This weekend we worked on the joined chest project at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. I’ll write a post about it tomorrow, but in the aftermath of that weekend, I had a few wide oak panels to rive out for planing this week. As they were busted from the log, they were grossly thick for one panel, but most were too thin at the inside edge for two. This calls for some tricky froe-work.
these bolts were 22″ long or so. and in this photo, just over 13″ wide. This one was thick enough to split in two, one panel might come out just narrower than 12″ = once I hew & plane them, they’ll be in the range of 3/4″ thick.
The others weren’t quite the same original thickness, so I had to split them off-center. This gets one wide panel, and one narrower panel. It saves wood, saves hewing, and is all-around well worth it. When it works. Below you see I’ve driven the froe in parallel to the wide face, but it doesn’t reach all the way to the inner edge. To split successfully this way requires the straightest grain, and most agreeable oak. This inner, narrow panel will finish about 6″ or 7″ wide.
Here’s a detail of how the two panels lie in the oak:
I did about four of them this afternoon, while unpacking the car & tools from the weekend. Here’s a detail showing a 14″ panel and its 12″ neighbor.
Once I drive the froe into the split, I jam the bolt in the riving brake – I wouldn’t like to attempt this without one. When it goes right, you hear a SNAP when the froe is twisted and the oak breaks free. I’d only try this on short lengths in these widths.
Earlier in the day, look who I found – the redtail hawk from the other day:
If we hadn’t seen him drop down to the ground, we’d never have found him among the beat-down grass –
He caught something there, and we watched him for a while. Then decided to leave him to his brunch… (or her…we don’t know. It is a good size bird, might be female…doesn’t really matter, to me anyway.)
Later, a kestrel, lousy photo though. Can’t get anywhere near them.
ditto for a bluebird.
But almost every year about this time, I photograph & post a picture of a snipe. Usually I pair it with photos of the hinges I use for boxes and chests. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/setting-gimmals-you-might-know-them-as-snipe-bills/ (Ahh, that post was from Dec, but I found photos of snipe from April 5, 2013. everything is late this year)
Maureen found this one (then a 2nd one) right in front of us in the blind at the Audubon place where we were walking…
Two snipes. they blend in more than the hawk did.