|Project by Scoop||posted 01-20-2008 07:36 PM||2415 views||5 times favorited||8 comments|
This arbor for our back fence turned out to be quite the challenge. I only have a 6” jointer so truing the rough timbers involved quite a bit of time and some heavy lifting. Even with infeed and outfeed support, working with such large pieces by myself was tricky.
It was my first experience with open mortise and tenon joints, which I used both to join the wood that forms the arched pieces and to join the cedar with the treated lumber that is in the ground. I learned a great deal about working with chisels and block planes (and about sharpening them) with this project. I now understand just how important it is to keep your hand tools sharp.
I made a mistake that cost me quite a bit of time. I decided to use treated lumber for the underground portion of the posts after I had already glued the posts and the lintel together. So I ended up working on the open mortise and tenon joints with the mortise horizontal instead of vertical and with the entire arbor on supports. I think that added quite a bit of time. And since I didn’t have any really wide chisels, I had to take a lot of time to get a smooth, tight-fitting joint. Still, I’m pleased with how the joints and the pegs turned out.
I am now working on the gates that go in the opening. Again, I tackled more than I realized, because the top of the gates are curved to mirror the arch on the arbor, and the gates are of different widths. I’ve had lots of hand work to cut the mortises and tenons, though I am using a tenoning jig on the table saw for rough cuts.