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Shaker Night Stand #8: Walls are up

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Blog entry by NBeener posted 01-11-2010 11:31 PM 1608 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Drawers -- it's something ;-) Part 8 of Shaker Night Stand series Part 9: The dreaded Dry Fit »

Two good days in the wood shop.

Sadly, the night stand plans call for a pretty big chunk to be taken out of the top of two of the 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” square legs. TWICE, this has caused the wood to split when tapping in a well-fitting tenon. I’ve had to re-make the legs, re-cut the mortises, re-do the chamfers, etc.

I’m moving forward, this time, under the assumption that it won’t create a strength problem.

So … here’s where I am.

In this pic, you can just see the chunk … in the insides of the front legs … right at the top.

This M&T is much tighter than the picture (taken at a pretty steep angle) makes it look….

Sadly, this one … isn’t ;-)

The great news is … that I’ve learned a LOT along the way, meaning that—if I CAN remember all that I’ve learned—SWMBOs night stand will be much better than mine. My primary goal will be to get those through tenons to fit much more cleanly, filling up the mortises much better than this one.

Of course, I now have a tenoning jig, so I expect the tenons will have a better shape, on the next one.

There really isn’t any bad news. This is a laborious process for me. The last two days were my longest shop days, meaning … I’ll pay the price ;-) ... but … they were great days. I think the hard part, on Night Stand #1, is finished (fool, I am!).

By the way … for anybody who ever gave me grief about how clean my shop was?? Uh … not any more ;-)

-- -- Neil



14 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2797 days


#1 posted 01-12-2010 12:04 AM

Good progress Neil. You could probably shim that loose tenon a little to get a good fit. then if the tenon end is a little proud of the leg on the end, you could put a little glue in the gaps and tap it firmly with the ball end of a ballpeen hammer working from the center of the tenon end out toward the sides. The ball strikes spread out the wood which will eventually contact the mortise all around. You can tell from the glue squeeze out when it is tight enough. You can plane or sand off the tenon end to get rid of the dents. This works very well and very quickly, but don’t hit it too hard. Firm taps as opposed to whacking it. Hope this helps you out.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7796 posts in 2766 days


#2 posted 01-12-2010 03:00 AM

you have really ticked me off…......man…i wanted to get you a tenon jig…out of all the things you mentioned…i didnt think you had one of those…...and you have done ruined it…...well so much for that…....your work is looking pretty darn nice for a pilgrim…lol….....i cant believe you did that…....dang it….......

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2627 days


#3 posted 01-12-2010 03:34 AM

Great job Neil. You got to start learning someplace. I will contact you to find out what the someplace is when I get to that point….....(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2636 days


#4 posted 01-12-2010 03:48 AM

Mike: Making shims, and then peening the end of the tenon is a great idea. Thank you. I was rather thinking of lower wattage light bulbs in the bedroom, but like your idea better.

I didn’t realize just how irregularly cut my tenons would be, having done them all on the table saw, with a standard blade, and not all cuts of the same measurement at the same time.

Next night stand, I know better: bunch all my, say, 3/8” cuts, then my 1/2”, etc. The jig should be a big help.

Grizz: I didn’t mean to get the jig. Honest, I didn’t. I was on my way back from near Denver and … wouldn’t you know it … there was the Crossroads exit … that puts me 1/2 mile from Woodcraft. It was kismet, I tell you.

You, Buddy, have been a big inspiration and a big help on this project—both of which earn you my gratitude. Many times, already, you’ve set me straight when I sought to either wander or … more often … get lazy :-)

Jim: Did you bring your crosscut sled with you? If you used marine grade ply, that thing ought to get you surfing in the rollers, quite handily :-)

-- -- Neil

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1511 posts in 3028 days


#5 posted 01-12-2010 03:50 AM

Looks good from here Neil. You can always glue a thin piece of wood on the tenon then pare it back with a chisel to close up any gaps.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2627 days


#6 posted 01-12-2010 05:10 AM

Soon as I get the 8th coat of Flamingo Pink Laquer buffed out we are out to ride the waves….................(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2636 days


#7 posted 01-12-2010 06:02 AM

Thanks, Timbo. I’ve got tons of scrap left over. Between that and Mike’s idea (peening the tenon end), I should be able to get it pretty good.

Jim: I told you those old hardware stores had everything :-)

-- -- Neil

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 3135 days


#8 posted 01-12-2010 06:05 AM

Nice progress!

View DraftsmanRick's profile

DraftsmanRick

112 posts in 2523 days


#9 posted 01-16-2010 06:31 PM

Hey Niel, just wanted to throw my 2 cents in the mix. I like the design and the choice of mahogany! The shim idea is a good one. What im going to tell you is what i think may have caused the splits but, also what you can do to that may help prevent that in the future. Im operating under the assumption and base on your post at the top that you cut the legs to final length before you cut the mortises. If thats the case, theres alot of whats called short grain across the top of that mortise. #1 If you cut your legs a couple inches longer (at the top) than the final length required, measure from the bottom of the legs for mortise locations. Mortise them, an then cut to final length. The extra length at the top keeps that area stronger during routing/mortising this area. #2 If you dont already have a block plane they are excellent for “sneaking up” on the cheeks of the tenon for a perfect fit. #3 For tenons that project past the face of a leg as yours, its a good idea to just “knock the edges off” with some light sanding. This will allow the tenons to not catch as much on the walls of the mortise during assembly. I hope this helps. Im certainly not trying to be bossy, just sharing some things ive learned the hard way.

Rick

-- Jesus was a carpenter

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2636 days


#10 posted 01-17-2010 12:38 AM

Charles: Thanks much! I’m wondering what you decided regarding those Morris chairs for mom???

CraftsmanRick (See: I remember you!):

Bossy? On the contrary. I’m really grateful that people on this site will take the time to help, and afford others the benefit of their knowledge and experience.

Not cutting the legs to length first—particularly since I have another identical night stand to build after this one—is an outstanding idea!!

So is knocking down sharper edges before dry fitting.

Everything I’ve done and learned, on this project, has validated the approach I took: build the first night stand, and THEN build the second one. I clearly would have saved time if I did all the cuts, all the dadoes, all the tenons, all the mortises, etc., etc., at once, but … I knew I would have just made the same mistakes … twice ;-)

In fact, my ww brother had another great idea: he said … if it were him … he’d have knocked out a full-sized model, in Spruce, Pine, or Fir, and then relegated that to spare bedroom, shop, or gift use. He said that’s a really cheap way to figure out your mistakes before you cut into expensive hardwood.

Thanks much!

-- -- Neil

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 2788 days


#11 posted 01-17-2010 01:15 AM

I was catching up to your blog since the original commitment. This is quick progress, in MY regard. Doing the fancy stuff is pretty daunting.

View DraftsmanRick's profile

DraftsmanRick

112 posts in 2523 days


#12 posted 01-17-2010 03:17 AM

Thats good advice from your brother! Ive read articles where guys have done that or at least used cardboard and a hot glue gun to help get the proportions of a project right. Theres a big advantage to doing it if you have the time. Especially if there’s elements of the project your not sure about. It will also allow you to see where you may have to build a jig or something for a particular operation. I cant tell you how many times ive started a project and in the middle of it thought “what if i did this” and then have to figure out a way to do it hahaha. I just stumbled across your blog yesterday so im still playing catch up. Just remember we where all beginners once. I wish i had this sight when i started out. I was a new yankee for a long time. I still watch some of David Marks diynet.com videos from time to time. If you havent seen anyof those, check em out. Theres alot of knowledge in them. Plus, they’re free!

-- Jesus was a carpenter

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 3135 days


#13 posted 01-17-2010 03:20 AM

I am going to get a mortiser, I hope to start on those morris chairs this year.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2627 days


#14 posted 01-17-2010 04:08 AM

Neil
I am really glad you did this. I have learned more stuff from this blog. I really like that you got Mike going and talking about how to fix up joints, to the extent he did a demo on his blog. And DraftsmanRick with the idea of leaving the end long while you are doing your mortise. And Timbo with the shim.

Sopping it up…........glad it’s your mahogany…..........(-: ...did I say that?

...........and being a “cutter”, it’s tough not to be able to try out some of the stuff…...stuck with real sharp knives….love those Tru Value elfin custreps…..........to chop up tomatoes, limes, ham…......whatever….......guess I’ll go back to the lanai, read my Kindle…..and watch the beach scene….....
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........think I will devote some of my warped plywood to a sham project….....................

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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