Little Journey's #1: Back Log

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Blog entry by gizmodyne posted 06-01-2008 04:13 PM 2577 reads 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Little Journey's series Part 2: Fuming! »

Catch up
This is a project I started from quartersawn white oak scraps about three years ago. However, I got involved in other things, so it has been bouncing around in storage getting slightly damaged during the interim. I took it out to inspect it and start the finishing process; aka actually completing the piece.

This is from “More Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” by Robert Lange. The Little Journey’s Bookstand was originally made by Roycroft to to hold a set of books called “Little Journey’s”. (I have a set of the books now… thanks to ebay).

I used the project to prepare for making a large dining table that is not finished yet either. This was the first time I cut through mortises and angled through mortises. For a small project there is a lot of hand work, 16 though-mortises, besides the eight housed mortise and tenon joints. I also hand chamfered the tenon ends. I drew out a full size pattern for the foot.

Figure Faults
Time for inspection. I still liked the overall piece and most of the wood selection. The top in particular I remember book matching.

I was not very happy with my some of the workwork. At the time I built this, I had only been woodworking for about a year.

Here were some of the problems…

The tenons were too deep to cut out with a tablesaw, So I cut them on the bandsaw, freehand. Unfortunately I nicked the actual shelf.

You can also see that the shoulder is not sitting flush to the leg.

Also seen here…

A new friend who is also a pro woodworker came by and I was showing him some of the problems I found in thei piece. He gave me a bit of good advice to fix the bandsaw nick. “Trim the entire shelf,” he said. He then gave me a great reminder that it is often easier to have an offset than to try to get parts flush.

So yesterday I knocked down the project and began by trimming both shelves.

I then decided that I now had the knowledge and skills to better square the tenon shoulders along the ends of the shelf.
I used a crosscut sled to square the shoulders closest to the shelf edges. I should have done that the first time!
(no pic)

Then to handle the middle section (between the tenons), I clamped on a straight edge t-square and got out the flush trim bit.

I routed the middle section flush staying away from the tenons.

I chiseled the corners clean.

Since I had changed the tenon depth, I had to recut some of the trough mortices deeper.

I have a few more to go, but was very pleased with the repairs so far. Check out the fit of the shelf shoulders now….

Next up
A few more mortises and re-sanding.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

10 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3767 days

#1 posted 06-01-2008 06:12 PM

looking nice. this reminds me of a project i started back in January. a picture frame and i just had the pieces lying around and just a few days ago i picked it up and started to finish it. now it has been put away again thanks to my commission and i really need to get back to it. thanks for the post.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 06-01-2008 06:48 PM

Looking good John. Finally dragged it out of the “Music Room” huh?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4089 days

#3 posted 06-01-2008 07:06 PM

Hey Thanks!

Gary.. Yep.. I am storing a vintage Vespa scooter now.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4099 days

#4 posted 06-01-2008 09:21 PM

This is actually turning out to be a great piece Gizmo. Your friend has the tricks down for sure.

I always slightly ease the edges on all my woodwork. I am not talking about a 1/8” roundover but just knock off the edge with a sanding block or my 12 mill bastard file (fine) that I use to sharpen my card scrapers. When the edge is slightly eased it looks better where two pieces come together.

Even in the mortises for the tenon keys if you slightly ease the edges of the hole it has a really clean look.

The eased edges also help keep the finish from “picture framing” on the sharp edge. Eased edges also wear better because they are not sharp.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#5 posted 06-02-2008 03:17 AM

This is coming out pretty well. Sizing the mortises to fit the tenons is a challenge in itself.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3996 days

#6 posted 06-03-2008 06:42 AM

A fine looking piece and a good fix!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4097 days

#7 posted 06-03-2008 06:58 AM

This should go great in the house. Looking forward to seeing it with Finish. BTW are you going to produce any more comics?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3996 days

#8 posted 06-03-2008 07:30 AM

Yeah – do the funnies come back when school is out, or was that a passing fancy?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View shiney5757's profile


111 posts in 3770 days

#9 posted 06-08-2008 12:05 PM

very nice work.

-- I cut it twice & it was still too short

View Grumpy's profile


23928 posts in 3850 days

#10 posted 06-09-2008 10:07 AM

A true perfectionist Gizmo, looking good.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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