I was able to squeeze another good day in the shop around work. I ran off to buy some more oak, then got home and planed enough of it down to glue up the stretchers/aprons for the table ends. While the laminations were cooking, I decided to give the BeadLock Pro a whirl.
Having made integral tenons with chiseled mortises, and loose tenons with the router, I have to say this method is considerably easier and faster. First, I was able to cut off the parts to their finished length, without having to add anything for the tenons. There is less machining on the parts, so there’s less opportunity to mess up $30 worth of oak and a few hours of work. The only power tool used is a drill with a 1/2” chuck, and the only setup is centering the jig onto the layout lines. The directions make this all seem a bit more complicated than it needs to be. Once you get the gist, it’s just a centerline and a starting line. Everything else works itself out.
I’ve been struggling with the purist in me, but I have such limited time to woodwork, and I’m way behind schedule on this project. Once it’s glued up, I’ll be the only one who knows that I cheated. The first dry-fit lined up just as well as if I’d done it the hard way. I’m using the 1/2” set that does not come with the kit, plus I bought the router bit so I can make my own tenon stock.
When gluing up the stretchers/aprons, I allowed for the oversized spindles that will support the long trestle stretchers. That way I got one stretcher or apron and one large spindle out of each lamination. I still need to mortise the holes for the vertical spindles, and cut the arch out of the stretchers, but the ends are about ready. After that, the only things left are the trestle stretchers and the long aprons. If I hadn’t had to go in and start prepping dinner for guests, I might’ve made a bit more progress and made it to a full dry-fit. I’m going to pre-finish all the parts prior to glue-up so that I can get a nice smooth finish without pooling at the intersections. My Stickley finish recipe is a bit more complicated, so hopefully that’ll all go well.
-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails