Tuesday, January 10

Dressing Legs & Rails

Most of this day was spent preparing for, unloading and stacking a lumber order.  This was fresh-sawn cherry and a little walnut.  And by fresh, I mean fresh, the truck was bringing it to me as it came off the mill and they were milling at the site where the tree had been cut over the weekend.

To prepare I needed to lay some thick boards down in the driveway where the truck would unload.  This was to keep the lumber out of the gravel and mud - it's been rainy.  Then I needed a place to put a little over 1000 board feet of lumber.  To free up a drying rack I moved some red oak off of an outside rack on top of a stack of red oak in the lumber shed.  Then moved the rack (which is made of landscape timbers) around to where I plan to extend the lumber shed, mounted it on 6 concrete blocks, and leveled it up.  But first I had to remove a pile of dirt and a stack of cedar logs that were in the spot I wanted the rack.  I dug up the dirt and threw it into the wagon behind the lawn tractor to haul that off, then moved the cedar logs to a pile out of the way.

I had just gotten all that done when the first load of lumber arrived.  We pulled it off the truck and stacked it on the grid of boards I laid down.  When the driver went back for the second load, I started carrying the lumber around to the drying rack and stacking it there.

To air dry lumber you have to lay in a layer of boards, then lay in spacer sticks that allow air to circulate all around the lumber so it dries evenly.  So it was carry, over a layer of boards, lay in the sticks, carry a layer of boards, lay in sticks... all afternoon.  This is a pretty simple thing to do if all the boards are the same length, but I got boards that were 6 feet long , most were 8 feet long, and a few that were 10 feet long.  That made things a bit more challenging!

I worked at it until it got too dark to see, then went home for some dinner (and some Ibuprophen!)

After dinner I came back and worked on the tray tables for a few hours.  I surface planed and sanded the rail stock and dressed out the legs.  I have enough rail stock for 6 tables, enough legs for 4.

Dressing the legs involved two adjacent faces to get those smooth and straight and a good square corner between them.  Then surface planing the two opposite faces, to smooth and square them.  I left them just a tad over-sized, then used the drum sander to take off the planer marks and do the construction sanding.  These are now ready for lay-out and boring the screw holes.

So, this is a good point to stop for the night.

Tomorrow I have to take the truck in for servicing first thing in the morning, then I have to meet someone at noon, and have a church Session meeting to go in the evening. I won't get much of anything done tomorrow!  But I'll be back at it full force on Thursday.

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