Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mortising the Top

With the base assembled, I set it on the top to lay out the locations for the mortises. Like the mortises in the legs,I drilled out most of the waste, then cleaned up the sides with a chisel. I used my router plane to finish the bottoms, which made quick work of it.

After the mortises were fitted, I cut the groove for the sliding deadman.  I don't have a plunge router, so I had to cut it by hand. I was afraid of getting too eager with the chisel with such a thin (5/8") wall, so I used my rip cut carcase saw to define the sides, then removed the waste with my router plane. Since there was nowhere for the sawdust to go from the cut, I could only cut about 1/8" deep with the saw. And to avoid splintering, I could only take about 3/32" with the router plane. It took a bit of time to cut 1 inch deep, but worked pretty well.

141 Days | 158 Hours

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Assembling the Base

After a once-over on the legs and stretchers with a card scraper, the base is put together.  This is the first time I've used draw-bore joinery, and it is great!  Once everything is set up, it goes together beautifully--no clamps, no worries. The only difficulty I had was connecting the two end assemblies together with the long stretchers. More (long and heavy) parts than I had hands.  But even that went smoothly, thanks to Shannon's help.

126 Days | 155 Hours

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Leg Details

After finishing all the leg mortises and fitting the tenons, there was one more detail for the legs.  I decided to put an inlay on the front leg, with a design that's become kind of a "thing" in our house.  This is the first inlay I've done, so I took the time to make a couple of practice pieces before tackling the workbench leg.  I'll make a post soon on how that went, and the lessons I learned along the way.

The practice runs paid off, and the inlay on the leg turned out very well.

120 Days | 126 Hours

Friday, June 5, 2015

Finishing the Legs

Here's a little more detail on cutting the big mortises in the legs. First, I laid out each mortise with a wheel gauge and my small try square. The only measuring was setting the distance from the floor.  All the other dimensions were taken directly from the tenons.  After marking 5" from the bottom of the leg, I set the wheel gauge to the depth of the tenon, then transferred that to the leg to set the distance from the front of the leg.  I then laid the tenon across the leg, lining up the bottom with the mark I made earlier. I then marked the top of the tenon with a marking knife. I didn't bother marking the width of the mortise--that will be taken care of by the width of the forstner bit used to remove the waste.
At the drill press, I first bore a hole using a 1-1/4" forstner bit at each end of the mortise. Once the ends were defined, I connected them by boring holes about 1/8" apart along the length. The more holes you cut, the less cleanup is needed.

After boring out the mortise, I used a chisel and mallet to square the corners, then fitted each tenon and made the small adjustments for a good fit.

118 Days | 116 Hours