As most of you probably know, I'm settling into a new shop in San Francisco. I've got a beautiful yard with a little workshop, and plenty of room to make furniture. So I'm on a mission. Make all the furniture in my house, and if anyone wants to buy something or I wind up with extra, sell them. But make it all like what I would want to have for the rest of my life.
I've made a few things so far in this house - a large poplar bookshelf, a ton of random tables. This weekend I built a Walnut burl table to put next to the couch. But nothing yet that's truly 'For Life'.
Luckily, I found some beautiful reclaimed burl I was very ready to use. and needed two end tables for our couch.
I started with a unique tool - a 'Farrier's Rasp'. I am told this is what you use on a horse before you shoe it. Either way, it's large and excellent and sculpting away the somewhat fragile bark and edges of this burl.
I used a small F-clamp to my temporary bench. This holds the wood perfectly well for this kind of rasp work, but the key is always to use two. I use shelf liner between the clamp and the work so that the work doesn't get marred.
I followed this up with some planing. The surface is uneven, but for this kind of table it doesn't need to be perfectly level.
This worked fairly well, though I may end up going back at it. These home store saw benches don't have enough weight to move the plane against and I can get out the toothed blade for this veritas low angle jack plane.
The top of this table is 'flat enough' - flat enough for a few glasses or a spare plate, for a magazine or a lamp or some pictures in a frame. But not anywhere close to jointer flat. Working the burl is hard, and slow.