Dirty Harry said it best...

"A man's gotta know his limitations"


.  That's true.  One of my many limitations is the ability, or lack thereof, to mill a piece of wood square.  Sure, I follow the steps, joint the adjacent sides, rip against the freshly jointed face, plane faces.  The wood just never comes out square.  The problem with that is this; If you don't start with a square board then you can never expect to get a square piece of furniture.  Today, my milling abilities got a little better.


  I started the morning by laying out the legs for the

shaker table

.  I've never worked with


before, but it seems to work similar to


.  Cutting the 2" board on my table saw made me realize it's time to put on the

WoodWorker II

that I got for Christmas.  I used my




to knock off the burn marks from the saw, and the ridges from the jointer.  After getting the legs squared up I tried to find the best grain for the front and back legs.   The wood provided in the 

Bell Forest

 is very good.  Straight grained and it looks like it all came from the same part of the tree.  After selecting the legs I marked out the mortise for the side aprons.  I used my

drill press

 and a 3/8" bit to hog out most of the material.  Then I went back with my chisels and pared out the rest of the material.


When hand planing the makeshift legs for my workbench started racking.  I found a piece of dimensional 4x4 laying in the garage and clamped it to the legs.  I drew a red arrow on the picture for clarity. Amazingly, this made it feel like a workbench instead of a tabletop on a set of saw horses.  There's still some movement, but it's 100% better than before.

All in all, it was a pretty productive day.  Got a decent start on the shaker table, and even threw a coat of shellac on the quilt rack.  I'm getting the hang of milling stock square.  Just don't bring your


to my garage.