Time to glue up. Since I painstakingly fit each tenon to it’s matching mortise, I was fairly confident that glue-up would go ok. To solve the short clamp issue, I went down to the hardware store & got some couplers to hook pipes together to get more length out of my pipe clamps. Also, I borrowed some longer parallel clamps from a friend – and I’m glad he had them!
I did a dry assembly & everything worked great.
It was a little tricky to do by myself, but I got it together without too much trouble.
Although a couple of videos I watched had suggested gluing up the base in stages, I decided to just go for it. I have some Titebond extended open time glue which gave me a little more time. Some coaxing with a mallet, squaring up with the clamps & it was done. It was a complicated glue-up (for me), so I dry assembled it a couple of times, and had clamps & wedges in place before I put a drop of glue on it.
Close-up of wedges:
I let it dry for a couple of days & went after the through tenons to get them cleaned up.
Please do not look too closely at the joints between the top member & the leg…..I still need to work on getting shoulder cuts perfect. But, I was pretty happy with the fit of the wedged through tenons after it was all said & done.
Time to sand it up (a LOT of sanding). After sanding the whole thing, I put 5 coats of wiping varnish (1/3 each BLO, Spar Varnish, and Mineral Spirits), and 2 coats of Armor Seal. It was the first time I used General Finishes Armor Seal, and I really like it. Easy to wipe on, and ended up with a nice smooth finish. Very happy with it.
It turned out flat, square, and unbelievably stout. This thing is a tank – very heavy. I had my benchtop temporarily on a flimsy rolling cart thing that I built years ago, and now it is temporarily on my trestle base. I am now very anxious to get the top done. Time to figure out what to use for the skirts & vise jaws. They need to be 1 1/2” thick, at least, and 6” wide, at least. Back to the pile of Black Walnut & to the store for another gallon of glue! Thanks for looking & I hope to have more soon.
-- Allan, Portland, OR