This weekend I have a little time to work in the shop. I have plans for the next couple of weekends, so it might be a little while before I can work on the bench again.
Today, I cut all of the legs and stretchers to size and cut the tenons on the legs and stretchers.
I also had time to start to hog out the mortises. The first step was to mark out the mortises. I just used a combination square and the stretchers themselves to layout the mortises. The stretchers need to be flush with the outside of each leg. This is one of the features of the bench. The legs and stretchers can be used as clamping surfaces.
I also took a close look at each of the legs, and found the faces I wanted to see. There are some small knots on the legs, so I faced them to the inside or back.
Next I used a router and a ¾” spiral cut bit, to hog out the mortise.
This is one big bit! It cuts really nice, but you do need to take a few passes to get to its full depth. The bit isn’t long enough to go to the full depth of the mortise. I plan to use my drill press and a forstner bit to take it to full depth. The router gives me very straight walls on the mortises. I thought my chisel would fallow these walls much better than if I had just used the drill press alone.
Here’s the first cut from the router. It will take a couple of passes to hog out the entire mortise.
I also plan to use this router bit to cut my bench dog holes. I saw a nice demonstration over at www.popularwoodworking.com, on cutting bench dog holes with your router. Look in the Gallery for the video.
I had to call it a day. I will try and finish of the mortises tomorrow.