I searched for previous posts on this topic. Hope that I am not repeating someone else's. Also, I have limited experience working with wood; assume I don't know things.
Peter Wilshire's post of his modified matchbox gave me the itch to make a puzzle. My brother and I have talked about using cubes or legos. But today I found a place with exotic woods about a 10 min drive from home! Talk about feeling like a kid in a candy shop. This place sells tools, craft supplies, and a wide spectrum of woods, including exotics. They also cut pieces on site. I found a 1/4in. plank of redheart and 1/4in. scrap planks of purpleheart and padauk. They smell good.
Anyway, I have a couple of questions.
First, I think that I picked pretty straight pieces. But when I sight down them, they are maybe slightly out of true. Is it worth it taking them back to have them planed further? will a tiny bit of warpage be ok? (these planks are anywhere from 2-3 feet long and the modified match box will be 2.75in. on each side) How about sanding the sides with a sandpaper block?
Update: I just went back to look at the planks. The two scraps are pretty true. The redheart, however, dimensions 1/4 by 4 by 36in, has about a 1/4 inch diagonal warp from end to end when I hold one end flat on the counter. Can't plane that and preserve the 1/4in thickness. So, I'm stuck with about 1/12in warp per foot, 1/72in warp each 2 inches. Probably OK for my purposes, I think.
But what do you guys do if you are trying to produce pieces to sell, or for a competition? Do you start with a 1/2 in plank and plane it down? Or can you glue slightly warped pieces together to make a box, and the glue keeps everything true? How true is true? Again, for my purposes I suspect that my pieces of wood are just fine.
Second, as far as tools go, space is an issue, so power tools are out of the question. My wife has drawn the line at the orbital sander, jigsaw, and circular saws I own. And I have a very inquisitive five year old son who has a gift with screwdrivers.
There is a fairly nice miter saw at Hartville Tool's web site, a Nobex Pro Master http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/11136
. Is anyone aware of other miter hand saws that might be as good or better? Eric posted an old pic of his first wood shop with a manual miter saw sitting on his dining table. Made me feel better about my restricted resources.