My 5 projects #13: Joining the legs and how I'm doing it.

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Blog entry by derosa posted 01-18-2013 06:40 AM 1594 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Pallet crafting a bench, lots of tenons. A couple of contest rings. Part 13 of My 5 projects series Part 14: The vagarities of life; all projects are on hold as life reorganizes. »

I’ve reached the point of some actual assembly. Basically the tenons are cut out of both ends of all legs, hopefully I can mortise the feet tomorrow, and the mortises have been cut for the short braces and the long supports that will hold the bottom shelf and prevent racking.
That allowed me to cut some 5 degree wedges out of walnut and drive them in using my sturdy new mallet. With titebond III on the cheeks of the tenons and drizzled down into the opening for the wedges the legs are permanently connected to the brace. That is a 1.125” x3”x2.5” deep tenon and the wedges are never coming out.

The other set is just waiting for the wedges to be driven in.

So how is this done?
Step one, take a straight board a couple inches wide, set your miter saw to 5 degrees and cut down through the board. Lacking anything remotely resembling an accurate miter saw I went for option 2. Take a one inch thick board, and it really needs to be one inch thick or just over, that is a few inches wide and set it on its side. From the end measure out 11 7/16” and from that point draw a line to the opposite corner, the result should be a triangle with a 5 degree-ish angle. For the picky you can set your dot at 11.4301” but my ruler uses increments of 8 so 7/16 is closest.

To cut it out I did the cut free hand on the tablesaw, I don’t truly recommend this and believe you should use the bandsaw, my bandsaw blade is currently too dead to do this. My board was 4’ long, I stood to the side and you don’t try to just push through, you push a little, retract the board and do it again. If it feels like the board may start to bind pull back. By lining up my line with the blade I accurately followed the line with no curves or deviations from straight.

The resulting wedge and be used to set angles for the whole project. Carry your front mortise lines over to the side, set a square to it and lay the wedge against the square, draw the line based on wedge and carry the new angled line around to the front. This lays out the ends of the mortice. Remember, the square doesn’t have to touch the line that is carried around to the front, it just has to be parallel to it so that the wedge can cross the line and set the proper angle

The wedge can also be used to lay out the lines on the board that the smaller wedges will be taken from, these can be cut out on an inaccurate ryobi mitersaw like I have, just cut to the lines. The wedge was also used to angle the legs on the bed of the morticer and to lock the legs in place against the hold down.

To allow the wedges to fit I drilled 2 holes in each tenon just near the cheeks and then cut a line to the holes on the bandsaw. These holes allow the wedges to be driven in without splitting the rest of the wood.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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