My 18th Century Workbench in progress 10

2/6/2014

Once again I took the measuring out quite serious spending most of a Saturday morning to measure out exactly were the mortises should be cut in the legs. I made the effort to measure the shoulder of each specific tenon at the top and bottom (of the in and outside) with the Veritas marking gauge (pictured) and transferring that to the leg to ensure that I get as close as possible to perfect. The four reference points generated in this way were then used to cut the long sides of the rectangle by means of a marking knife and straight edge. The short sides were cut using a square guided by the pencil marks of the actual tenons on the leg as demonstrated in the previous set of photographs. You will notice that each mortise have a entrance side and a exit side.

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Since I recently realised how useful dividers can be in marking and laying out all sorts of measurements in woodwork, I used it to establish which size drill bits would work best for the removal of the waste from these mortise. It also came in very handy in marking out where to drill the holes. You will notice how I marked out the location of each assault on the mortise, as well as writing the diameter (in millimeters) of the spade/Forstner bit to be used in pencil.

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All the tenons will be pinned in two places. Here you can see how I marked out where to drill the holes for the 10 mm custom made Assegaai dowels. These dowels are still to be made. Please note that the holes for the long and short stretchers will be in the same plane, which is contrary to what is usually done. I decided to break this very sensible rule as the design of my tenons (for reasons of wood movement) does not allow enough room to have them in different planes while still being imbedded in a robust hunk of timber. You will see how I plan to overcome this particular challenge as we progress.

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Here I started removing the bulk of the waste from the mortises on the drill press. It looks like a piece of pie, but it took ages, trust me.

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Then came the real elbow grease part of the job, removing the rest by means of a mortise chisel and a shop made mallet. Whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, ……………………………………. (weeks later)………………………… whack, whack,whack,whack ………………….. (even more weeks later) …………. whack …… OK I am sure you get the picture.

 

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Some evidence that I really did do all that drilling and especially all that whacking.

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While all the whacking was going on I milled down the swarthout (which was laminated six weeks ago or so) destined for the cleat under the shelve between the stretchers, in order to take a well deserved break.

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….. and whack whack whack etc etc ……

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