handyman, husband, cook, groundskeeper, spider killer extraordinaire, stay at home dad, and a writer.
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