Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Strange Days Indeed

These days are filled with so many different types of work that I am beginning to get a headache from changing hats so often. Lucky for me, I have some help in the form of Seth Weizenecker. Seth is a recent graduate of the North Bennet Street School and attended both of the classes that I taught there last year.

I decided to take advantage of his cabinet expertise to finish the countertop for my kitchen project. Seth is a real expert with his handmade persimmon handplanes.

The cherry that I cut off my property about 5 years ago and had cut on a bandsaw mill is serving as the lumber for the project. I don't have a jointer and the material is a bit thin to mill completely anyway, so we decided to just flatten one side and leave the underside rough to preserve the thickness. To join the breadboard ends, we used a simple router jig that references off of the flat face. Below is a sample of the tenon, I noticed the bark and couldn't resist the photo.

Here I am, (my wife says I look concerned, and she's right) with the router jig. By referencing off of one face and using a spacer, the thickness of the tenon is uniform.

What can I say, yuk.

But the results were sweet, although the bit did vibrate loose at one point.

The mortise portion of the jig was rough going, but you can't tell from the outside. Frankly, I have no interest in working to improve the routing of this joint. If I really want to have some fun, I'll follow my dream and get a dovetail plane!

Here is the half lap dovetail that joins the breadboard into the L of the countertop.

I think Seth enjoyed this little detail.

Here you can see the rough underside.

And the finished face! It really came out lovely.

After a little scribing to fit the space, the counter actually snapped into place.
Below is Seth working on my new kiln, which is now done and I'll post after showing the finished kitchen.


Tracy said...


The counters look great and I can't wait to see the finished project, but I gotta admit I may be more excited about the kiln. I hope you took more process pics and will spend some time talking about your kiln. What have you changed from the original and why? Oddly, I just finished building mine a few weeks ago. One thing I added to improve over the basic "easy bake oven" was a fan. I bought a cheap bath fan ($16 Lowes) and installed it in the bottom of the kiln (by the light bulbs) venting upwards through the heat diffuser. The fan is on a seperate switch from the heat/lights. This allows me to run a "kiln schedule" more similar to a solar kiln. I turn the heat on in the morning, the kiln rises to about 130 (2 of the 4 bulbs) and I turn the heat off at night. The fan runs constantly and with the kiln closed-up the temp gradually falls through the night to about 70. I maybe kidding myself, but this theoretically makes sense to me as a gentler schedule which should reduce tension in the wood. I am interested in your thoughts and experiences on the matter. Please post more about your kiln. As always, thank you for your fantastic blog!

Tracy Turner

J. King said...

I am interested about your new kiln and the reason why your switching from your old one as well... It is great to see what your up to these days with the blog, Pete. Your always up to something that is intriguing and fun-filled and that's one of the things I appreciate about you. Excited to see the progress on your kitchen cabinets. Hope to catch up with you sometime.

Peter Galbert said...

I'm right there with you, I think I'm more excited about the kiln as well. I'm going to post about it soon, but first I'm going away to soak up a bit of much needed sun and heat!

Peter Galbert said...

Thanks, there's plenty going on right now! The next month or so is way overbooked but after that I'll have plenty of time to catch up,

Anonymous said...


The new-look kitchen is fabulous and must be a thrill for you and Sue to see your vision and ideas jump off the drawing boards. Great to see Seth lending you his very skilled hands. As he might say, All y'all did right!


custom office furniture said...

A lot of mastery over woodwork.It is a tough call to get it all right with the measurements in place.The detailing is very perfect in this.

Peter Galbert said...

Thanks Peter, he's been a real lifesaver on this one!

Robert Francis said...

I enjoy your blog and I hope to meet you some day I have long admired your work.

Peter Galbert said...

Thanks Robert, I look forward to it.


Pablo said...

I would love to see some more detailed photos of those handmade persomon planes!


NYC Custom Furniture said...

beautiful work on the counters. thanks for sharing.