|The need arises|
So I got myself a piece of maple and glued up an oversized panel. I was surprised at how easy this maple was to plane. For the glue-up I got one side flat and one edge straight. I planed the edges together to guarantee good flatness of the panel. I also oriented the grain of the two pieces so that I could plane them both the same way after being glued together.
|The panel glued up, ready for sizing|
|Squaring a line across the width|
|Made a little step down with a chisel|
|... and cut the end. Clearly I need some practice cutting squarely.|
|You can still just see the knife lines around this end grain|
|Marking the width with panel gauge|
|Nicker not yet in position. Had to sharpen it as it had apparently never been used.|
|Almost complete rabbet|
Once the two ends were done, the long grain rabbets went easily, though slowly.
|Long grain rabbet started|
The next step was to mark the curves that needed to be added to the rabbeted area. It turned out to be about a 3 1/8" radius.
|Curves marked on one end ...|
|... and the other end|
I thought about how best to chop out waste. I don't trust my sawing enough to saw out most of the waste. So out came the chisel and mallet and I chopped away.
|Chop chop choppin'|
|Wedgie on left|
|Cleaning up shoulder|
I also finished up the bottom of the rabbet with a router plane (no picture). The rest of the corners went well, although I really got chopping hard at times. And although the tip of the chisel didn't get into the "keeper" wood, the force of chopping deformed some keeper areas and they didn't look too good after oiling.
|All corners with curved rabbets|
You can see here that I've also shaped the corners of the top (non-rabbeted) surface. A test fit had it fitting pretty well in the sink.
The last material removal step was to form an elongated hole both as a handle and as a place to push unwanted vegetable waste to the disposal drain. The hole was to be 2" wide. I have a 2" hole saw and thought about using it, but the shank did not fit my drill chuck. It would fit my drill press, but that's in storage.
|Can't use the hole saw. That's OK, I thought it would give too rough a cut anyway.|
So I laid out the hole, drilled a small hole for the coping saw blade and went to town.
|Coping to the lines|
When that was done I used rasps and files to clean up the inside surfaces. I also laid out lines for a rounding over of the hole on top and bottom and used a chisel to do the work. This was good practice in chisel work.
|Chiseling the round-over|
I used plane and spokeshave to ease the outside edges of the board and then sanded to smooth them off. Then a final smooth planing top and bottom followed by light sanding.
For finishing, first I raised the grain with water, let dry and sanded (twice). Then I applied mineral oil with a rag, slathered on and wiped off about 1/2 hour later, with a day between each of the three coats.
And there you have it. Fit's like a glove. Happy wife ... happy life!
|A nice fit - and looks good, too!|