One of the surprise visitors at last weekend's open house was John Finn. I met John by attending meetups of the North Clark County Woodworkers breakout group that spun off from the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers. John is a semi-retired professional who has forgotten more about woodworking than I currently know. He still maintains a pro shop with enormous machinery made by the likes of Oliver.
While visiting this past weekend, John was curious about the jacks I had on display. He asked me what the material was and I said I was considering making them out of European beech. His reply was, "I have some European beech left over from a door project. Why don't you come over this week and we'll cut all the jacks you need?" What a blessing. I took John up on his generous offer and hit his shop last night to watch the master at work.
The first thing John did was trim off down some pieces on his monster table saw. Then, we ran them through the huge planer.
Once this step was completed, we had jack blanks that were dimensioned a little rich for the registers so I can trim them down when the time comes to place them. John then cut them to the appropriate sizes for the 8' and 4' versions.
I ended up with 104 beautiful beech blanks with some left over that I will use for learning how to make jacks. Michael Peter Johnson has reminded me a couple of times that I will make and place the jacks dead last, but John's offer was for this week and one must strike while the iron is hot, as they say.
I'm in jack blank heaven.
Until next time...