Monday, January 23, 2012

What Has Four Legs But Cannot Stand?

A workbench with no top!

But that's next on the list now that I've finished the joinery on the legs.

By the time I was working on the fourth leg I had managed to find a good technique for getting all faces square and flat.

I had been using floats, which worked great, but they left a rather rough surface.

By using a chisel, the surfaces are smooth, which will help them slide into the mortises more easily.

When squaring up the surfaces, I found that if you make your cut lines really deep, saw close to the line, then pare to the line all around the edges with a chisel, it's easier to remove everything in between.

I used a straightedge to check my progress. If you hold both ends of the straightedge and try to rock it like a seesaw, it will reveal high spots. If it doesn't rock, there are no gaps, and the straightedge rests on the cut lines on both sides, the surface is flat.

The tenon on the bottom has been
squared up. The one on top still needs
to be pared.

I worked on these legs for a long time to get them as square as possible. I believe I averaged about eight hours per leg.

If only I were able to be that focused at my job, I'd be a rich woman.

I used a router to clean up the outside cheeks. By sliding two legs together end-for-end, the router was supported on both sides.

Using the router was a welcome break from all that chiseling.