LumberJocks

My second project-Arts and Crafts style dog steps and what I learned

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Project by Josh posted 04-02-2014 07:56 PM 1182 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While my first project was made of cedar, my main interest has been making craftsman-era and style stuff with oak. So, learning to make through mortise and tenons was first. With a coupon in hand and a bad idea in my head, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a scroll saw. ——-

Let me stop right there and say that I’m still on the early side of learning woodmaking and while I know how to make mortises with a chisel and patience, I thought “hey, why has no one tried this shortcut?”

—-Going back to the project, here I am with 6 pieces of wood. I’ve drilled holes with a drill press and drawn lines to make the 4 mortises for each side. Now, maybe those with good scrollsaw skills or maybe a better machine would’ve made this idea “golden”. As it was, it ended up a bit low rent. It’s still better that what I did when I tried to just use a chisel. Do I recommend the scrollsaw technique? Well, I bought a mortiser now.

While I’m admitting to that shortcut, I’ll also admit another shortcut. The Kreg jig. Since the mortises weren’t exactly “perfect” I knew that glue would only do so much. Which reminds me to say that using a Kreg jig on the tenon itself will only make a hole into the tenon. That was one of those moments where I was glad to be working alone where no one saw me do something that stupid. I will say say that those pocket screws has made these stairs hurricane-proof. I also took a router with a V-shaped bit and made three lines on each step so no slipping.

That said, the pug and bulldog love the stairs now.





9 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

1673 posts in 1864 days


#1 posted 04-03-2014 12:18 AM

I guess this project went to the dogs….....!

Great looking project—and sounds like it was a great learning experience, too!

-- Dean

View josh's profile

josh

904 posts in 1286 days


#2 posted 04-03-2014 12:26 AM

Hmmmmm, seems we have two Josh’s all up in here. Now people will get confused. I actually used to be thejosh and then one day I was just josh. Crazy.

Don’t be hard on yourself about the techniques you used. 9 years ago I knew NOTHING about woodworking. But….I had the passion somewhere deep inside and was always interested in woodworking for some reason. I decided to jump right into my local vo-tech as an adult student and learned a whole bunch a stuff. I absolutely fell in love right away. I imagine that A LOT of people are interested in woodworking but are scared to try or just don’t know where to start. I get that loud, sharp and intimidating tools can scare people away. This has not deterred you, though. If you enjoyed making those dog stairs then you are most likely to make something else and try something new. What I respect about you is that you are trying. Your skill level is irrelevant at this point. The skills WILL come as long as you keep at it.

-- Josh; Former Pennsylvanian, current Coloradan

View ShawnSpencer's profile

ShawnSpencer

35 posts in 258 days


#3 posted 04-03-2014 01:58 AM

Nice pug!

-- I know you know...

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1971 posts in 2181 days


#4 posted 04-03-2014 03:39 AM

Great start. At least you are running with your ideas and trying out new projects and techniques. Experience is the best teacher. Keep it up!
Good looking steps and dog.
BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View nuttree's profile

nuttree

258 posts in 2040 days


#5 posted 04-03-2014 06:06 AM

I know this is cliche`, but I’ll go there anyway. I have been making sawdust since the early 80’s… and have learned far more from my mistakes than my successes. By the way, I think you did a nice job.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View Tigarman's profile

Tigarman

30 posts in 1065 days


#6 posted 04-03-2014 04:10 PM

After reading the title, ” ...and what I learned”, I thought you were going to say that you learned not to let the dog into bed.

Nice stairs though!

-- Think Twice, Decide Once - Still cut three times

View BigDutch's profile

BigDutch

21 posts in 262 days


#7 posted 04-06-2014 07:18 PM

I just love the process of trying new techniques and teaching myself.
Yes you’ll never be completely happy but you’re always improving and more motivated for the next project.
Mistakes are the best teachers.
If I have a bit of play in the wood I need to glue I often use expanding glue it covers little mistakes.

View GrumpyBear's profile

GrumpyBear

19 posts in 683 days


#8 posted 04-15-2014 08:49 PM

Easiest mortise work would be a Harbor Freight a Mortising Machine (for about $125, approx.)
Nice job, any way.

-- A great woodworker is one who can make a masterpiece in someone else’s shop using someone else’s tools.

View GrumpyBear's profile

GrumpyBear

19 posts in 683 days


#9 posted 04-15-2014 08:56 PM

Easiest mortise work would be a Harbor Freight a Mortising Machine (for about $125, approx.)
Nice job, any way.

-- A great woodworker is one who can make a masterpiece in someone else’s shop using someone else’s tools.

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