Tuesday, November 02, 2010

All plugged up

Last night was "cutting board" night - where everyone in the Basic Woodworking class an opportunity to dress up their current project with some inlaid plugs. It's funny; some classes go crazy with plugs, putting way too many on their boards.

But other students seem really bored with the idea. Last night, only one or two people decided to use plugs in their boards, but I thought I'd show you how I prepare for the class.

First, to speed things up a bit, I cut plugs before everyone arrives.

I've learned it's best to include both dark and light woods, so they can choose whatever they want to use. And I switch up the sizes - some small, most large. The big ones are usually more popular.

I use tenon cutters to make the plugs, not the traditional plug cutters that most people use. Why? Most importantly, they make a longer "tube" of wood, which is much easier to hold. But better yet - each "tube" of wood will yield 2-4 plugs. So it's way more efficient to cut them longer.

Here's how I make the plugs on the drill press.

Once the wood blanks are drilled, you cut the plugs from the blank using the table saw.

And here is what a board looks like when it's inlaid. On this board, Denny used three 1" maple plugs down the center.

Another cool board!

Sharon decided to add a different detail to her board - a glass cheese dome. We cut the circular groove for the dome with the router buddy. Here she is oiling the board

Wow. A very cool finished piece! She swears she's inviting me over for wine and cheese.... we'll see!

Does Linda look proud?

There is no better feeling than watching the faces of these students at the end of this second class, when they walk out with their finished board. Most considered themselves absolute rookies when they walked into the shop last week. Here it is, a week later and they have a gorgeous piece to brag about to their friends. Does it get any better than that!?!

1 comment:

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Great boards and your students look so happy. I never thought of using my tenon cutter for plugs, thanks for that suggestion!