partly, anyway. when last we saw The Desk, it was at test fit stage, a proof of concept, if you will. i sawed down the tenons today with a fancy japanese flatsaw that cuts on the pull. you press the saw blade flat to the surface of the piece and it cuts any protruding pieces flush with the surface. the rosewood wedges that were the cause of such panic last week turn out to be gorgeous and, unexpectedly, perfectly centred. after some sanding and handy work with a cabinet scraper (which is a thin rectangular piece of tool steel, but with more technique behind it than you might imagine), the ash mortise and tenon with rosewood wedge is revealed (the piece sitting on top of the frame in the picture on the left is the offcut from the tenon). the cabinet scraper is like a tiny chisel mounted in a plate with a flat edge; used right, it produces long, whisper-thin clumps of excelsior as it scrapes the wood to an almost glassy finish. up to this point, the finished shape of the piece exists more in the mind than in reality -- the surfaces of all the component pieces have mill marks (1/64th of an inch, at most, but the fingertips will feel even that slight bumpiness). now, after sanding to 150 grit, these pieces feel like they should: cool, and powdery smooth even after the sawdust is brushed away. all the fiddly bits have also been dealt with. for example, in the picture on the right, you see the cunning connector for the top slab (different from, and almost as cunning as, the connectors for the back rails)? that double-milled connector socket was pretty darn fiddly.

     

the frame and joinery in general have turned out much nicer than i expected. working with ash has been a little annoying, since the wood takes every possible opportunity to split and chip along the grain (as when planing the end-grain flush with the top rails, for instance) in any case, the picture on the left shows a side view of the frame and reveals the back rail connector mortises with their keyholes.

     

and this is the shop. it's full of wood, power tools, and other neat stuff. the deckchair in the upper left is made of barbed wire. and here, as if you were really interested, is a side view of one of the two frames.

     



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