One of the best planemaking lessons...
... happens at the bench using the tools you’ve made.
I have been working away on the kitchen doors these last few days, and was reminded of why I started making planes in the first place. I have spent several hours taking the final finishing passes on all the 27 door frames. It only took a few minutes of planing for me to forget about the plane as an object and focus on the plane as a working tool. I stopped thinking about the infill wood, the choice of sidewall material, the stainless steel lever cap. All I cared about was the quality of the shaving, the comfort of the handle, the balance point of the plane and where I had placed the candle butt to wax the sole. For a few blissful hours - I felt like a furniture maker.
I have been collecting quarter sawn wood for years - and it really paid off for the kitchen. All the door frames are QS walnut. In a few cases, I had entire boards that were quarter sawn - but I also dipped into my stash of really wide walnut planks to get the quarter sawn wood from the edges. It worked out perfectly because the planks were wide enough to get two 2" wide frames off each edge and still have enough material in the middle to get the single board panels I wanted.
Most of the panels were resawn from 5/4 stock to yield two 7/16" thick panels. I wanted to keep the weight down as much as possible, plus this also allowed me to bookmatch all the panels. There is a large floor to ceiling pantry where I used 5/8" thick panels. I left them a little thicker so I could put a raised panel on the inside as well.
Below are two shots of all the freshly planed frames before assembly.
To really geek out for a minute - here are some technical specs. I re-honed the blade in the A5ss 6 times without going to the grinding wheel to hollow grind.
The above photo is an attempt to show the surface reflection of the last rail I planed (click on it to enlarge). This is the type of surface on all the frames. On average, it took two sets of two overlapping passes to remove all the jointer and thickness planer marks.
The mortises were cut with a bench top hollow chisel mortiser. With over 100 mortises - this felt like an appropriate tool. The haunched tenons are 1-1/2" long and were cut on the table saw using a dado set. Again - 100+ tenons... .
I pre-finished all the raised panels. There is nothing worse than that unfinished line and ridge of dried finish that appears in the dead of winter when the panels shrink.
I am hoping to assemble all the doors over the weekend and start fitting them. Once they are fit, I can apply the finish to the frames.