Orchard Street Sofa #9: Its finally starting to look like a sofa

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Blog entry by AandCstyle posted 02-22-2016 12:43 AM 1008 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: A very short day Part 9 of Orchard Street Sofa series Part 10: Another under-productive day »

First of all, my photographer apologizes for the lack of pix today. His excuse is that he was so enthralled by the work that he forgot to take pix of the various steps.

You may recall that yesterday, I got the square mortises cut in the arms so the first agenda item today was to fit the tenons to the mortises. I used a spoke shave, a chisel (sharpened again) and a block plane to shave the tenons down to size and to enlarge the mortises as needed. As Willie pointed out yesterday, this is a fairly time consuming part of the project. I am not happy with my results, but I will not make another set of arms so all the world can see another of my opportunities for improvement. There is about 1/32” gap on the tenon sides. I think this was caused by removing the waste with a 1.375” Forstner bit in a hand held drill. It worked for Paolini, but I will try something different in the future. :(

Here is the spoke shave in action:

And here are the arms in position.

Once the sofa ends were under control, it was time to make the mortises for the front and back rails. Due to the size of the legs (2¼” and the mortises being 1½”) there was interference. There are various options to address this issue and I chose to put the side tenon in place when cutting the mortises for the front and back rails. I clamped the leg with the side tenon in place to cut the front and back mortises. Hopefully, that will be visible here.

A down side of using the MortisePal (or any plunge router jig) on long pieces is that you end up cutting those mortises while holding the router at an angle. However, the MortisePal was up to the task and I didn’t feel any safety concerns and the mortises were good.

I had to make some more floating tenons, but I have already shown the process I use. After completing that, it was time for a dry fit.

Overall, I am satisfied with the project, excepting the arm mortises, but I am thinking about possible tactics to minimize their visual impact.

Thanks for reading.

-- Art

7 comments so far

View Alongiron's profile


552 posts in 2112 days

#1 posted 02-22-2016 12:54 AM

One word….Sweet!!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....Steve Lien

View CaptainSkully's profile


1407 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 02-22-2016 01:40 AM

Beautiful! What about expanding the arm mortises on purpose, then filling the gap with black tinted epoxy? Then it will look like a “design feature”.

Normally, one creates the mortise, then fits the tenon. In this particular case, I believe the process is reversed as shown in your procedure.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Bobsboxes's profile


1091 posts in 2083 days

#3 posted 02-22-2016 01:46 AM

Very nice, great easy to follow blog.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Luddite's profile


170 posts in 657 days

#4 posted 02-22-2016 12:30 PM


Excellent work strategy with the front and back rails. I was curious how you’d accomplish the mortising. Overall that would be easier than cutting tenons on the long boards.

Best of luck on the sidearm tenons.

thanks for sharing.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View splintergroup's profile


723 posts in 641 days

#5 posted 02-22-2016 05:57 PM

I’ve been quietly enjoying the ride till now but this last photo says it all, well done!

I am glad to see someone else work through the curves and angles before I ever try it, nice that you have several days in a row to ‘git’er done’.

View AandCstyle's profile


2537 posts in 1676 days

#6 posted 02-23-2016 12:32 AM

Steve, thank you!

Captain, thanks for the suggestion. I will add it to the options.

Bob, thank you!

Terry, you are right, long stock is a bear to handle and control no matter how you do it.

Splinter, thank you! That is one of the nice things about being retired. :)))

-- Art

View Frustrator's profile


61 posts in 468 days

#7 posted 02-24-2016 10:59 AM

Cant see any pictures?

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