|Okay, here's how we make stems at the Sawdust Factory...
They're purely a decorative treatment around here (see last
comments), but direly necessary in a cosmetic kind of way just the same.
It gives me the willies just thinking about omitting them, weight or no
weight. So I'm making them out of cedar. That, and the fact that there
isn't a splinter of ash to be had locally, and I'm not driving to the
other side of Houston if I can possibly help it. Something about beetles
ate it all up, I dunno.
Whatever, the first thing to do is grind out a bed for them. I'm sure
that was probably the most incorrect sentence in the history of
woodworking how-to articles, but now you know why I'm a shade tree boat
builder and not a big time professional writer.
The Shinto rasp really kicked some sawdust butt here, man. I love
that little dude. RASP! RASP! RASP!, BWA, HA HA!
Sorry 'bout that, but I've never seen anything quite like it. It not
only hogs off wood big time, but leaves a really smoothly executed
result when you do it right. And it speaks to you very plainly and
clearly, too, as a truly great tool ought to.
Note the two sides separating a little bit. This gives some folks a
heart attack, but it's just another one of those great big huge honking
things to not worry about. Mash 'em back together if you want, or leave
'em where they fall and proceed as if nothing in the world is amiss,
which is what I did.