A Beginner's Progress #3: A Few Firsts for Me

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Blog entry by jstewart posted 06-25-2007 05:53 AM 965 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The First Project Begins Part 3 of A Beginner's Progress series Part 4: Fun with a Dado Blade »

I’ve now completed my first mortise and tenon joints. I’ve also put together my first glue-up panels for the nightstand top and bottom shelf. I had a few problems with the mortiser which were easily fixed with some sharp hand chisels. The tenons were fairly easy with the help of a tenoning jig. (I decided to layout each tenon individually to match the mortise it was going in. If I could produce consistent mortises then I think I could batch cut all of the tenons which would make the process a lot quicker.) The glue-ups were fairly straightforward. Some boards, a jointer, a bisuit joiner and plenty of glue. Notice that the edges of the rightmost board in the larger glueup. After getting everything together and laying in the clamps, I realized that one of my joints had shifted. It was too late. The glue had set a bit (and the biscuits had probably swelled up). The panel was made oversize so I could square it up on the table saw. I’ll still be able to get a 20” x 20” panel out of this.

It’s a nice feeling when you finally do something and realize that it’s not as impossible as it might initially seem.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

9 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4124 days

#1 posted 06-25-2007 05:56 AM

Very nice Joshua. I’m sure you will be cranking out quite a few more projects in short order.

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

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4120 days

#2 posted 06-25-2007 06:52 AM

Quote: “It’s a nice feeling when you finally do something and realize that it’s not as impossible as it might initially seem.”

I agree! Does wonders for your confidence the next time you start something. Congrats on the progress. Looking forward to more.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#3 posted 06-25-2007 01:12 PM


Confidence comes from experience.
Experience comes from taking risks.
Risks comes from.. ah… ah… confidence?? lol

Well done and looking good

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4112 days

#4 posted 06-25-2007 02:50 PM

Great job!

I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s amazing how it feels the 1st time you do something succesfully….Hey! I did it! ....HEY! I DID IT!!!,,,,,Cool.

Lol….words of wisdom from Deb as usual….all life needs is a kick start!

-- Bob

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4063 days

#5 posted 06-25-2007 04:13 PM

Nice job! Don’t worry about panels. Always make them oversize, then you don’t have the get hung up on aligning the glueup. Really a nice job! There are a couple of different schools of thought, but I like to take care of glue squeeze out with a damp sponge right away. I know others like to scrape it when it just sets. Others don’t mind planing or sanding it off.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4117 days

#6 posted 06-25-2007 04:22 PM

I tried to get a damp cloth on it quickly, but could only get one side of the panel in time. What you’re seeing on the small panel is the under side. By the time I got done wiping the squeeze out off of the top side, the bottom side had setup just enough that wiping it off seemed to cause more harm than good. I have to sand everything smooth anyway, so I’ll start out with something gritty enough to get that glue off.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#7 posted 06-25-2007 04:27 PM

Use a carbide bladed paint scraper. They are pretty easy to use.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#8 posted 06-25-2007 04:43 PM

someone recently was showing that they use baby wipes for wiping off glue…
I think that’s what I remember seeing, anyway.
Who was that?
What was that?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4117 days

#9 posted 07-16-2007 04:56 AM

Hey Karson, thanks for the tip about using a paint scraper. I got one at the local hardware store. It worked like a charm, except when I got a little too aggressive and gouged the wood a bit. It wasn’t too deep. I was able to sand it out.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

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