There’s nothing like a pile of shavings on your shop floor.
I’ve been busy these last several weekends and haven’t had much time to work on the bench. This last weekend Dorje came by to help out. My plan was to start the glue-up of the top. After milling up the lumber and trying to cut around the knots, I wasn’t happy with how many knots were still showing through the top. I should have spent more time picking through the lumber the first time, lesson learned. At least the lumber is pretty cheap. It can be hard to find relatively clear lumber, when you are picking through 16’ boards, and trying to use construction grade lumber. It might have been easier if the lumber hard 8’ boards, but I guess there isn’t much call for 2×12x8’s. I just had them cut them to a manageable size. So Dorje and I went back and spent a little more time picking through the lumber and I think we found some good boards. I’m starting the milling process today. I’ll know how well we did by the end of the day.
We also spent time, last weekend, making the dowels for the mortise and tenons in the base. I didn’t take any pictures of this process, but if you look at my blog on the sharpening bench you will see how that was done. We made the dowels out of oak, which I had read was a wood use for draw boring. It has a straight grain, and can flex as it goes through the offset holes I used. We only had time to put one of the end assemblies together, before we were done for the day. So far it’s coming together pretty good.
We chamfered the edges to soften them and to keep them from splintering. We did this on the router table with a chamfer bit. I don’t have any dust collection set up for the router yet, but Dorje functioned as my dust collection buy holding the shopvac hose, and collected the dust. It was so effective, I really need to get that hooked up soon.
Here are some close-ups of the mortise and tenons with the dowels installed. I used draw bores on these joints to pull them together and to strengthen them. This is the second time I’ve used this technique and I just love it. I offset the holes on the tenons 3/32” towards the shoulder. I think I could have gone a full 1/8”, with the size of the mortise and tenons and the dowel, but 3/32” worked great. The dowels are 3/8” in diameter and about 2 ¾” long.
You can see how tight the pins pulled the joint together.
These joints are rock solid and are never going to move or come apart.