New Works In Progress --by RusticWoodArt #4: "Bench Dogging After Greene and Greene"

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Blog entry by frank posted 04-28-2007 01:50 PM 1372 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: "Wood Stories...." Part 4 of New Works In Progress --by RusticWoodArt series no next part

Bench Dogging After Greene and Greene

And so we now move on to the getting of legs, and in all your getting, be sure to take what you can use.

Moving now to the fourth bay of my barn on the south side, I have a bay filled with lumber from past accumulated workings of wood projects. Looking through the rows of some stickered and some stacked lumber, I soon found what I thought would make some good legs for the table bench dogs. The pine I decided on using was left over from a barn door building of some previous years and has dried out very good. When I first used this wood some years ago it was green and quite heavy, but over time has lost that weight while remaining true to form.

I have also built a workbench in the shape of an…. l_ ….along two walls in the barn at a size of 10’ x 34’’ x 2’’ and 14’ x 34’’ x 2’’ out of this pine also, which I then finished with two coats of Bush Oil and multiple coats of Waterlox. I built this workbench to take a bear of abuse and it still comes up asking for more.

....well, back to those legs. I found the piece of rough cut lumber I was looking for and so to the great outdoors of spring we went. Next came the marking and crosscut with my worm drive skillsaw and then I ripped the wood into four pieces with a worm drive finish saw. You just cannot beat the worm drives of the Skillsaw or the Porter Cable trim saw. Since the rip on the pine did not go through I then finished the cut with a timber framing pull saw, which left me with four soon to be legs.

....and closer up….

Next on order for the day, was to get started on those mortise joints to be cut into the underside of the table top. After marking out my mortise area, I then proceeded to start drilling the wood with a 1’’ forstner bit which I overlap in the cutting process. After cutting or drilling those holes using a hand held drill I then am ready to clean and true up the mortise joints with a 1’’ timber framing firmer socket chisel and mallet. While cleaning up the wood here, I am also paying special attention to depth trueness since once I hammer those legs in place, there will be no room for error as the legs are not coming back out….a one time fit.


....and then we can look inside…. I can try some dry fits without going in too deep

....all in place….

What comes next here in ‘the process’, is I will start laying out the marks so as to wedge the legs from the insides of the mortise joint. Next I will fine cut one line at the inside top of each leg, so that I can then place a wedge in place with the cut. Then when I drive those legs in place with the mortise, the wedge will bottom out at the mortise bottom and drive the split portion of the leg firmly against the sides of the wall of the mortise.

....and so I step back and take a look, while thinking of what comes next….

I have thought about this piece while in the process of making some timber framing bench dogs and have decided to add some extra features to it which will be yet coming forth. This one is for fun and is a way of playing around with wood, while I also run this one concurrent with ‘Providere’ and her coming forth. I am not much good anymore to holding true to my designs on paper and have learned to do woodworking by being adjustable, just as wood is adjustable with the seasons of change and climate.

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

4 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4277 days

#1 posted 04-28-2007 02:03 PM

That’s a serious chunk of wood you’re using for a table top. Great job on those tenons. Looks like you had some beautiful weather to work in.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4127 days

#2 posted 04-28-2007 03:45 PM

pretty solid looking!
and thank you for showing the tools and how they are being used

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4266 days

#3 posted 04-30-2007 03:55 PM

Thanks Frank,
As I said on a previous blog, I liked your beefy little table. I like the wedge tenon process. I used it on the legs of a couple of Windsor chair I made, & they’re holding up fine after many years.
One question: Did you taper the bottom of your mortises?

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4172 days

#4 posted 05-01-2007 01:37 AM

Hi Dick;
I will be tapering the bottoms of the mortises in one of the next steps in this process, along with making two cuts into each tenon, which is when these become true ‘fox wedged tenons’. Right now they are just square tenon and mortise, and I am busy hand cutting some side mortises into the sides of the legs, actually two mortises per leg which will be used to further secure the legs and top which I will then peg.

Worked on those Saturday and today I didn’t get out to the shop as I am busy drawing up a site plan and putting together an estimate for a cabin renovation. It’s all about R-values today along with bathroom, septic and windows….etc.

Plus I’m keeping my eyes on the weather this week and hoping for a somewhat sunnier day with some higher temps and then my wife and I are outta here to go kayaking. Missed it last week on Monday when the temps hit 88 degrees….oh well.

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

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