Picking up where I last left off (each leg glued, and hand planed to clean out the glue lines), It was now time to get some assembly done.
First thing First – gotta trim all legs to same length/height since during glue up some boards decided to move about. I decided to use a reference point that I could use on all legs that would match them all up – since different legs had different boards that moved around – the only reference point that I could use (and the best one of them all) was the longer board protruding from the top of each leg – those I can easily register my fence against.
I bolted an AUX plywood fence to my incra miter gauge (so easy to do – gotta love those T-slots) and set a stop that the tenon on each leg would register against, and trim ~1/16” off the base of the leg, this way I know that all the bases are exactly the same length from the top of the tenon.
Next I rotated the leg end to end, and positioned the stop on the miter gauge fence so that the saw will trim ~1/16” off the shoulder of the tenon – and trimeed both shoulders on each tenon – now, I have 2 shoulder on each tenon that are exactly the same distance from the base of the leg, making them on an even plane.
At this point, my legs were all identical, and ready for some boring.
I registered all the legs against the table saw fence. this put all the legs on the same plane (TS table top) and the bases were all aligned with one another (against the TS fence):
Yes – the legs completely cover the TS table top.
No – my TS table top is not small
Yes – the legs are THAT big.
After the legs are aligned to one another, I marked the lines for the lower rail, and it’s corresponding mortise on 1 leg, and transfered the markings to the rest of the legs. This way I can actually mark once, and cut twice (or 4 times in this case):
After that I used the drill press to bore the mortises. I used a 5/8” drill bit and overlapping holes. Then I used the TS, and Bandsaw to cut tenons on the rails that would match those mortises. the tenons were cut slightly thicker, and then final fitting was done with a block plane and a 2 1/2” chisel (don’t have a shoulder plane, so had to be creative).
on a normal Roubo bench, this would be sufficient to hold the legs together. however , since I’m going to utilize the Bowling Alley nailed-together top, I decided to add another support that would keep the top aligned and flat. I did notice that since the top is not glued, it can bow and cup if held only on the edges. the solution? a 2nd rail installed flush with the top of the legs for the top to sit on.
I decided to join the top rail using a sliding dovetail since it’ll make sligning the rail with the leg top easy, and add structural support:
The tails on the rails were cut on the bandsaw. the rail does not go all the way to the bottom of the rail, but stops ~1/2” short – this was done because my drill bits are only 2 1/2” long, and I was planning to use the drill press to get rid of most of the material for the sockets. This actually proved to also help with the next step I was facing – transferring the tail to the legs.
I placed the rails on the legs and because they had the shoulder on the bottom, it helped aligned them with both the inside of the leg as well as the tenon on top. I transferred the tail to the tenon only. then used a handsaw to cut the sides of the socket- this in effect transfered the lines to the rest of the leg.
I chiselsed the socket part that was on the top-tenon to have an even plane on top of the leg for the drill press to plunge into. Then, most of the material in the socket was removed with the drill press. leaving me with the sides of the sockets, and it’s bottom to chisel out, and fit to each tail:
Leaving me with these legs:
the legs and lower rails are Hemlock-FIR (aka “what-homedepot-carries”) and the top rails are Douglas Fir. interesting enough, HD only carries douglas-fir in 4”x”4, but the 2×12 are hemlock-fir. the top rails are actually the lumber I was originally planning to use for the actual legs (original design) – look how small they look compared to the new legs. lol. I ran out of hemlock-fir material, and didn’t want to get a full board, just for these 2 rails… and since they will not be seen anyway, I figured I might as well put the douglas fir to use. at least some of it.
Before I can glue this up, I need to get the vise screws from LV so that I can bore the legs to take the vise screw, and it’s nut. of course – before I can do that, I need to actually place the order with LV… (I think that’s how it usually work).
Next step? mill and join the front+back stretchers to the legs.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.