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Thread: 'Farmhouse' table and bench

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    11,190

    Stretcher mortise

    I'm turning attention to the stretcher joinery. I need to make through mortises in the legs. I decided to route these. First I used a sprial bit with a bushing to get about 3/4 the way through. Then I drilled through from the other side with a forstner bit. Finally, I completed at the router table with a flush trim bit.
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  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    30
    Outstanding work. Thoroughly enjoying this thread and learned a thing or two, thanks for sharing.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    11,190

    Getting fit before getting in shape

    I fit the stretcher to the legs. I am planning to curve and make the stretcher round, but I prefer to cut the joinery first because it's easier to reference from and hold square pieces.

    The stretcher is too large for me to use the bandsaw to do the tenons, so I just cut this with my LV carcass (shoulders) and ryoba saws (cheeks).

    The nice thing about doing it by hand is that I can basically hold up the calipers to the mortise, use it to mark the tenons like a story-stick, and then cut. While I am still intimidated by cutting straight by hand, I read David Weaver once said (paraphrasing): 'Cut one stroke at a time and check your progress'. At the end of the second tenon, I could notice a drastic increase in my confidence and speed.

    To cut the second tenon, I placed the legs in the seat, and then scribed the location of the second shoulder. When doing this part on machine tools, I spend more time thinking about the actual measurement; with hand tools I find I think more about the precision of the marking.

    To fit the tenons, I used a shoulder plane and a wide chisel. By placing the chisel completely flat, it actually does a good job of finding high spots; I find by using only the shoulder plane, I tend to take more off the tip of the tenon than near the shoulder.

    I toyed with the idea of creating a recess in the legs for the stretcher to recess into, as I did with the table. However, while this would have made a perfect shoulder line on the tenon less critical, if would have complicated the measurement, because I would have to calculate the depth x 2 and add that to the marked locations of the shoulders. It occurred to me that I was only doing that to get me off the hook of having to cut perfect shoulders. So I challenged myself to make those shoulders perfectly square. I slightly undercut them so they'd seat flat. With clamps, they seat quite well now. no slouched shoulders!


    I marked 1/8" on the show face of the legs and chiseled the wedge relief. I did this last part out of my trunk in the parking lot of my daughter's dance studio - to her horror and chagrin. Dad, you are weird.

    Weird and Gilly! Jamming good!
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    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 10-22-2017 at 2:49 PM.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    4,098
    Blog Entries
    5
    Ah, I've made that as well. I use the azebiki saw for that, the long neck allows for it. The only persistent issue can be that you can't really drill the hole at the bottom of the kerf like you normally would but in a case like this where the grain us nuce and straight it will be fine.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    11,190

    Seat mortise tapers

    I cut the tapers in the seat mortises to accept the wedges. I eyeballed them to about 1/8". Because the mortise is split, I was able to saw out the tapers instead of having to chop them. This is where the dozuki really shines, IMHO. It's easy to saw thinly and delicately with it. It is also the easiest of all my saws for starting a cut. Never mind the fuzzies on the bottom of my mortise.

    The nice thing about these saws is the ability to work with the piece flat on the bench. I don't see that mentioned much, but it provides the maximum stability on large pieces, which minimizes vibration and therefore increases control in starting and sawing straight. The saw handle is moved up and down, which also feels ergonomic at times. Last, it places my eyes close to the top edge, so I am able to sight along two edges simultaneously more easily than when sawing from above.
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    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 10-23-2017 at 11:13 AM.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    11,190

    Glued up

    I had a chance to glue up the bench today. Fitting the wedges required a little time. I bandsawed them using a jig, but still had to do some trimming in order to get them perfect. I used Titebond III, but there's surprisingly little glue in this assembly.

    I think the most satisfying feeling is seeing the tenon splay out to fill the gap as the wedge is driven home. The center picture is misleading; the longer wedges in the seat came off the bandsaw slightly tapered. So, I had to cut the bottom edges at a skew to get them to drive squarely and evenly.
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    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 10-25-2017 at 11:37 AM.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    42,351
    That bench is a work of art in its own right! What a great compliment to that awesome table!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #53
    The table came out beautifully Prashun. I'm diggin the sapwood as a design element. The taper on the lower member of the base really works.
    Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum

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