Don’t Get Cocky

I’ve been making a couple of small trays for holding salt and pepper mills (for example). I made a prototype in pine, which went pretty well. Then I made one in walnut with my trademark racing stripes, and it went well also. So midway through the third one, I decided to pause and take a photograph of the work in progress, showing the process of removing the central material with the dado blades.

Trays in Progress

Trays in Progress

The idea is that after I get the 15-degree bevels on all four sides cut, defining the outer shape, I can then start defining the “inside” shape. What I decided to do to make that easier was to slice off a quarter inch strip from each side of the solid piece, allowing the inside material to then be removed as shown in the photo.

One small problem: right around the time I was taking the photo, I got that sinking feeling that I’d overlooked something critical. It seems that I only sliced off ONE of the two sides. Oops.

I could cut and shape another piece of walnut, but the odds of it being a perfect match are slim to none. That’s why you slice it off the sides in the first place, so when you glue it back together it looks like one piece again.

So I decided if I can’t anticipate a perfect match, I will just celebrate the mismatch and make the sides out of a contrasting material. Since maple was already featured, and I had a hunk of maple sitting right there, from which I had prepared the racing stripes, that’s what I went with. ┬áStay tuned, but as it sits waiting for the glue to set, it looks not bad.

But anything can happen. I won’t get cocky.