The rails and stretchers were put together in similar fashion to the legs. The dimensions of the rails and stretchers were originally intended to be 3 inches thick by 4 inches wide and cut to a yet to be determined length. For some reason, the 3×4 dimension bothered me, it just did not look right. It took a little bit of thinking about it, but I decided to pull up a Golden Ratio calculator and found out that for a 4 inch width, the thickness would need to be just under 2.5 inches. Too thin. I tried the other way around and plugged in 3 inches thick and came up with 4.85 inches. Too hard. One more try, 5 inches wide gave me 3.09 inches. 3×5 it is. Anyways, cut, rip, plane, sort, stack, and glue. These were planed down to a little over 1 inch thick and cut to 5 3/4 inches wide.
Back to the legs. Having a 6 legged design with mortise and tenon joinery was not too hard. The mortises would be limited to 1 1/2 deep, otherwise they would intersect since the rails and stretchers were all centered in the legs. I made knife marks on each of the legs and penciled them in so I could see the lines in my poorly lit shop (I really need to do something about that). I used a router with an edge guide and plunged out the sides of the mortises. I spent way too much time fussing with clamping stops for the edge guide to prevent overshooting the knife lines. It will make sense later.
I built a contraption (jig) for routing out the mortises. It is simply a couple of pieces of scrap plywood and some MDF arranged to limit the travel of the router. It worked quite well. This is when I realized I wasted a lot of time when I routed out the side walls of the mortises.
This was a lot of routing. I really need some sort of dust / chip collector on the router. The mortises are 2 inches by 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches deep. Lots of sawdust but the results were good. I have twenty mortises to cut – this will take a while.
Rails and stretchers were next. Once again, I built another jig to reference the router against. I went with the collar design, not too hard to build and good reliability. I initially had difficulty cutting the first tenon because the router would overhang the edge because I still had some uncertainty about the overall length of the piece. I ended up using a cutoff to support the hanging edge of the router and it made things a lot easier.
I finally settled on a final length of the rails. I took measurements off of the table’s core and compared them to the SketchUp drawing – almost dead on, so I went with the planned measurement, knifed a line, and set up the jig. The jig was located by placing a chisel in the knife line, put some spacer blocks against the chisel, and butt the jig against the blocks. Check for square and clamp in place. This was much easier routing because I was not working off the end of the board.
I have a bunch more of these to cut. I will be back later.
-- I can complicate anything