Author Topic: Worm holes in Butternut  (Read 432 times)

Tom M

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Worm holes in Butternut
« on: November 07, 2019, 03:45:54 PM »
I'm building a stepback hutch out of old air-dried butternut.  Some of the wider boards have worm holes which became noticeable after planing the boards.  I would like to use them full width, and one of the sides of the lower cabinet has a lot of worm holes (left side of picture).  On a sample board I mixed some hyde glue with butternut filings and filled the worm holes. After drying I planed and shellacked the board (see picture).  I'm not sure I like this, [/size]and I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion on how to deal with the worm holes?
[/size]
[/size]Thanks,
[/size]Tom
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

Tom M

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 07:37:36 PM »
I'm not sure what happened to the text in my post, but something certainly went wrong.


In any case I filled the worm holes on a scrap piece using hide glue and wood filings.  I planed and shellecked it - see picture (I'm not crazy about it).  I would be interested if anyone has a suggestion.  I may need to just scrap my plan of only using full width boards for this one side.
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

Howard Pollack

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 10:56:41 AM »
I had some sycamore with the same problem.  I tried to fill them with a sanding dust and finish mixture, but I didn't like the results.  I finally decided to work them into the design by filling them with a mixture of cyanoacrylate glue and ebony dust.  A little unusual, but attractive.  -Howard

ChuckH

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 08:42:12 PM »
Tom,
I have never worked with any wormy wood but I always thought that the worm holes were part of the appeal.
I'm curious to see how you made out with this.


-Chuck
If all else fails, play dead.  -Red Green

Tom M

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 08:30:09 AM »
One of the wide lower side boards had just too many worm holes, so I had to rip about 4" and glue a piece to it.  All the wood is from the same tree, and I was able to match the grain such that I have a hard time finding the glue line.  All the boards have some worm holes which is fine.  One of the upper sides has more than I would prefer, but it has a nice crotch detail which matches the other side. My wife likes it so it stays.  I'm not going to try filling them.  I think that just draws attention to them.  The close-up picture show the wood with alcohol on it.  I think the worm holes actually give it some character.


I was hoping to have to have this project complete for Christmas, but we recently got a puppy which requires a lot of attention. She is a wood chomper - anything on the floor is fair game.
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

ChuckH

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 10:47:18 AM »
Wow, that is some beautiful material, wormholes and all. Definitely follow the wife's intuition on such matters. My wife had a sixth sense when it came to colors and patterns.
Very nice. 



If all else fails, play dead.  -Red Green

Tom M

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 12:53:43 PM »
I really liked it when there used to be several posts at the Forum daily.  So to try and get thing moving, I'm going to start posting about the Pennsylvania German Stepback Hutch I'm building.  However I will only post if there is a reply to my last one!

So to start off I'll give some background.  Gene Landon taught a class at Olde Mill on this stepback about 15 years ago. I did not take the class, but spent a day a couple years ago measuring Gene's.  I also had Gene's handout from the class, as eventually I will be doing a drawing of this for Olde Mill.

Nine years ago we gutted our kitchen, and in our redesign I left a space for this stepback hutch.

After we got our Springer Spaniel puppy at the beginning of August, I took some time off from work to allow my wife a break, and Abby slept a lot, so I decided to start working on my drawing for the hutch with a puppy sleeping on my feet.  I use a program called TurboCAD Pro Platinum 2019.  Attached is a rendered model. 

In September a couple friends met me in PA to get the wood.  I think I grabbed something like 18 boards.  They were all from the same tree and have air dried for decades.  We got them home and one of the guys ran them through his kiln to kill any bugs.

For the base of the cabinet, I hand thickness planed the boards as they were too wide for my planer.  If they went through the planer they were still hand planed. All the dados for the shelfs were sawn then chiseled out and finished with a Stanley router plane. To layout the through mortises on the top, I clamped a straight-edge to the board then clamped a stop board to the side of the top. The side board was then pushed against both stops and clamped. This made knifing the tenon profile easy.

If you want me to continue, I will need to see some responses!
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

macchips4

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 10:59:46 PM »
Are you going to wedge the through tenons?....now you must continue.

Tom M

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 03:05:23 PM »
Thanks for your reply!
[/color]
I haven't decided about wedging the tenons.  The fit is very good, and you get long grain to long grain glue surfaces. I had considered it to make sure the top pulls down flat, but I can do that with clamps.  What are your thoughts?  And if they were wedged how would you go about doing it?

And as promised I will continue...

I've started the face frames.  I was able to salvage quarter sawn wood from boards that had the pith in the center.  I think they’ll look good - all straight grain, and since the wide vertical pieces have molding details, I thought it would be easier to work. I spent quite a bit of time finding good sections of QS for the face frame, doors and moldings. Full boards were laid out all over my shop.

A couple days ago I cut them down to manageable sizes, then planed and jointed to final size.  I also identified a board to use for the raised panels, and sections on some cut-off pieces with tight knots in the center that I'll be using for the drawer fronts. That leaves me with four full boards left.  I'll need three of these for the backs.

Five of the face frame stiles have a complex molding in the center. I cut away some of the wood with a dado cutter.  I then ground and filed a scraper for the ogee profile and made a holder for it.  I built it so the blade depth can be easily adjusted up and down without losing its centerline. I also made fences to keep the tool aligned.  This worked very well. I adjusted the depth five times. Figuring out how to make the molding, then making the tool and making the table saw cuts took about as long as scraping the ogees.

Pictures attached show:
- Face frame and door parts cut down to size
[/size]- Drawing of molding- Scraper tool- Final pass- Finished boardThat's it for now. Someone replies and I'll keep going!
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

macchips4

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 07:52:42 PM »
     I think I would wedge the tenons...you only have long grain to long grain on the short sides of the tenon. I would put two wedges for each tenon, near their ends..a contrasting wood like walnut in a saw-kerf,......no one will see on the top ......but.......just because.........
    The scraped molded profile came out nice! I always get a lot of "fuzz" when using butternut......

Rglass

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2019, 08:08:24 AM »
More, More, More.  This is great stuff.  I been at this for a long time and see posts like this make me realize I need to up my game!  Very informative and I appreciate your sharing with us wannabes.

ChuckH

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2019, 10:49:31 AM »
Tom,
I find your post of 12/4 interesting on many levels. First of all, what a great project and interesting that you chose a Pennsylvania German piece. I don't recall seeing much of that style being discussed here. Do you know anything about the history of the piece?


Although the Queen Anne style is what my wife and I preferred, many of the Pennsylvania German pieces appeal to me probably because of my mother's roots to those people. She grew up in Harrisburg (99 and still going strong) but she can recall as a young girl visiting grandma and grandpa Gruber's farm in Annville, Pa. I wouldn't be surprised if a stepback hutch similar to yours didn't stand in their kitchen. Unfortunately we have long ago lost touch with that branch of the tree.

As someone who retired after 45 years in the Drafting/Engineering field, I can appreciate the fine job you did modeling that hutch. While most people use Sketchup for this task you used TurboCad. That's some high powered software and not necessarily designed for the woodworking community (although the software doesn't care:)).
I suspect you use TurboCad professionally.

And then you mentioned Gene Landon, one of my heros. It was one of Mr. Landon's projects that sparked my desire to build period furniture. Even though it took twenty years for that to come to fruition, I never forgot his article in FW magazine.

Enough jibber jabber. The project is proceeding nicely. It helps to be able to pull out those cross-sections, doesn't it? Regarding those through tenons: mechanically I'm sure they would be fine, but to my eye that joint should be wedged. Gene doesn't mention anything about that in his notes?

Keep up the good work, Christmas is right around the corner. Keep posting and keep that puppy out of the shop. No "Dog-on-its" for that little guy.

-Chuck 
 
If all else fails, play dead.  -Red Green

Troy Livingston

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Re: Worm holes in Butternut
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 10:42:31 AM »
I like both project and choice of dog. We have two Springer Spaniel puppies and I am looking forward to having shop dogs once the new shop is complete. Keep up the good work.