Glue up time
I was able to get my bench base into its new home today and did the final gluing which was just the stretchers on the back at the bottom which are mortise and tenon joints and the top rails which are bridle joints.
After I glued in the stretchers on the back, I was going to glue in the top rails at the same time. I put the back rail in place and to my amazement the bridle joints didn’t line up (imagine me with a stupid expression on my face, ok, I know that isn’t so difficult). Then after putting my brain in gear and releasing the clutch I realized what had happened. I was not able to clamp the two stretchers in the normal way because one end of each stretcher goes into a mortise on each side of the same middle leg, so I had to clamp higher up and lower down on the leg with four clamps. Clamping on the legs pulled them in towards the middle shortening the distance between bridle joints!
After waiting a couple of hours and taking off the stretcher clamps the top rails lined up perfectly and I was able to glue them in place. Here are some photos of the bench base in place. Hooray!! the bench is solid as a rock even before the glue is dry.
I left the top rails just slightly proud of the leg tops so I could plane the rails to a perfect fit, which I will do tomorrow,
I also plan to start gluing up the top. I am going to plane the sides first as Paul Sellers shows in his workbench video just to make sure they are smooth to ensure good glue contact between each stave. The top will be about 2-3/4” thick when finished.
Thanks for reading!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.