Smaller Mulberry Cabinet

I find it helpful to make something more than once in the hope that I might improve the product and speed up the build as the incarnations progress. This project is a repeat of the 3 drawer cabinet in my last post. Only smaller - and I made the cabinet first this time, then made the drawers to fit. 

Small Mulberry Cabinet

The usual procedure for projects like this is to make the cabinet first and the drawers second. This one was done in reverse, largely because I was eager to see how mulberry and pawlonia worked in making drawers and not so eager to figure out some other wood with which to make the carcass. Drawers of these woods are common in Japan but I have had no end of blank looks and rolled eyes when I ask lumberyards if they have either. So, if you can't find what you want locally, seek it elsewhere. 

Maple trestle table

Plain and simple, we needed a larger dining table to replace our narrow, shaky, and small one. While the old one had a certain Tudoresque charm, it was not a fit for our decor (aka the other stuff I have made). A lighter color was requested and the options were quickly reduced to maple. Light in color, makes a solid table, should hold up well. Turns out it also makes a right heavy table. 

Dimensions are typical: 30" high, 40 inches wide, and 90 inches long. The top is 6/4 maple and the trestle parts are 8/4. Final thicknesses were about 1 1/8" for the top and 1 5/8" for the trestle parts. 

Blind mitered finger joint boxes

This quest has been about finding a reliable way to make small boxes that are clean looking, reliably precise, and readily made. This is all relative, of course, and it is a hand tool project. These boxes are about 3" x 3" x 6" but are constructed like large ones I have made recently.  

Kikai-jyakuri rebuilds

The kikai-jyakuri-kanna (機械決り鉋 or 機械作里鉋) is a handy style of plane for cutting continuous grooves of widths from about 3mm up to 15mm. Max cutting depth is about 12mm . It is similar to the western grooving planes in function (cuts a rectangular groove), but not in construction. These are (were) typically used for cutting the grooves required to insert thin panels or glass into shoji doors or similar items. It is a special purpose plane that has limitations. The router has really replaced these planes but these are a lot more pleasant to work with and are still available new and used. 

Kyoto natural sharpening stone shop visit

While at the Kezuroukai in Odawara, Japan last year I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of natural sharpening stone (ten-nen-toishi) sellers there. Most were from Kyoto, the epicenter of the natural stone mining business, and where we were heading in a couple days. 

Most sellers at Kezuroukai brought select stones to sell, but nobody was set up for you to actually try the stones in a meaningful way. When we spoke to a few of the more talkative sellers, they were quick to invite us out to their shops where they have their full inventory and encourage visitors bring blades and try everything. 

Cedar storage box

OK, so this project is a lot like the elm hassock just posted. Dimensions are very similar (14" x 14" x 15" high), but instead of blind mitered dovetails it uses blind mitered box joints. Not sure that change saved me any time, but that was the hope. This box includes a lid with a raised panel that added some steps. It will not receive a finish.