Didn’t have much shoptime lately, which made me try to squeeze every moment I got to try and make the most of it, which lead to rushing, which lead to screw up – but I’ll write more about that in a following installment and leave this one a bit more on the positive side.
Last time I ran into the issue of having a not-square top part to work with. I fixed that by routing the edge at a 0.1 degree angle to straighten the front of the slab and make it parallel to the front 2 legs. I then jointed a strip of maple (2 short pieces) and glued it to the skirt, and took that through the planer to mill it to final size so that it’ll match the main tabletop slab and sit flush with the front legs.
Next I drilled 2 holes in the endcap, counterbored them, and drilled maching holes in the benchtop to take bolts which will secure the endcap to the table and counteract the vise forces when in use. the front of the endcap is not bolted in but is dovetailed into the skirt.
I chose to use a 2 inverted dovetail mainly for design and look – although they have more angled faces that in effect can withstand better pressure – in this case- I don’t think that extra strength is really needed, but I do like the look of it.
to make the tails, I used my bandsaw, and the dovetail jig I made for it based on The Bandsaw Book:
I used the jig because the skirt is 80” long and was hard for me to clamp in a way to allow me to cut those tails by hand square and cleanly.
I then transferred the lines to the endcap, and handcut the sockets. and started chopping off the waste. what I found was an easy way to do so, was to chop the top half of the socket off – staying true to the edge of the small embedded tail. then use the side walls as reference and chop off the extra material from the 2 smaller sockets:
Here is where I started pressing for time, and ran into several issues, one was that I originally had left the endcap oversized in length by an extra 2” so that I can trim it to length, but forgot to do it – so I had to chop 4” deep dovetail socket to accommodate for that (noticed it too late – again). also the endcap grain was running against me, so I had some tearouts in the middle of the socket – no big deal, but when I trimmed the endcap to length (roughly) those tearouts are now visible. I also have an issue with oversized dovetails (only did 2 so far) and find it hard to stay to the lines when the sockets are bigger than the size of the chisel… overlapping those cuts seems to be something I need to work more closely on.
excuses excuses excuses – bottom line, the DT although doing it’s job, leaves quite a bit to be desired when it comes to visual. there are gaps, and the bottom of the socket is being pushed out by the tails…. I was really stressed in time and glued it too soon before taking the time to finesse it some more. I will fill it with some endgrain to minimize the visual, and plane it all to final length, so it will look a bit better. the good thing is, it showed me my weak spots, and what I need to focus on in the future when attempting similar joinery.
so this is what the bench looks like:
Another part is (somewhat) behind me (only some light trimming), and next would be the vises to finish this off.
Thanks for reading,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.