My earlier post alluded to the selection of wood but in practical terms here are some of the things I consider initially. As with any project the choice of wood is critical and then with the species there are other important factors. In this case the given is that I am using oak throughout so that when you make yours you can find the oak no matter where you live. Oak grows on every continent.
The wood type is of course considerably important, but the reasons for choosing a particular species varies between craftsmen and clients. In using some woods there is often little need for choice because colour and configuration in the grain remains consistent throughout a particular tree and between the different trees.
In oak, the grain can vary drastically and most often does, even within an inch or two of successive cuts. My first visual checks involve the overall hue at the most superficial level and not the grain. Looking at each board of stock I match boards for colour first. Here I have selected some boards and discarded others because I detect a yellowness inconsistent with what I am looking for.
I use a small block plane to scrub the surface in different places. This shows both the exact colour and also grain structure, configuration and the position of ray flecks I might want or not want. From here I cut my boards to rough length, perhaps an inch or so longer than I need for the final cut.
My next task is to surface plane the two chosen boards ready for cutting to thickness on the bandsaw. I use the same method I used for surface planing rough boards I used in an earlier blog using first the #4 Stanley with crowned iron set quite deeply and cutting at 60-degrees to the long axis of the board. After subsequent planing with the #5 STanley and then the Sorby 5 1/2 I was ready for edge jointing. In about 20 minutes I ended up with two flat surfaces.
Following the surfacing, I edge joint the meeting edges to perfection at this point but bearing in mind that both face and edge can alter shape when I thickness-resaw on the bandsaw.
More real woodworking for all!