So, I spendt the last 2-3 weeks making a table for my mother. It was my first table, and the first time I have used walnut. I am very pleased with the result. It is made to the same pattern as Paul shows in “How to make a table”, only bigger and lower.
On my first real projects, a little over a year ago, I managed break two aluminium sach clamps. My joints needed so much force to close up. On this table I hardly used any force at all on the clamps. Just some moderate pounding with the rubber mallet and some claps for good measures.
A thing that just happened overnight is that I am now able to plane the edge of a board square without really trying. 4 weeks ago I always planed in a twist along the edge. It was square at one end, but out of square at the other. The only difference I am aware of is that I finally managed to relax the hand holding the toe of the plane. Now I can plane the edge, check myself at one point with my square, and be almost certain it is the same all the way.
I sat down and thought about how much I struggled when squaring stock and planing to dimension a year ago, and how easy it seems now. Planing straight edges, ripping along a line, cross cutting to a knife wall. All of which seemed almost impossible only 12-15 months ago. So to all beginners who are struggling, just put in the hours, and it will get better.