I learned a lesson when I unpacked the ebony for the chopping board. It was rough sawn, straight off the bandsaw and dusty. Somehow I had imagined the ebony would be planed square and pretty much ready for glueing up. Since blanks for guitar fretboards are usually planed when you get them, I assumed this would be the case with these blanks as well. How wrong was I?
This meant I was in for a lot of work. I tried planing the wood with my hand plane. I managed to flatten the face of one of the pieces and was about to start on the second face when I noticed my plane was dull. Very dull. I sharpened up and planed the second side. Then, my plane was dull again, and I was way out of square. I tried a few more pieces but decided this was not going to work: I had to plane four sides of 28 pieces of ebony. At this rate I would have to sharpen my plane 112 times over weeks of planing.
I changed tactics and decided to use the machines in our shared workshop. I used a planer (on a very fine setting) and thicknesser to get the blanks flat and square. This went a lot quicker with better results. Since I hadn’t used the machines much until now, I also got to understand them a lot better.
Once all the pieces were planed I did a trial run and glued up the the board:
I did the final levelling and cleaning with my hand plane and cabinet scraper:
Up next, cutting the grooves…