After all of that routing (having not been able to use a jointer or planer) I did get to use a huge power sander to remove all the tool marks and achieve a great surface for glueing. Because of the way the router jig works, I was able to shim and level the timbers before flattening each of the faces. This means I ended up with pretty square stock.
I decided to make my bench top removable since we are likely going to be moving around for my work. So, my original thought was to use mortise and tenon joints. I considered stopped joints but decided I liked the look of through joints. With that choice made, I considered what shape the tenons should be. I was afraid that if they were simple, straight tenons it would be hard to disassemble. So I decided to make two faces straight and two beveled. I made sure the straight sides were to the left and back…this was to ensure the bench wouldn’t rack when I put pressure from front-to-back or from right-to-left; the most common stresses I put on a bench.
I ripped one of my 4×3.5 timbers in half for the front and back edges. This would allow me to put the wagon vise closer to the front of the bench; but not too close, I was careful to leave room for the dado on the underside of the front edge that would accept the runner for my sliding deadman.
Since the timbers were not yet glued up I took advantage and milled the mortises and some slots for chisels/saws along the back edge. Here are the front and back half-timbers all marked up for milling.
You can see that I got creative in cutting the angled edge of the mortise.
I got even more creative when it came time to make this cut…not the preferred method, but expedient.
Here is one ready to be cleaned up.
For the larger part of the mortises I used a Japanese pull saw and chisel/block plane.
The two back pieces ready to be glued up.
And here they are clamped together to show the leg mortises and tool holders.
The front two are about the same except they have a big blank space for the wagon vise.
More to come…