This was the most nerve racking part of the build. Screw up here and its over!
I probably went overboard measuring out the mortises for the pegs but this is turning into a fun project and if it takes me a while so be it. I used a digital caliper to measure the width of the fingers and then halved that, then used the caliper as a scribe to dimple the center. Once all those were done I figured out where I needed a “Fence” to line my hollow chisel up with the center of the dimple.
I then took the bit and ground it down so I could use it for registration. I placed the bits spur into the dimple, slid the chisel over it, placed the chisel firmly on the piece and removed the bit. Then wack it good and a registration is made for later. I did this to all of them. I then went through and drilled the waste to about 1/4”. Then I whacked the chisel home to final depth and made a mark so I could then know where I needed to be for the rest of them.
This process worked pretty well with satisfactory results and I’ll keep it in mind in the future.
I picked up a nice 2” square x 12” length of Ebony from my hardwood supplier.
Off to work to re-saw it as I don’t currently own a Band saw. I set the fence up to shave them off a hair over 3/8” to leave room for planing and a tight fit. I made sure to make extra!
I think the key to dimensioning the plug stock is the jig.
Nothing more than a piece of scrap ply with two pieces milled a smidgen over our desired thickness. Then a hand plane is run across it to dimension.
When it comes to actually making the plugs I used William Ng’ method. I thought a drill press might work better so I tried that but found it created a round swirl pattern on the nose of the plugs. I ended up switching back to the cordless drill.
Do note: Carefuly installing the plugs. While chamfering the edges makes it incredibly fool proof. One needs to account for the amount of force used in setting them. I set a couple a little too low when I was starting it. I’m debating extracting them or not.
If anyone would like clarification of any of the methods mentioned, or pictures for that matter, do not hesitate to ask. I was scarce in the photography department as I hadn’t intended on doing a blog.
Next entry will be the pillowing of the fingers.