I’m long overdue for an update so there are a lot of pictures. I’ve made quite a bit of progress but the ending is not so happy I’m afraid, after reassembling the parts last night I discovered an error I will have to fix. The great thing about woodworking is that almost anything is fixable, it’s just frustrating. You’ll see what I mean at the end.
As usual, I’ll let the pictures do most of the explaining:
Cut the shoulders on the angled tenons. (Baby Monitor in the background, another good reason to use hand tools as much as possible) ;-)
This time I decided I needed to move things along a little faster so I used the band saw instead of my hand saws.
There was some discussion about the strength of angled tenons, you can see in the pic that almost all of the grain runs the full length of the tenon.
With the band saw, what you save in sawing time you give back in tune up afterwards. But, it did give me a chance to play with my new #92.
So here are all my leg tenons together.
Now to rout the mortises. On this bench I’ve done pretty much every possible way to cut a mortise. For these I nailed down a template and used that to guide my router. I left some extra wood to pair by hand later for a tight fit. This can be pretty tedious. On the stretcher tenons I got wise and set the router to give me a good fit right from the start with little pairing needed.
So here is the bench taking shape.
Then to joint one face of the short stretchers. I tried the Paul Sellers vise in the clamp trick, It worked great but I can’t wait to have a wagon vise. To make faster progress I just took any twist out of one face with the jack plane, once it didn’t rock anymore I ran them through the power planer.
Cut the tenons on the band saw, these came out pretty nice. Since these stretchers were short and manageable I cut the shoulders on my table saw. All the other shoulders are sawn by hand.
I then clamp the stretcher in position and mark out the angle for the angled shoulder.
I came up with this contraption to use the cut off from the stretcher double stick taped to the stretcher to hold the piece at the proper angle to cut the tenons. The whole thing rides on a piece of plywood.
This didn’t go well, for some reason I got a lot of drift on the bottom of the cut. You can see how there is a lot of wood left outside the line, On the other side of the tenon too much was taken off, about the same amount of error on both sides.
But it gave me a chance to try out my new #71! I love this tool. I haven’t even sharpened it, too impatient, but for working across the grain it worked fine. Luckily I always leave a lot of extra length when I rough cut my pieces so I had a nice cut off to use to hold up the other side of the router plane.
Here are the cleaned up tenons, I did cut off the ends so that I had a 1/2” shoulder all around but I don’t have a pic of that.
For the angled mortises I drill out the ends of the mortise with brace and bit, then use a forstner bit on the drill press to take out the rest.
And here is the first stretcher in place.
Now with both short stretchers
Here is my stock for the long stretchers with some Mineral Spirits on them, I scored some cheap QTWO for these.
The cool thing is that I’m already getting to use my bench to work on the stretchers.
Here I position the stretcher to mark out the location of the mortise.
I made a makeshift edge guide to rout out all the mortises for the stretchers. It worked just fine.
And here is the reassembled bench but there is a problem…..
Tragically there is a gap on each of the shoulders.
It took me a while to figure out what the problem was. The legs were perfectly square to the top, and I knew for sure that the shoulders on the stretcher were perfectly square. Turns out that the mortises on the right leg are a full 1 inch higher than the left leg!!! :-( How did I mess that up? I don’t know, but the worst part is that all 4 mortises on that right side of the bench are also off.
On the long stretchers all I have to do is cut the mortise 1” longer but then it will stick out above the stretcher so I will have to glue in a filler piece. But what about the short stretcher? If I slide that one down then the angel changes in relation to the back leg and the stretcher will be too short…
So I’m planning on fixing the mortises on the long stretchers and leaving the short stretcher as is. when I get around to putting in a shelf that stretcher will be an inch proud of the shelf. This doesn’t bother me too much, also if I put in a cabinet that won’t be noticeable at all.
So that’s the plan going forward. Let me know if you guys have any better ideas.
Thanks for watching,
-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch