happiness is a tight tenon! first rightsideup dry fit… finish line in sight! still need to deal with the overhangs, finish the chop, chamfer the arisses, drill, drill, drill, flatten, finish, etc.
Well, here it goes. I posted in the forum about getting started on some hand tools and thought it was time to get started on the most important tool of the shop, the bench. There are a few design constraints on this project, namely, I have to be able to bring this thing back at least in pieces in my Toyota camry from Raleigh to Charlotte, but I’ve always enjoyed a challenge. Anyway, I’m going with the standard mortise and tenon design. I was sick of constantly looking at my cra...
I thought that this new YouTube video we did on split-cutting and pare-cutting tenons rather than sawing them would help others to experience an alternative that works really well on most any wood type. I have done it this way for decades now and just realised that I hadn’t shared it as widely as I would like to. Try it in any wood you like and see how it works for you. Some woods, Sapele, ebony, mesquite and such, may not always split straight, but it shows how to cross-grain pare as a...
I never would have guessed that cutting 4 mortises would take all afternoon. Because the mortises are angled to match the wedges, the fitting process takes a little longer than usual. I cut the first one by hand, then decided to cut the rest at the mortiser. Cutting past the layout line on the shoulder side of the mortise will ensure the joint pulls tight. Keys installed. A few taps on the wedges and the shoulders draw up tight. The keys were cut on the bandsaw. When the k...
Well, it’s been a long haul, but I can (sort of) see the light at the end of the tunnel for my workbench. After the near-fiasco with the assembly of the frame, I turned to the humongous leg mortises. First step was to hoist the assembled legs and stretchers up onto the inverted top to mark the mortises. This was not too difficult even though the assembly must weigh 80-90 pounds. A little grunting and angling saved my back and got it up there. Positioned it carefully, clamped it d...
To see the version with pictures, please click here. I didn’t have much time in the shop today, but I do what I can, when I can! There was just enough time to cut the first two bridle joints in the legs (I did both the left rear and left front legs). I had put the layout lines on the first one yesterday so I was ready to grab the saw and have at it today. But man, my arm is sore! That 4×4 Douglas Fir is no joke to cut a 3.5 inch by 1 inch chunk out with handsaw and chisels...
After pattern routing the long arched rails, it was time to turn my attention to the top. I started with 6/4 stock, all from the same log. Biscuits were placed every 6” to help with alignment and add strength. I once did an experiment with biscuits – joined two boards with biscuits (no glue) and soaked them in water for a while. I took it around to each family member to see if they could pull the boards apart—- and none could. I took the top over to Creative Woodwo...
(Only one picture for this short update today so I decided to post it here too!) Nothing special today, just more working on chopping mortises and 3 more tenons…lots of sawing. Lots. But I have to say I’m seeing a little improvement in my abilities to feel when the wood is telling me I’m going to fast or off angle on the saw strokes. It’s getting easier to saw too—-I’m not putting near as much pressure as I did on the first cut of this project. It f...
If you want to see the version with all the pictures, please click here. I got up with the sun today to get a head start on bench before the munchkins got up. First order of business was to unclamp the 2nd half that I glued up last night. Then, after a quick run with the plane to smooth out the mating faces, I glued up the two halves. It’s now one massive slab of wood where a little over a week ago, it was just a collection of 16 2×4s. This thing is gratifyingly heavy as well. ...
Note: To see today's pictures click here. My goal for today was to smooth out the tops of the 4 sections a little (nothing perfect, mind you, that will come later when the top is assembled) and prep them for gluing together. I was very pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the glued up sections planed with my #4 plane. About 10 minutes per section and they were all nice and smooth, with the exception of the last section, the one with the big gap from my last post. That one was also ...
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