The title is the question I envisioned people asking if I had just written my original title idea "Dishing the Stump" The answer is that this is a dishing stump.
What the hell do you do with it? Another excellent question. As I have written here before, I have two hobbies in my life. One is woodworking, which I am slowly working on turning into a second career. The other is Medieval Reenactment, where I am a member of a group that spends several weekends a year dressed in medieval clothing, cooking and living in a medieval way, and sometimes dressing and fighting in medieval arms and armor. (I know some of you may have heard of this as the SCA or Society for Creative Anachronism, for several very good reasons we are not associated with this organization, we are a group of our own forging and identity, We cal ourselves "Tribe Woden Thor" if you want to see that side of my life you can check out our group's website by clicking this link) The reason many of you may not know what a dishing stump is or what it is used for is because it has little purpose in a woodworking world. It is used by a blacksmith or armorer to form sheets of metal into bowl like shapes. Specifically this is going to be used to make shield bosses. A round, dished metal plate that goes in the center of a shield. It provides both protection and a place to hold your shield. Here's some pics of my shield and the cheep boss I bought many years ago.
Well that month will be up tomorrow, I realized today I had played a bit with the stump, but hadn't accomplished much. Time to get off my ass I figured. I know I have been on a hand tool kick lately but in reality I am a hybrid woodworker, I just think that I shouldn't limit myself based on a bias against electron utilization. Honestly tonight the choice was try to work with several gouges to make a circular depression, or plug something in. I went to the plug. I hadn't used my router since before we left Maine, that would be almost a year, but that old friend was sitting there patiently waiting, Happy to be hooked up with a dishing bit and put to work.
First I took a wire brush to the stump, to clean off as much dirt and crap as I could. Then doing my best to flatten the beast out I went back and forth between my belt sander and a #5 plane. I didn't need to, want to, make it perfect, that wasn't necessary, but taking out some of the chainsaw scratches and giving it a close level makes me feel a little better at least.
Once that was done I got out another old friend, the rotary tool. I chucked up the biggest and most aggressive burr style I have in my arsenal and went to work forming and smoothing the actual dish.Here it is about half way done.
Over all not bad for a quickie project and an evening of making some serious sawdust. It always amazes me how I can forget how much dust and chips the router makes. My wife came down and said she hadn;t seen me so covered in a long while. Still, if you have to be covered, you could shoose something much worse than saw dust, don't you think?