Glued and Pegged

The base is glued up and mostly complete. These eight pieces of wood are now occupying most of the floor space in my shop. It’s good exercise climbing over the aprons to get from one side to the other.  Good for the hamstrings.

Since the last post, I fit the tenons then cleaned up the legs and aprons, adding a chamfer along all exposed corners.  I then made sixteen pegs from hard maple scrap using my home-made dowel plate.

The assembly was all drawbored – no clamps. I used an 1/8″ offset, which worked much better with this wood.  Not having to manage 6 foot long clamps and just pounding pegs in with a hammer was really nice. All the joints are tight. I think I’ll drawbore most of my mortise and tenons from now on. At least those that I plan to peg anyway.

I also used hide glue for the first time. Its a liquid hide glue (Old Brown Glue), so all you have to do is warm it up a bit to get the right viscosity. I liked that the glue helped the joints slip together easily even though they were very tight when I dry fit them. PVA glue has a little more tack, so joints can sometimes be more difficult to pull together than the dry fit. It has a longer open time, which wasn’t really needed for this assembly, but will be beneficial for more complex glue-ups in the future. I think I’ll start using liquid hide glue instead of my usual – Titebond III.

Drawbored joints and hide glue. Roy Underhill would be proud.


Don’t Like Routers Anymore

A little more progress. The legs and aprons have been surfaced and cut to final size.  The mortises are cut into the hefty legs, and the tenons are rough cut on the aprons.

I used a router to cut out the mortises. That’s my usual method, but I won’t be doing that anymore. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it just isn’t much fun doing it that way. I’m going to buy a mortise chisel and start hogging them out by hand. By the time I square up the corners of a routed mortise, I’m left wondering if i could have done the whole thing faster by hand. Routers are noisy, kick dust up everywhere, like to slip offline and ruin your work, and have been known to occasionally bite you. If I have to do a crazy number of mortises in a future project then i’ll consider buying a powered mortiser, but until then i’m going hand powered.

I have to cut the tenons to width, then fit each one. I think I’ll also add some sort of detail to the bottom of each apron.  Then I’ll be ready to assemble and start to finish.