That big ole chunk of walnut is kind of boring. It has a lot of figure (light fiddleback, hopefully I will be able to bring it out) and quite pretty but still … So to lively things up, I added apple (Gravenstein, I think) “wear” strips. Apple is supposed to be pretty hard wood but this stuff is sap wood and doesn’t seem that hard (been playing with too much purpleheart and cocobolo) but it is harder than the walnut (which seems to be a bit on the soft side). Anyway, as usual, drew some line, made some cuts:
Used a 1/4” HS steel end mill, 2,500rpm (fastest my mill will spin). The block was clamped to the table so I could make the cuts by just moving the Y axis (forward and back as opposed to left and right, the only reason being I was able to eyeball the endmill/line standing in from of the mill).
You can see the uncut pencil lines; I made the first three cuts and went “hmmm, too much color”. Also, about that time I went “doh! if these are wear strips, I should put them where the wear will be”, which is just below the beam. Back to the mill. [Wow, the “wears” are everywhere]
Ripped the apple on the table saw and planed it for a nice snug fit. Glue sized the walnut (because I wanted to make sure pressing the strips in didn’t scrape all the glue off the sides of the slots), PVA (yellow) glue. After the glue had cured, the strips were trimmed (actually, I couldn’t wait that long but I did wait to) and planed flush.
Then the mortise was chopped (to remove the ends of the strips). Note to self: life is much easier if you plan these things in advance. Had to do some CYA chamfering to cover up some blow out. I added a stripe through the “blow hole” just to make life difficult. I must be in a British mood, racing stripe on the hood, Brit flag on the side.
A couple of gratuitous plane shots. I used my Mighty Mini Mitre plane (M3P) and followed it up with a HNT Gordon 60 degree smoother because of the many grain reversals. You can see that the glue joint is quite good – the apple and walnut have remained glued together in the shavings. What’s that lurking in the background? An unfilled infill shoulder plane? Interesting …
A bunch of hand holding ensued, during which I changed the way I wanted to hold the gauge (slightly, I want to wrap the last two or three fingers around the bottom of the gauge), so out came the rasps and files and the shape was further “refined” (“file there, better, now file some more, stop! before you screw it up, no, three fingers is even better” …). Finally, I just said “good enough”, sanded for what seemed like days (it WAS spread over one evening and the next morning) and dropped it into the tank to get oiled.