further adventures in milling: the boards i cut out of the salvaged lumber are 9 inches wide, 3 inches more than the jointer can handle (it's a machine that mills one face of a board to a flat surface -- john's takes pieces up to 6 inches wide). the objective of milling is to make from rough stock a piece of lumber that has 6 sides square with each other. the usual milling process is to joint one face, then run it through the planer to get the opposite face flat and parallel with the jointed surface. one edge can then be jointed by taking the already milled face as reference; the other edge gets sawn to parallel by referencing the jointed edge. having a board that is too wide for the jointer is an excuse to break out the jointing plane. like all planes, this one works by placing a cutting edge in the middle of a long, flat expanse of metal or wood. over multiple passes, the edge eventually brings the surface to an average flatness. the one in the shop was 23 inches long and made short work of rough-jointing one face of the boards enough to run them all through the planer. i also laid out the boards and jointed their mating edges in preparation for a glue-up. gluing boards together is more complicated than it at first appears. in order for the boards to be securely attached, their mating edges must match pretty near perfectly. as it happens, there's a technique for compensating for potential error in milling the mating edges: by accordioning the boards and jointing the mating edges together, any (even miniscule) departure from true gets mirrored and canceled out. in any case, this is the jointing plane in action and a pile of translucent, paper-thin shavings smelling of fresh-cut fir.