July, and it was pouring rain here in Boston, MA. for the past week. go figure. (although today it cleared out which is really nice). but enough about the weather (as if this will stop us).
After completing the basic construction for the leg ends last installment. It was now the time to connect those with rails. The rails are 45” long with 2 1/2” tenon sticking on each side (to a total length of 50” – do the math). They are made of 2 2×4 that were jointed/planed as little as possible (to keep as much material, but get it flat) laminated together. All the tenons in this table are rounded off with chisels since I was too lazy to square off the mortises, and since there wasn’t really any visual need to square them, I kept it all round – fresh off the drill press.
As you can see, the front rail is extended with a 45 degree tongue that will hold a sliding vise later on (and perhaps a sliding deadman sooner).
the tenons were cut oversized with the bandsaw, and fitted with a block plane and chisels. last time I did this I felt like It would have been easier if I had a shoulder plane – but this time around it seems that using a block plane with a wide blade, makes more sense, and easier to overlap the strokes as opposed to a narrow shoulder blade- the only thing I’m left with at the end is a narrow strip near the shoulder that is easily cleaned with a chisel.
Now that the rails fit in the legs, it’s time to bore them for the bolts as I would like to be able to take this apart one day when I need to move it elsewhere.
I bored a 3/8” hole in the middle of the leg mortise and counter bored it from the outside (to conceal the bolt head). I then placed the rail in the mortise, and using a 1’ long, 3/8” drill bit bored the rail while maintaining alignment with the hole in the leg:
I haven’t seen anyone post anything online regarding this method of boring holes for leg bolts, so I figured I’d shed some light on the way I’m doing it. I’m using long drill bits for this purpose. these can be found in electric supplier, or might even be at the box-office-stores in the electric isle. these are specialty bits designed to drill inside walls between floors without having to break open the sheetrock. they come in length from 1’ to 6’, some more flexible, some less. for boring leg bolts, I use the shorter type (1 foot) and make sure they are not flexible so that they’ll keep a straight aligned line with the leg hole, and not flex sideways:
Once the legs were bored to take the bolts, I used to drill press to bore a perpendicular pocket hole to take the nut, and a washer. I didn’t really care much for the look of this hole as eventually it’ll be hidden under a shelf, so I didn’t put too much time into making it pretty- the only things that were looked for were functionality – keeping the shoulder of the hole flat and square to the rail (where the washer will be), and making sure the hole is small enough so it doesn’t take too much material off, but yet large enough to take the washer, and have some room to reach the nut. I actually made it large enough for future possibility of putting cross grain piece of wood in there if the washer is not enough. but for now – the washer is all I’m going to place in there:
I must say that the Drill press, and the Table I made for it played a major role in this project, and both performed really well and made things go smoothly and repeatedly, both on the horizontal plane, and on the vertical as well.
After all of that was done, I did some cleaning (scraping). I added masonite layer to the bottom of each leg (since I’m not too excited about having end-grain sitting on the concrete floor here), and chamfered the edges. put it all together for dry fitting, and since I really couldn’t resist – I man handled the bowling alley behemoth onto the legs.
I was able to use the floor and the legs as pivot points to lift the top on the legs, but there’s absolutely no way I can lift this thing up in the air – not even 1/8” off the floor… I’m not really sure how I’ll take this thing off to finish the legs as they are not glued yet, and I still need to mount the vise hardware in the right leg assembly. but for now – I couldn’t resist the chance to get a glimpse of how this thing will eventually look. to be honest, I didn’t realize how big this thing is going to be (80”x30”)... this is some major real estate to work on compared to my current 60”x24” workbench (which works great). I’ll just have to use some temporary staging while I take each separate leg end to work on… no worries.
oh well… time to get some rest as I conjure how to tackle the next step – getting those nails out… so not looking forward to this.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.