Playing favorites again

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Ever do something you haven’t done in a long time, and are surprised to remember just how much you like it? I do this all the time in the shop.

It could be a particular technique I haven’t used in a while, or maybe a specific tool. I don’t use my pocket-hole setup often, for example, but every time I do I’m amazed at just how slick and easy it is and how good the results always turn out.

This time around it’s a hand-rubbed boiled linseed oil finish on nicely smoothed cherry. I like BLO in general for anything that doesn’t require maximum protection, but the combination of BLO and cherry seems to be the most perfect marriage of materials there is.

The project is a cribbage board intended as a gift for my sister-in-law. I found a small piece of nicely figured cherry I’d stashed away and nearly forgotten I had, and came across it sifting through the lumber rack.

The board turned out great, but when I rubbed on the oil the figure nearly exploded from the wood. Now, two weeks and several rubbed-out coats of BLO later, and the surface of the board is like glass, the figure incredible.

Every time I do this I always swear I’ll use the particular technique – or, in this case, material – more often, but I always forget. Of course, that always makes it such a wonderful surprise when it happens again.

A.J.

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