I have to confess, I let the hot, dry days of summer become an excuse, but no more. Sunday I wrapped up the stopped chamfers on my Hay Rake table.
Much of the grain I was working was too curly for the drawknife, leading to tear-out. I shifted to my spokeshave (and on the long stretcher, the jack plane) to waste away material, following up with my block plane for the finishing strokes. I found that the rhythm of wasting away material followed by planing or shaving to a line worked well for much of the work.
The smallest of these chamfers, however, were short enough that not even a spokeshave would work – these chamfers were just a little longer than the length of the spokeshave sole, leaving no room for travel. These chamfers I formed entirely with carving gouges.
The cove detail at the stop is less flamboyant than the lamb’s tongue, which seemed fitting for this design, which pays homage to farm life in the English countryside.
These are not the semicircular coves you’d get from a router. Instead, they are oval, a shape you could only achieve by hand. I was pleased with the result.
Here’s a close-up of marking out the cove shape. I use a 3/4″ No. 6 sweep carving gouge to connect the stop point on the arris with a point along the chamfer gauge line about 1/2″ back, creating an oval-shaped cove.
With little room for travel, there was no point in using a spokeshave here. It was all hand-carving with the No. 6 and a 3/4″ No. 3. Here, I’m almost finished.