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.


Breadboard Ends and Drawboring

Wow, post #2. I am on a roll…

Last night I made some good progress after several weeks of no progress at all. Lately, by the time we get our 2 1/2 year old to bed it is pushing 9:30pm, so the thought of heading out to the shop isn’t as appealing as grabbing a beer and watching something on TV. Mondays/Tuesdays have been all about MasterChef lately. Call me what you will, but MasterChef is awesome.

Anyway, I was able to get the mortises in the breadboard ends cut out and fit onto the tongues/tenons running along the ends of the table top. I hogged out the waste with a forstner bit, then cleaned things up with a chisel. I needed to take a bit off the tenons using a router plane to get things to fit nicely.

The joinery on breadboard ends is all cross grain, so you can’t really glue the entire length. If you did, something would crack. I glue about an 8″ area that i want to remain stationary, in this case, the middle, then depend on pins to hold the rest of the joint tight. I normally clamp the glue-up, then drill out the holes for the pins and drive them in – all with the clamps in place. This time i decided to try a drawbore to really bring things together. I used a 1/16″ offset, which worked OK, but I think I should have offset more than that since I felt very little resistance when I hammered the pins in. I should have figured that. I’m using softwood. This was my first time drawboring, so i was a little chicken with the offset.

I used hard maple pins split from a piece of scrap, then driven through my ghetto home-made dowel plate. I used a pencil sharpener on the ends to get a taper, and gave them a light coat of paraffin wax.

Square pin becoming round

Square pin now looking pretty round

Next thing to do is patch all the rough spots on the table top. Some of these reclaimed boards were a little more beat up than i feel comfortable with so I’d like to patch up a few of the more unsightly areas. This thing is supposed to look rustic, but I have standards I need to uphold! I actually created a few gashes myself trying to coax out some of those 100+ year old nails. The steel was much softer than modern nails, so I had to get pretty aggressive with some of them. I had to sacrifice some wood to get at the nails that would bend up inside the wood instead of come out the other side.  Time to patch up the mess.