Back to the Wenge frame for the machi-ya produce stand. The word ‘wenge’ by the way, does not rhyme with ‘henge’, rather it’s pronunciation sounds like a popular analgesic balm:
In common with the advert above, Wenge is a bit of a pain to work, pretty much as hard as stone, and very readily inflicts splinters (like the spiked club in the picture above) which rapidly fester if left in place for more than a few minutes. Not so much fun to work, and my plan is to attack it with carbide cutters as much as possible. It will be interesting to see how the final planing goes, however after that step I intend to apply Tung Oil to the frame pieces, and my approach will be to wet block sand the pieces in the oil. The oil/swarf mix will fill the pores of the wood, and as far as I know it’s one of the better ways to polish this particular material. We’ll see – maybe the planing won’t be as bad as I’m apprehending. I can’t have any chance of slivers in the finished piece, so I’m paranoid about that.
One of the first tasks to deal with was to cut the respective frame pieces to the same lengths. So, over to my shiny Martin t73 programmable sliding saw with digital motorized fence I went – – oh, wait a minute, I don’t have one of those! Dang!
Okay, plan ‘b’ – I dragged the sawhorse outside and used some clamps and my Hitachi circular saw to gang cut the pieces:
It was bright out there with a sunny clear sky and reflection off of the snow crust. This gang-cutting seemed to work fairly well, though I know it is not an absolutely accurate method. The saw did make clean cuts in the stone, er, Wenge, all the same.
Next it was time to gang cut the long frame rails:
I’m pleased with the form. I’ll let those sit a couple of days and then have a bunch more work to do on them before they are ready. They will get a little fancy actually – I’m saving the details on that as a surprise.
Next I commenced the cut out for the frame crosspieces, of which there are six pieces. I am going to use housed tusk tenons for the connections, which I will double wedge instead of pegging from above. Here are the six crosspieces processed through stage one, which is a reduction to a housing 1.5″ wide – the mortise housing will be 0.25″ deep when completed. The tenon will be 0.5″ thick and emerge dead-center on the long frame rails:
I feel like I got a decent amount completed today – see y’all next time. –> go to part 4