my least favorite tool..

about a month ago i got it into my head that building a 4' straight edge would be a good idea.  i found a suitable piece of stable looking cherry one evening and knocked one out.  one of those 'not so challenging but satisfying as a - you should have done this a long time ago' projects.

i hung it on my wall above the 4' level from lowe's so that it might peer down with disdain over the 'far less accurate' hack i'd been using on the rare occasions i needed a 4' straight edge.  when i needed to flatten my bench for instance..

'hey that's a good idea!  i'll check my bench top.  i haven't flattened it since its initial construction, surely it's moved a bit in the mean time..'

turns out it had moved quite a bit.  perhaps it was a result of using the lowe's level.  perhaps i sucked at leveling a large, flat surface with hand planes.  doesn't matter now.  it was far from flat and my shiny new straight edge was laughing at me.  it's mocking was that much more painful as it is my own creation.

my own little 4' frankenstein..  (yes, i know.  shut up..)

i have adopted the practice of workshop maintenance between projects.  finish a project, take a day to fix all the things in the workshop that bugged me during the last project.  clean/sharpen/oil all the tools, etc..

i finished the side table yesterday (final post with log analysis coming soon..) so today was shop maintenance day and i chose to re-flatten the bench top.  touched up the blade on my new lie-nielsen #6, grabbed some wax and went to work.

for some reason (and this seems to happen to me every time..) i maintained a sense of denial about how out-of-flat my bench really was.  'should just take a couple of passes to bring it back to flat.  i don't need to bust out the scrub or jack planes, i want to play with my new #6!'

three hours later, it's flat.  i do love the flexibility of the #6 and i've gotten to know it quite well over the last month but yeah..  i've had brighter ideas.

she does look pretty though ;)

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