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Occasional Table Class (Hand Tool Build) #6: The Tool Kit part 4 (Joinery tools)

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Blog entry by RGtools posted 1067 days ago 4601 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: The tool kit part 3.5 (benches) Part 6 of Occasional Table Class (Hand Tool Build) series Part 7: The tool kit part 5 (lifesavers) »

The pieces are cut flat and square now it’s time to start putting them together. The primary joint for this project is the mortise and tenon, the oldest joint around (and still one of the best). I like to cut my mortises first so let’s start with chisels.

There are only three chisels that you need for this project, first and foremost a 1/4 in mortising chisel. Mine is a Lie Nielsen but Ray Iles makes a fine tool as well, you can cut a mortise with a cheap chisel (I did for a VERY long time) but they tend to dull very quickly and because most chisels aren’t truly flat on this sides they like to twist in the hole making it over large…point is if you plan to make mortises by hand a dedicated chisel for the job is worth the money. I would be remiss if I did not also throw in a link for Japanese chisels ...they are just awesome(that’s for you Mads).

The other two chisels can be vintage tools or even Irwins (these are the tools that most users find to be usable without the flaws of most home store chisels…but you are going to have to flatten the backs). You need a chisel for cleaning up mis-sawn tenons, a 3/4 is good for this since it give you a lot of registration surface to work with but some prefer a smaller 3/8 chisel because they require less pressure to cut, anywhere in that range will work.

Then you need a big chisel 1 inch or greater. This is going to help you make score marks for tenon shoulders (if you go with the 3/4 inch chisel you really don’t need this tool…but it’s nice to have.)

With mortises made. Let’s make the tenons. Traditionally speaking a carcase saw and a tenon saw did this job. I’m a bit unconventional here…

I like a hand sharpened dovetail saw 15tpi for cutting shoulders. Mine is a supercharged Sears brand; I think of the ones you buy at Sears as saw kits really, but that’s a great way to get started sharpening your own saws. Yes I am using a rip to make cross cuts, but because of the fine tooth pattern and the notch you make with a chisel for shoulder cuts there is not any tear-out.

A good back saw makes a great tenon saw but I just can’t do it. For me I have a 9 TPI bow saw that I just can’t part with. The high center of gravity and the tensioned long blade make for very fast and accurate cuts. These tools are finicky though so honestly the back saw might be a better bet until you have some experience cutting joints by hand. Any stiff saw between about 9 and 12 TPI will work but it should definitely be filed rip.

You will also need a hand drill a 1/8 bit and a 1/4 bit (brad points start the best but you can use twist if you use a awl to make a divot for your starting points). These as well as a counter sink and the screwdrivers will help you install the table top to the base. Just make sure that the action of the drill is smooth and keep it oiled. Mine was about $10 and I don’t see any reason to pay much more than that (you find the things everywhere).

One last entry on tools. Last up, the safe your butt category…

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan



23 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

9453 posts in 1687 days


#1 posted 1067 days ago

Looking good.
I like your saw choice.
(Is it a frame saw or a bow saw? When is it what? In Europe we call that a frame saw, but it seem in US it’s not the same).
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1252 days


#2 posted 1066 days ago

In America I think we interchange the two quite regularly because the tools just are not popular enough to get the terms right. A bow would be a single tensioned piece of wood, whereas this is the more complicated (and fine cutting) frame saw, but I never seem to describe it as such….to me a frame saw is a bow saw, and a bow saw is a buck. At least the tools speak the same language even if the users don’t.

Have a wonderful day Mads.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#3 posted 1066 days ago

I like the frame saw, I plan on buying a blade from Highlands Woodworking one day to make one.

Question, why would anyone chop out a mortice from scratch with a mortising chisel instead of drilling out most of the waste first?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#4 posted 1066 days ago

Another question on your Frame Saw, how long is the blade? The one at highlands is about 26”, yours doesnt look that long. Also, at only about $10 a blade, do you resharpen yourself or buy new?

Thanks for all the info!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1291 days


#5 posted 1066 days ago

I call it a bow saw, and a nice one at that!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1252 days


#6 posted 1066 days ago

Hello Mauricio!

Highlands Woodworking working sells the other modern frame saw I endorse Putchs, I use ECE (got to love German engineering), the blade is 600mm which is about 24 if I remember right and is just the right length. It looks like you have the choice between 700 and 400. I would grab the 400 for joinery in case I had my bench against the wall (these saws are longer than the average so you have to think about clearance). I resharpen the blades but the replaceablity of them should one become damaged is very nice indeed. If you go to the link in this email there is a useful “hidden discount”: buy the turning saw and the tenon saw blade (the blades are interchangeable as long as the frames are the same length) this only costs $75 and gets you a curve cutter as well, if you just bought the tenon saw it would be $83. (shipping is included in this price which is nice for those of us who hate mental arithmatic).

As far a mortising with a chisel vs drilling out and paring. It’s faster and cleaner (though you will not agree with me the first time you do it) and bashing out a mortise is a manly feeling and should not be missed.

Bertha, I wanted to make my own but someone talked me out of it…I am so glad they did, ECE’s are one of those fine tools that are still marketed at reasonable prices…you can’t beat that.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1252 days


#7 posted 1066 days ago

I almost forgot. If the teeth are impulse hardened you will not be able to sharpen them yourself. They last longer but you will have to replace them….I hate that.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#8 posted 1065 days ago

Do you know if the ECE and Putchs are impulse hardened?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1252 days


#9 posted 1064 days ago

The ECE is not. The blade Sold with the Putchs at Highlands appears to be impulse hardened (the advertisers usually list it as a “feature”)...the extra blades on the other hand are the real deal.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

536 posts in 1097 days


#10 posted 1064 days ago

For those of us who don’t live in America,
The German web site and address of ECE (also with English version)
http://www.ecemmerich.de/

Interesting downloads
They produce various woodworking tools

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1252 days


#11 posted 1064 days ago

Thanks Sylvain!

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1749 days


#12 posted 1064 days ago

Thanks Sylvain! I’m checking out some of the downloads now. So cool to have lumber jock brothers all over the world sharing info. What magazine does that!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View mafe's profile

mafe

9453 posts in 1687 days


#13 posted 1064 days ago

Yes we are a lucky bunch.
Thank you all,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14622 posts in 1165 days


#14 posted 1063 days ago

How did I miss that bow saw first time threw? I love that saw. More info?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1252 days


#15 posted 1063 days ago

Don, this one is made by ECE a wonderful German company. The link in one of my previous comments takes you to Adria tools where I purchased mine. Everything that is important on the tool is done perfectly and everything else has an appropriate lack of concern taken to it…I love that about this tool. It’s also nice to have for REALLY deep joints as you can offset the blade and make unlimited depth cuts when needed.

Mads’ you are so right. We are a lucky bunch.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

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