The stretchers are made from construction 2×6s. I cut a 1/4” off each side to make square (no round edges) and let them sit in the shop for a month or so. One of them twisted, so I was glad I had extras. I followed Schwarz’s plans pretty closely as far as the dimensions and making the stretchers coplaner with the legs. First I put the legs through the benchtop (upside down) and marked all of my mortises using a few smaller pieces of the 2×6s that would be the actual stretchers. Then I used a chisel and cut a 1/8” deep mortise. I found this helps me a great deal when drilling out the bulk with a forstner bit.
Then I hogged out the waste at the drill press.
Drilled mortises. You can see that I could have mitered my stretchers for some full contact through the legs. I tried this method, but getting the lay out right, with drilling the pegs, plus having it secured through the benchtop… all by myself… was a nightmare. So I just cut the stretchers long and relied on wood glue, pegs, lots of weight, 1.5” shoulders, etc.
I also cut the necessary mortises for the leg vise.
Then I cut my stretchers and started getting everything square. I was surprised at how close everything was with the method I used for top. It didn’t take too long to get everything square.
Then I drove some 3/8” oak pegs all the way through the legs. No drawboring, I didn’t cut shoulders on my stretchers. I don’t have a picture of the clamping, but I had all clamps on deck to get these stretchers secured before I drilled the holes for the pegs.
Then I cut the coplaner piece of the stretchers and glued all the way around. That’s about it for the stretchers. I used my smoothing plane to get the stetchers relatively flat and looking like one solid piece.