The workbench #2: Mortising

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Blog entry by dryhter posted 11-08-2009 05:37 PM 1614 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The first in series of nine Part 2 of The workbench series Part 3: The perfect fit »

The workbench two
I complete the turning of the legs for the workbench and compare minor differences that occurred while turning. While the differences are not obvious to the casual observer and don’t affect the overall project I can’t help but to critique my work. This critiquing is an important step in my learning process. Being self taught for the most part, many times in the past the first step in a project was to just do it, then analyzing what went wrong or right. Having chosen to do this line of work as a profession you can understand how developing efficient, methodical work routines directly affect the bottom line, my paycheck. One problem I have struggled with in my career is not being able to cut corners I just can’t seem to sacrifice quality. My solution is to not even try to cut a corner anymore (because I know I will just end up redoing or agonize over some stupid detail) and to develop efficient work methods. The efficiency allows me to spend the extra time required to do quality work and yet be competitive regarding cost. I think that developing this skill is as important as any skill you may learn from woodworking.

In the second half of the video I start mortising the table legs, and right from the get go I have to improvise. I had planned on using my chisel mortising machine, but the legs are so big they exceed the capacity of the machine, so I used my drill press. In retrospect this was a very efficient method and probably a much more common way of hogging out the wood for viewers of this video.

At the very end is a short segment of sharpening a chisel with an oil stone, this is my preferred way to sharpen my chisels and plane irons and I offer showing it only to continue the controversy in the woodworking world as to which method of sharpening is best.

Coming soon, Third in a series.
Deals with refining the mortise for that snug fit, developing a cutting list from available materials, preparing materials and finally cutting the tenons.

Chips and shavings

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

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