Back at it….FINALLY!!!
Considering my last entry on this project was almost 2 years ago, I thought I had better get going. I resumed work on my workbench recently. I had most of the trestle components laminated up (legs & feet anyway), so I started working on the mortises & tennons. I started with the feet, which required 2 big mortises (1 1/2” x 2 1/4”) 2 1/2” long. I drilled most of the material out with a 1/4” drill bit followed by a 3/4” forstener bit. Cleaned up with chisels. They turned out fairly ugly, but good enough considering this was the first time I had ever done a mortis this large.
After all of the foot mortises were done, I went to the bandsaw & cut the thumbnail profile on the feet.
The top members required through mortises, which I did in the same manner as the feet – only all the way through the top member. These will be wedged tenons, the bottom tenons will be draw-bored with dowels, per the plans. The legs also required a through mortis (1” x 3 1/4”). Here are all my mortises done:
I used the table saw and band saw to cut the tenons on the legs (another first for me), and painstakingly fit them with chisels, rasp & files. I do not have a shoulder plane, unfortunately. Then back to the bandsaw to cut spaces for the wedges.
I watched a few videos online on the subject of draw-boring & was able to pull it off fairly well.
A couple of dry-assemblies, fine tuning the tenons & I was ready for glue-up. The draw-boring, by the way, was a lot of fun to do. My wedges turned out a little sloppy, but got better as I progressed. The top members are obviously going to be covered up by the bench top, so I wasn’t too concerned about how they looked – as long as they did what they were meant to.
Side note: I do not have a wood mallet, or dead blow hammer of any kind, so I put a rubber crutch foot on the flat side of my ball-peen hammer & it worked pretty well! You can see it in the picture.
I used purple heart for the wedges (because that is what I had), and although the wedged tenons look a little funky, they sure worked well & the trestle leg assemblies are rock solid!
Now…..what to do about the stretchers? The plans call for stretchers that are 1 3/4” thick x 4” wide x 50 5/8” long. I don’t have anything in my wood pile that is even close to that, so will have to go back to the laminating table! Stay tuned & thanks for checking out my project. Feedback is always welcome….
-- Allan, Portland, OR