Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Last Of It

Well, Heter Brothers it ain’t, but I’m hoping the tour-de-force use of curly and burl redwood will detract from my obvious lack of fine cabinet building skills. Yes, it looks fine, but lets face it, people normally go through apprenticeships and train for years to be fine cabinet builders. I didn’t have that luxury, so it is was it is. What it is, is a very passable substitute for original 1895 cabinets in the dining room.

Here is the trim stock for the middle section after being run through the router, sanded, and oiled.

Most of this came out of that big chunk of wood I wrote about yesterday. It is interesting that the whole cabinet is being made of redwood, yet with the variations in the wood you might think there were different species of wood used. This last batch of redwood has some of the pretties grain. Some of it kind of reminds me of tortoise shell.

As I wrote before, the wood is difficult to work with. This batch had the added difficulty of being in such a large and unwieldy shape, but the curly redwood in general has its own idiosyncrasies that present challenges.

Because the grain undulates through the wood, all of the dark areas are like end-grain and the light areas and like straight grain. Even with brand new router bits and planer blades there is a lot of sanding to do with the “end-grain” areas. Straight-grained redwood mills up so nicely that it usually comes out of the machine needing little more than light sanding. Not so with this stuff.

I may not have enough of this curly trim to do the whole thing, so I ran a few pieces of regular redwood just in case. You can see them in the last picture. I’ll start at the bottom and more visible areas and work my way up. The non-curly stuff should end up in areas that will only be seen when you’re on you knees.

Hmmm, come to think of it, that happens a lot in this house. I'm on my knees a lot lately whimpering about how I will never finish this house. I may need more curly redwood.


Jayne said...

The grain in that really does make it resemble tortoise shell. Beautiful stuff. Because I know almost nothing at all about cabinet-making & woodworking, it didn't occur to me that the beautiful grain made your work all the more difficult.

HPH said...

Ahhh. Beautiful curly burl redwood fix.

Anonymous said...

fantastic. i love the pix in the previous post, and seeing the process from gnarly slab to really gorgeous trim. thanks.