|Project by jdh122||posted 04-25-2011 09:04 PM||2865 views||5 times favorited||7 comments|
Here is my new outdoor table and bench set that I spent part of the winter making. It’s made of eastern white cedar, whereas the plans I had called for western red cedar, but that comes from the other end of the continent, so I decided to go local. I originally made it with two long benches, but the white cedar is not a strong wood, and once I calculated the weight that four people could add up to and bounced around on the completed benches, I decided I needed to make the two benches into four (glue up 8 new legs, cut the stretchers, new m+t joints). In the end I think it’s better with four smaller benches.
As you can see in the project title, there are over 100 mortise and tenon joints here. I started out doing both sides on the router table, but acquired some decent chisels, a marking gauge and a nice little dozuki saw over the Christmas holidays and started cutting the tenons by hand. I found I got a tighter joint than with machines, and quite enjoyed doing the hand work (but this means I need to build myself a bench – aargh). I even cut the last 4 mortises by chisels and found this easier than I expected.
I’m not planning to put any finish on it – the cedar should weather to a nice grey.
-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests