After last week’s ongoing progress, it felt a bit slow this week (which it is), but I did have some things I wanted to share, and also was able to finish the base with 3 coats of BLO which is what I’m going to keep on it for conditioning the wood, and protecting it from moisture.
Mistake #1: Drawboring to the wrong side (cringe)
2 legs on each side of the base are connected together using 2 short rails. The top one is using a sliding dovetail, while the lower one uses M&T. I decided that I’ll have my try at drawboring the M&T as I’ve never done it before, plus – it’ll add a nice accent to the legs (2 visible pins for each tenon).
the idea is that you bore the holes in the leg where the mortise is, place the tenon in, mark the hole location, and then drill the hole in the tenon at a slight offset from the one in the mortise towards the shoulder of the tenon. once you put a pin through both sets of holes – it pulls the joint together tightly. so far so good.
I bored the pin holes in the mortise, placed the tenon in, marked hole location, but alas – my mind was in a different space – I marked the offset AWAY from the shoulder , which in effect would cause the pin to push the tenon out instead of pull it tightly in….
luckily I did a dry fit test, and noticed (really lukcily that I noticed it at that point) that the holes seem funny…something didn’t make sense to me.
Fix #1: at first I thought about abandoning the drawbore idea, and just glue the M&T, clamp it, and then plug the holes in the mortise for a faux-drawbore look… at which point I figured – if I can plug the mortise side – I can probably plug the tenon side. so I did. I used a 1/4” dowel, glued it into the wrong hole, and cut it flush with the cheeks of the tenon when it dried.. then marked the holes again – and drill the offset holes in the right location. worked like a charm!
Mistake #2 : Rail on the wrong side of the leg
while reviewing my last published blog installment, one of the pictures drew my attention. something didn’t seem right, but I couldn’t make it at first. looking more closely I found that in the picture it seemed like the short rail seems like it’s installed on the inside of the legs as opposed to the outside. when I built the legs, I ran out of Hemlock FIR material, and decided to keep the side rails at 2×4 as opposed to 4×4 (laminated), and in the future add the extra 2×4 from the outside to beef it up, and give it a more even look. I’m still not sure how it happened – but in fact I installed (Mortised) the short rails on the inside of the legs (facing the inside of the base) instead of the outside (which would make the “completed” rail flush with the outside of the base.
Fix #2: you guessed it – there is no real fix for this… I’ll just have to live with this knowing that my rails are inside out. I think I’ll be ok – maybe a session or 2 at the shrink, and I’ll forget all about it.
Other than that – the base is all finished with 3 coats of BLO to protect if from moisture. I didn’t really care to buff it up much as this is a workbench, and I am more concerned about it’s stability and longevity than it’s being a piece of fine woodworking (which it’s NOT).
here is the finished base:
now , I can stop worrying about the base, and focus solely on the top, followed by the vises.
Thanks for reading,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.