Starting the work on the Medieval Hutch Chest was one of the more daunting beginnings I've had. It's been over a year since I've built anything for anyone else. and a good while since I've built anything other than stuff for the shop. So just starting it was a bit of a hurdle. The second hurdle was starting with the roughest boards I have ever worked with. I have been a mindless consumer of big retail lumber for a long while, not for lack of trying to find other options, but often for ease and lack of other easy options, but boy have I paid through the nose for it. I'm so glad that I found a local hardwood dealer selling almost hot off the kiln for reasonable bf prices.
I got three boards total, all a slight (a 16th to an 8th) thicker than an inch, all 8 foot long, two 11 inches wide and one at 9 inches wide. I let them rest a week in the shop while I finished up the Moxon Twin Screw Vise, and setting up the new workshop. I decided to take the build in steps instead of stages like I have in the past. That's the nice trick I learned by starting to work more with hand tools. In the past I would try and do almost all the work on one machine at once. Cut all my stock to size at once, joint all my stock at once, cut all my joinery at once. This was a very "production" minded mentality and though it's useful in some instances, to use it all the time is a trap. I decided what parts of the finished piece I would start with, cut, prep, and join those parts and get them further along, then step back and start the next steps while glues were setting up or when I needed them. This worked great as there were very few stops while glue dried on a panel or what not, it kept me feeling efficient.
Here's another quick look at the finished piece,
Then I took the shorter pieces over to the band saw and ripped them down to about 3 inches wide, (leaving enough to plane the sides down to 3 inches exactly.
I cut the tongue in the front panel switching back and forth using a rebate plane, a 1 inch chisel, and a router plane. Cutting with the rebate plane across the grain of this white oak was a lot of work. I have to find a good way to sharpen the nicker that is supposed to cut ahead of the plane blade and leave a crisp edge. I didn't realize until now how dull it had gotten, I tried to push it around on my sandpaper system, and either I didn't give it enough of a chance or it's not the best way but I wasn't happy with the results. Thus a lot more chopping with the chisel and some additional work with the spear tipped blade in the router plane.