A Galoot Prepares #4: Of Ring Counts and Mortises

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Blog entry by photonic posted 04-22-2007 05:41 PM 834 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Some days you're the windshield, some days the bug Part 4 of A Galoot Prepares series no next part

After the last setback I started to figure out what I could do to correct the problem. I had visions of a three legged saw bench for a while, until my daughter saw my plans and proclaimed them “silly”. Dad can’t have a “silly” sawbench, it just doesn’t work.

I went down to Lowes for a 2X4 to make legs for my bench. There were only about ten in the pile so I was sure I wouldn’t find a good one. After looking at and rejecting several I found the perfect one! When I checked the ring count on the end grain it had about 12 rings per inch. According to Bob Smalser the higher the ring count the stronger the wood. After looking at other 2X4s I found that 4-6 rings per inch is more common. So I found leg material that was stronger then what I had.

I started to work the joinery this afternoon. Splitting out the tenons was fun and in just a few minutes my tenons were done and I started on the mortises. Again Mr. Smalser came to the rescue.

Chopping mortises is hard work! And chopping them in 2×4 material is really hard work! But with persistance I got them chopped and learned a few things in the process.

  1. Your chisels must be sharp
  2. It goes pretty fast.
  3. Your tools much be sharp
  4. Too prevent tearout on through mortises, chop from both sides to the middle.
  5. Sharp tools are key
  6. Did I mention sharp tools?

-- Geoff Webb, Spokane WA

4 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4125 days

#1 posted 04-22-2007 05:45 PM

I would recommend sharp tools…. lol

I could not resist. Do you have any photos of the bench?

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

View photonic's profile


17 posts in 4093 days

#2 posted 04-22-2007 05:52 PM

I’m not finished yet, so no photos. Today I need to attach the legs to the top, I’ve never done an angled lap joint before so wish me luck.

I should have some photos up later this week.

-- Geoff Webb, Spokane WA

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 04-22-2007 06:17 PM

Sharp tools, bah! who needs em. Just bang it around a bit and call it good. You can always paint it.

View photonic's profile


17 posts in 4093 days

#4 posted 04-23-2007 05:27 AM

Dennis, You must of peeked and saw my joinery! Wood putty and paint cover a multitude of sins. :)

Actually if you look at each joint you will see my improvement as I progressed, so I can’t complain too much.

-- Geoff Webb, Spokane WA

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