Much has happened since my last entry; I've travelled across the country, worked over the summer building a house, and begun my year of study at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, along with a lot of woodworking. In this entry, however, I'll focus on my new jack plane!
When I first acquired the chunk of walnut in Virginia, I thought it seemed perfect for a plane body. I got some Lignum Vitae for the sole, and set them aside, ultimately bringing them across the country. I bought a 2" wide Hock iron and chip breaker, and I decided on a bed angle of 50 degrees. I also decided on a front handle rather than a rear tote, evoking the form of European wood-bodied planes, along with a dovetail-shaped shoulder holding the wedge against the chip breaker, rather than a Krenov-style pin. A few months ago I prepared a face on each timber, and epoxied them together, walnut body to Lignum sole. With the epoxy cured, I jointed and squared all four sides, and split the body longitudinally on its center into two identical halves.
Splitting the body of the plane like this allowed me to saw out a lot of the material to be removed, rather than by purely chopping with chisel and mallet. This also allowed me to be much more accurate when laying out the relatively complex opening in the plane body. Perhaps an expert wouldn't need to split the plane body like this, but this is my first plane-making experience.
Here you can see the saw cuts I was able to make with the body split open, seen from the top of the plane at left above, and with each half laying on its outside face on the right above.
I chopped out everything up to my saw kerfs, then carefully pared down to my scribe lines. This was so much easier with the plane body split open! Once I was satisfied, I clamped the body halves togethether, inserted the iron and a test wedge, and tested the plane out - it worked! I then epoxied the halves together, taking care to clean up the squeeze out, especially inside the mouth and bed. With the epoxy cured, I flattened the sole and trued the sides and top, and set about laying out the handle.
In the above clip you can see what's going on in the front of the plane. I removed a section at the front to allow for the handle, and fit it in a sliding dovetail. The handle ultimately received glue, but I wanted a mechanical component to the joint as well. I cut out a shape for my thumb and palm that looked pleasing, and rounded it into (mostly) fair lines. The corners towards the back are still fairly sharp, but they allow for some continuous grain in the sliding dovetail. With the handle finished, I put some stopped chamfers all around the top edges, and tested the plane again.
The test, as you can see, went great. Only two things remained at this point - a proper wedge, and a striking button on the back. The mahogany wedge in there now looks great, but is pretty soft compared to the mallet that will be hitting it habitually over its life. The striking button has to be hard too for the same reason. People put them on wood planes either on top in front of the iron opening, or in the back. A strike on either spot will serve to very slightly back out the iron, giving the user some control over how much material is removed in one swipe. Because I've got that handle up front, I put the striking button in the back to protect the pretty walnut endgrain. Both wedge and button came from a chunk of Black Locust acquired out here in Washington. Locust is a pretty incredible wood species. It's exceptionally hard, durable, and resistant to rot. Its grain resembles Ash or Oak, but unlike either its end grain is very tight with no visible pore openings, and it is much harder to work with hand tools. Because of these qualities it's perfect for plane making.
I usually finish things like this with Boiled Linseed Oil, but because BLO tends to darken its substrate, I used instead mineral oil, followed by steel wool and paste wax.
If I were to critique it, I might say that it'd be nicer to have the iron and wedge closer together in length, but it's not such a big deal. I'd also like for the mouth to be smaller, but with such a high bed angle and sharp iron, tear out is not an issue.
As for that iron - it's quite thick, does not chatter, and arrived lapped flat and ready to sharpen with a hollow-ground bevel already on it. I'll definitely stick with Hock for future planes.
So continues my serialized article on the construction of my small boat in the form of letters to the editor, Chuck Leinweber. It appears in Duckworks Magazine. If you're seeing this for the first time and want the whole story chronologically, you should start with Parts 1 and 2.
In my last report I had assembled all hull components in my back yard, and begun work on the rudder. It's curly maple, the rudder downhaul is shock cord (much like the classic "Curious Boat for Adventurous Travelers") and the uphaul is fairly simple as well, led to a fairlead on the aft deck. The rudder box is screwed and glued together from scraps leftover from other parts of the boat.
I also set the boat up in my back yard again, this time with mast and sails, to get an idea of what it would be like, and to decide how much stuff I was going to take for its initial immersion.
In the picture, looking across the outriggers at the bottom, you can see some flex. I now see why many stayed trimaran rigs feature water stays. As wind pressure builds up on the mast, in this case a starboard beam breeze in my back yard, the mast tugs towards port, lifting up the back of the starboard outrigger. The flex isn't crazy, and the box beam is fairly solid. I figured some flex would happen especially with the size of the mast and sails, so I laminated fiberglass onto the length of the aft crossbeam to help bolster it. I also plan on making platforms for the crossbeams - simple "butt boards" that a passenger can use to both hike out on, and also help weigh down the windward side of the rig. The additional weight of the passenger on the crossbeam will tug towards windward on the mast through the stay, acting sort of like the hiking cables that originally came on the Hobie 14 turbo. I was a little nervous about getting the length of the stays right, but I stayed as close to the original Hobie measurements as I could, and with a little trial and error, everything worked out. I've never owned a boat with a roller furling headsail, so to see it work right in front of me was exciting.
After setting the rig up, I felt a huge relief. Many people in my life expressed occasional doubt about whether or not I would finish, even I sometimes doubted whether or not it would happen at times. Though at this point the boat had not yet been in water, It felt very surreal and satisfying to see it completely assembled.
The next step, of course, was to put it first on my truck, then in the water. I didn't intend to sail it or paddle it away from shore, I just wanted to get a sense of how the truck handled with the boat on top, and how the boat sat in the water so I could determine where all the action would happen inside. I picked a day for the water, and loaded the boat on the truck the night before so I could take my time. I have a 2006 Toyota Tacoma double cab with the OEM Toyota roof rack. There are heavier duty roof racks available for this truck in the aftermarket, but they are also more expensive, and the OEM rack folds out of the way when not in use to help reduce noise and resistance from wind at speed. The boat altogether probably weighs somewhere between 140 and 160 lbs, which is right around the suggested maximum weight limit of the OEM rack's 150 lbs. In the future I might get a hitch-based T-bar rack like the Thule Goalpost to help take weight off the cab, but for its initial trip, the roof rack was superb.
I set the boat up on sawhorses spaced apart to resemble my rack, and arranged everything as it would sit on the roof. The crossbeams fit nicely on the posts used to tie them down, and the outriggers sit on a simple saddle.
The boat is the same length as the truck, and the mast really doesn't stick out too far on either side. This was taken on the way to my chosen flotation test spot, the James River at Lawrence Louis Jr. Park in Charles City, Va, a little drive outside of Richmond, but the closest public beach I could think of.
I picked a spot in front of the short beach that was wide enough for me to walk the assembled boat through to the water.
That’s me in the hat, with my friend Johnathan, who was with me on many of my original canoe trimaran adventures years ago. We took the boat to the water, and put it in.
Here my wife is sitting where the boat’s captain will sit. The boat is trimmed with a little weight in the back to account for additional load on the front under sail, and to allow for cargo and passengers.
While we were in the water, my friend Johnathan urged me a little bit to paddle out into the river, as everything was going well so far. I was perhaps too cautious, and elected to keep the boat at shore. This was, after all, merely a flotation test. I knew the boat would float, but I needed to know both where its waterline would fall and how it would ride on the truck, and this trip had satisfied both.
I can’t wait to sail this thing! At this point, I don’t think it’ll go in the water before I travel. It’s kind of crazy to haul a boat across the country that is still in its phase of testing, but I am doing the most I can given my circumstances; I would love to linger and finish the boat, but I also eagerly anticipate my school year across the country.
I’ll keep you updated, and send you some pictures on the road!
The following text is excerpted from a letter to Chuck Leinweber of Duckworks Boatbuilders' Magazine about the motivations behind my boat, and serves as a good introduction for me, at least as of recently:
To explain my motivations in the building of my boat, I must start by explaining a little bit about myself. My parents both taught English in college and high school, and my favorite subjects in high school were physics, and English. I originally went to college to study Mechanical Engineering, but ended up majoring in English. I never truly wanted to go to graduate school to pursue education, and found consistent work as a bartender in Richmond. I've always loved the outdoors. My family has camped and hiked in the White Mountains of New Hampshire many times during my childhood, and I've spent a lot of time backpacking and hiking in Virginia's Appalachian Mountains. My dad bought an Old Town Camper 16 foot canoe when I was young, and eventually I "borrowed" it from him to begin using on my own. I have taken it all over the James River to birdwatch with likeminded friends, and eventually three years ago in April planned a canoe camping trip to Virginia Beach's False Cape State Park, a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. No roads go between the campground and parking lots, so to reach the campsite one must either travel along the beach, or by boat along Back Bay (or presumably the ocean on the other side). The canoe paddle there was delightful. Sunny, calm, and pristine. We camped two nights, but as we prepared to paddle back on the third day, the winds were picking up. As we put the boats in the water, clouds assembled in the west. We figured we'd stick close to shore and push through. My friend's Coleman canoe had three paddlers and a long narrow keel (formed around an aluminum stringer), while my Old Town Camper had a flat bottom and two paddlers. Through the six miles back in the wind and waves, I noticed his boat to track straighter than mine. But more so than that, I struggled against the energy of the wind the whole time. It was like being bombarded with the idea that this energy could be harnessed, could be assisting the traveller rather than hindering him. Of course sailing is not new to the world, but it was a new concept to me in that moment, and upon returning to shore and packing everything up for the trip back to Richmond, I began dreaming of harnessing the wind, of sailing.
My first inclination was to build a removable sailing rig for my canoe. My tools were a miter saw and a cordless drill, and my experience consisted of cutting apart 2x4s, and screwing them back together. I researched online, and the method of stitch-and-glue seemed to be appropriate for a beginner, and to produce a relatively quick-to-build hull shape. I guessed at dimensions, used cheap plywood and lumber from the the hardware store, and cobbled a clamp-on cross-deck with a mast-stepped steel fencing tube, and four foot long stitch and glue outriggers.
In the picture, that's me manning the electric motor. You can see the outriggers pretty clearly. The boat so rigged was time-consuming to set up at the shore, dubious on most points of sail except directly downwind, and though the outriggers did provide stability, they could have been much longer and much more buoyant. Eventually a strong gust destroyed my flimsy mast step, and I figured my best chance at sailing a boat properly would be to sail a sailboat designed by a professional. I bought a Nacra 5.0 beach catamaran with trailer, fixed it up a bit, and sailed on it about 7 times during the summer after my False Cape trip.
Here you see the Nacra at Lake Anna. It was a lot of fun, but my car at the time was questionable at towing, and storing a trailered boat was a bit of a challenge in my yard. One day my roommate accidentally threw a firewood log into the side, piercing a hole in the hull. I was initially upset, but looking back, that initial fiberglass repair opened my mind to the possibilities of fiberglass. I live in Richmond, so going to appropriately open areas to sail this boat meant traveling around an hour or more each way, and consequently I did not sail it as often as I wanted. I sold it at a slight profit, and used the money to buy two small wooden boats - a Classic Moth and a Mirror Dinghy. Having familiarized myself with fiberglass repair on the Nacra, I was beginning to become comfortable with the workings and construction of wooden boats with the Moth and Mirror. I cherish every moment I've had sailing on those two little boats.
This is a picture of me on that Mirror dinghy on the James River. It was slower than the catamaran, but the delightful experience it provided certainly ameliorated what it lacked in speed. The boom could be tied off with the gunter gaff, and lifted with the sheet to clear the cockpit for rowing. The rudder kicked up, and the daggerboard could be lifted for shallow draft. That boat was extremely stable. The first time I sailed it after buying it, a friend and I took it out on the York River in what we later found out was a small craft advisory - hiking out and unreefed, the boat flew, and never once felt out of control. My love of sailing, and perhaps that experience, infected my friend, and he found and bought a Classic Moth. We found another Moth on craigslist, and I bought it so we could more closely sail together when we were out on the water.
Here is that Moth. It was more heavily canvassed than the Mirror, and even though it had no jib, it sailed close to the wind. It was far less stable, but more exciting in lighter wind than the Mirror. I began to think the Mirror would make a great single person micro cruiser, while the Moth was more of a light-air deeper-water competition boat, faster, but less comfortable, less stable, and harder to land and launch.
Sailing on these boats taught me a lot. I wanted to be on the water without a lot of hassle, so I was forced to come up with a method of transporting the boats without a trailer, and also to become a more experienced sailor, often learning through error as much as information and technique gleaned on the internet.
I often found my experience on these boats to be just somewhat lacking - I had them because they were available, not because they were exactly what I wanted. I liked that they were small enough to be transported on the roof of my car, but I didn't like that it was difficult to accommodate multiple passengers. On such a small boat, I'm sure you know you can quickly strain your friendships barking orders to your comrade in a gust about which line to pull or release, and where to put his or her weight. I liked how my canoe was easily paddled while facing forward, a trait absent from both Moth and Mirror. Launching and landing from a beach, at least in the Moth, were often frustrating. After spending time in both wooden boats, I began to think I could build a boat that was perfect for me, or at least one where I made the design choices to accommodate the experience I wanted. I thought back to that initial canoe trimaran, and how sailing on the catamaran was exhilarating and fast. I spend endless hours poring through the many articles and forum posts comparing and contrasting hull designs and construction methods on sites like Duckworks. Eventually, I felt like the virtues of the cedar strip construction method outshone others. I love the look of so many glue lines, of so many pieces of wood perfectly mated together. I also felt that with great support online and the familiarity with epoxy and fiberglass gleaned from repairing the catamaran, I could somehow tackle such a feat.
I spent about two or three months designing my boat, beginning with the main hull, into which I would put most of my effort. The section shapes are more or less parabolic, being deeply v'd at the sides, and rounding off at the bottom. It's 18 feet long, with a relatively plumb bow and stern, and some rocker across its length. Without the stability of outriggers, it surely would not float, but after all, I was building a trimaran. I found a Hobie 14 being sold cheaply with some spare parts on craigslist, and bought it, finding an intact and complete Hobie 14 turbo, an extra mast and boom, mainsail in good shape, a sun-bleached and torn roller-furling jib, and extra set of frames. I sold off everything but the masts booms and sails, which would become the rig for my boat. Thinking I would strip the main hull and outriggers, I decided I would build the main hull first, and so began laying out a strongback on my very non-flat garage floor, followed by station molds, and strips.
My "shop" is a garage full of junk in the back of the house that I rent, with partially dirt floors, and dubious power sources, but it has served me faithfully.
I used a cheap jobsite table saw borrowed from a friend to mill the strips from boards of western red cedar, and a router table to bead and cove the strips. Glue sat nicely in the cove while a new strip was clamped down. I made a lot of informative mistakes when making this boat, which after a lot of effort, are thankfully not exceedingly obvious to the casual observer. For instance, I milled the strips on the saw, but I did not own (or even at the time understand) a thickness planer. Consequently, the hull was uneven on a surface level much more so than if the strips had been machined to the exact same thickness, meaning more shaping after the glue-up. The glue was another thing - I would have gone to greater lengths to clean it up before it dried if I had known how difficult it is to remove without creating a low spot in the surrounding hull. I would have done so much differently, but I am still pleased with my first attempt at making a hull.
I used Titebond III for all the joints that would theoretically never see water. Shock cord and little strip-shaped clamp pads did a pretty good job of securing the strips during glue-up. They were thin enough to bend around the molds without any steaming.
Here the hull has been glassed. Building the main hull made me think differently about manipulating wood. In the same way that the canoe trip had nudged me to think about sailing, building the boat nudged me to think about woodworking. I decided to build a workbench, and settled on the Roubo design for its rigidity and versatility, not to mention that they are fairly trendy on the internet.
Having a workbench meant the ability to make more things - I made a scissors leg vise as a project, some furniture on commission for word-of-mouth clients, and also got hired to work as the assistant to a furniture conservator here in Richmond, William Ivey. Working for Bill put my boatbuilding on hold for about a year. It was so valuable to see the inner workings of the craft of fine furniture, and it certainly influenced the way I think about wood and its use as a construction material, as art and craft. But I digress! In the fall of 2015, I left the stewardship of Bill Ivey under very good terms to begin finishing my boat and restructuring my life a little bit - I had decided to apply to the Northwest School for Wooden Boatbuilding. I had arrived upon something that I love, and I had gotten a taste of the professional world of fine woodwork. I quite literally dreamt of being in class at that school.
I was accepted to the school's Modern Composites program for the school year of 2016-2017, and my goals for finishing the boat became less lofty and more practical. Needing a way to resist leeway, I put on a very small stubby keel, thinking I can build a leeboard later on if necessary. I originally wanted to make strip-built outriggers, and indeed may still do it one day, but for the good reason of my acceptance, I did not have the time. I decided to make glass-on-foam outriggers in the style of Gary Dierking.
Here they hang drying after their first coat of paint. They are made from closed-cell foam glued to a plywood stringer and shaped, with 6oz fiberglass encasing them in epoxy, overlapping at the bottom, top, and bow. Dowels serve as tenons to align them with the crossbeams.
I wanted to make sure the windward outrigger would clear the water, so I made the crossbeams curved box beam sections, cedar on top and bottom, thin plywood on the sides.
I wanted to make sure the windward outrigger would clear the water, so I made the crossbeams curved box beam sections, cedar on top and bottom, thin plywood on the sides.
Gunwales glued on. In the background on the floor and against the wall you can see all the hardwood lumber I've gradually accumulated in the last year through various projects. The gunwales are mahogany, and are joined with a scarf in the center, for an 18+ foot length of mahogany is a little pricey for me.
Thickened epoxy, I have found out, is one of the greatest assets of the modern boatbuilder.
Here you can see the aft breasthook (is that the appropriate term?), along with the shaped rudder gudgeon mount blocks. I did not have enough appropriate mahogany to make a book matched deck, so there is an obvious glueline - perhaps it is not perfect, but I am happy to sport it.
The front decked over section is made from strips of mahogany - it was easier to cover a a slightly wider longer area with strips, and I like the look.
The mast step is made from mahogany, It ties into the gunwales through fasteners, a beveled tenon joint, and thickened epoxy. the post sits on top of a carbon patch to help distribute the force of the mast under sail over a wider surface area of the fiberglassed hull. The top block is shaped to fit the Hobie mast step casting.
As I write this, the above picture is from a week ago. Sitting in a webbing cradle, the boat is balanced with the outriggers reaching maybe 6" or so above the bottom of the center hull. Heeled over, I hope this will allow the windward outrigger to wear the water. Ultimately, some sort of hiking platform will span between the crossbeams on either side. The captain is meant to sit behind the rear crossbeam, with sheets led to him, and rudder controlled via converted kayak foot pedals. The idea is to have hands free from steering to operate the sheets, cleat, then paddle, for instance, through a difficult tack, or to assist in covering distance in light airs. The way things are looking, the passenger will occupy the center, where he or she can move to either future hiking platform, or move to the front to paddle with the sails down or in very light air. To determine this with any authority, however, I need to put the boat in the water, with a few assistants present to experiment with where best to distribute weight. I will follow up as soon as I do with photos and information.
I would love one day to make longer strip-built outriggers, but until then, I have to get myself and my boat both sailing, and across the country to attend school.
This is a work in progress, and it's an experience of firsts. It has also been profoundly informative. I have often in life wondered "could that be done?" and then naturally "could I do that?" in regards to building something interesting or innovative. I had no guarantee of this boat working, but I did not stray far from readily available and tested design choices, and making something unique was one of my goals. Uncovering sailing led to the desire to build a boat, and building a boat led me to realize how I want to orient my career path in life. I believe all of my experiences have been cumulative, and have all helped me along the way to combine disciplines and create something interesting, certainly something of which I am proud.
In the two or so years I have been working on the boat off and on, my girlfriend became my wife. She is about to graduate nursing school, and I am lucky that she supports my dream of attending the program in Washington. She graduates in May, and is currently looking at jobs in Seattle. We are planning to move in June.
I recently got engaged, and I hadn't really made anything for my (formerly) girlfriend in a good while. Additionally our room doesn't have any real furniture that I've built, only stuff we've found or bought. Thusly, I decided to build for her (well, for us) a table to fulfill the until now absent role of a high, wide, and shallow table that can be put pretty much anywhere.
Two boards laminated on edge make the top - very simple. They have medium figure, not really crazy, but I am working with what's available. Boiled linseed oil, shellac, and paste wax make for a thin, smooth, shiny, and chatoyant finish (it brings out the curl).
Tusk tenons connect the aprons to the legs, wedged circular oak dowels form the tusks. When the top is taken off, these tusks can be knocked out, and the table comes apart for easy stowage during transport.
Braces connect the narrow gap between each set of legs. They're made out of quarter sawn ribbony mahogany, and are half-dovetailed in place.
The base is secured to the aprons with buttons in slots to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction of the top across the grain.
Pictured is my lovely fiancee, preceding some details of the table. The front apron is relieved in the center to allow for legroom. The legs are angled outwards from the center of the table, and they are tapered on both inside faces. The table disassembles into five pieces - the top, two aprons, and two leg sections. Each leg section is a glued assembly. I selected quarter sawn grain for the fronts of all the legs. The tusks drive the legs into the aprons and make for a very tight, sturdy table, but that can also be broken down for transport, say, in the backseat of a vehicle going across the country.
Please excuse the parrallax in the images. I took these after delivering the drawers. As the deadline to attach the top at the stonemason's approached, I needed more time to work on the drawers, but the island was ready. I made wood slides, fit them into the island, and took measurements. The client picked it up to fit the top, and I subsequently finished and delivered the drawers, based on the measurements. Not having the island to fit the drawers to while building them was a challenge. I delivered the drawers and planed off the tops of the slides to fit them in perfectly with a block plane.
The Island supports a quartz top, supplied by the client. The client wanted an island narrow enough for his kitchen, with drawers and a shelf, and to house a few bar stools on the other side.
The drawers have curly maple fronts and feature handcut through dovetails. To allow for knee room, the drawers are fairly shallow, but the sides extend far beyond the backs, making for a full extension two-part slide. Simple and effective. The slides allow for knee room with a double-ogee.
The finish consists of boiled linseed oil, wax free shellac, and paste wax, making for depth and chattoyance.
Here is a set of curly maple drawers halfway through completion! Until I am more precise at half-blind dovetails, my furniture gets these. Next post will feature the kitchen island these go with.
I've been making sleds for my new table saw to aid in tasks that are normally a little challenging at my shop. The first is a jointing sled.
A hardwood slide rides along the miter track. A board clamped to the sled in such a way that there's a bit of overhang along the blade side of the sled, and when run along the saw, gets a straight edge.
Next is the crosscut sled.
Hardwood runners slide in the miter tracks. The fence towards the user is square to the blade. It produces accurate square crosscuts. Right now I have a long fence clamped to the sled to cut table legs to a consistent length.
A stop clamped to the other end of the long fence makes for fast and accurate sizing.
And here they are!
Finally, an upgrade. There are many better table saws than this one, but I am limited by the fact that I rent my space (meaning it'll have to get moved at some point). Regardless, it is a vast improvement from my previous jobsite table saw. This delta 36-725 has a "biesmeyer style" fence - after tuning it, it always stays parallel to the blade. The center table is cast iron, flat, and has two 3/4" standard miter grooves. Another thing I am charmed by- the measuring tape supplied with the saw and already adhered to the fence mounting hardware is actually accurate... Perhaps my surprise may inform you at the quality of tools I have been accustomed to working with until now. The riving knife is another big bonus - it almost completely prevents offcuts from migrating towards the blade under vibration and shooting back at me. It's also quite quiet.
I begin marking ogees on the top. To visually match the feet, I start from a foot's width in from the sides, and make a radial arc.
To split the leaves, I place the stand on the bench between dogs, and use the end vise to apply pressure; they begin to separate, giving me some room to peer in and see if anything needs further chisel action.
With the leaves separated, I cut the top ogees, then apply some teak oil.
Last night I began chiseling out the knuckle joints. Tonight I finished, and proceed to lay out the ogee at the bottom (you can see I have also begun to resaw the stands). An ogee is simply a convex curve next to a concave curve. The radii of these ogees are the same. I used a marking gauge to consistently measure feet in from the sides of the stand. I then use a center rule to determine the center, and to mark it the rule's width from the stand's bottom. I then connect the feet with the center mark in pencil.
With a compass, I determine half of this line's length, then draw a radial arc from the halfway point, and the stand's center, meeting as you can see above the line. I then use this point as a center to mark a radius from the peak of the triangle to halfway along the line to the stand's foot, marking the top half of the ogee.
I repeat the process for the bottom arc. Since the centerpoint lies somewhere off the below the feet, I must somehow extend it. Though I could probably get by just securing it and drawing on the workbench, I decide to just use the other stand, because it is the same thickness. I pop up a benchdog far enough from the end of the bench so the stand being marked on hangs over the bench. As I lean against it to look overhand to mark the center, I lean into and secure the near stand against the stand being worked on and the benchdog. This ensures the bottom centers stay referenced to the far stand. The ogee is formed.
Then cut. The purist might advocate the use of a comping saw, going slowly.
Next, the top ogee, separation of the leaves, and finish.