Home > Woodworking > The Saw-ga continues……

The Saw-ga continues……

Welcome friends,

Last night being a Tuesday, it was another karate night for the kids so this translated into 2.5 hrs of shop time for me to work on my current project: Traditional Sawbench.

My last post bemoaned the poor quality of the pine I “hand selected” from Lowes. Clearly an amateur blames his tools whereas a master simply does. Since I fall in the former category, I can get away with it 😉

During a previous session, I had cross cut and ripped the 2 saw bench top panels to approximate size and laminated them together using mass as a clamping force. Under the weights, I sandwiched the panels between two pieces of waxed paper and wiped the glue squeeze with a damp cloth until the glue began to set.

Saw Bench Laminating the Top

The next day, I spent a fair amount of time planing the twisted panel that will become the saw bench top. It isn’t flat, nor is it all that close to being flat which is a frustration. On the other hand this will be a shop appliance and not a piece of furniture and more importantly, it is a practice exercise so I press on. Being mindful of better wood selection on sawbench #2.

Last night I marked and made the cut out at the end of the bench which will ultimately be used for ripping, drilling and the like. I followed the plans but afterward I see that Christopher (Schwartz) must not have followed his own plans because his example bench is markedly different from the plans I followed. (Note: No surprise, I actually read the plans incorrectly. However, if the picture was similar to the plan I might have more quickly realized my error. No worries I suspect this part of the bench is going to work not matter what profile I end up with.)

Saw Bench Sawing Notch

Any way I will probably cut a tad more off my notch to open it up a bit. I don’t want to weaken the wings but I think I can take a bit more off. Compare this to Chris’ example which is rounded all the way to the corners. I used a jig saw.

Saw Bench Notch Example (C. Schwartz)

So on to the legs. Previously I had cut out all the leg pieces (4 per leg) and glued them up. You may recall that I used my pin nailer to help clamp the pieces in place while gluing. Ah, I wouldn’t do that again. From that point on, I’m concerned about planing, cutting and routing with the bloody nails inside. Stupid, stupid, stupid but are you surprised? Doing everything for the first time one discovers good ideas and not-so-good ideas along the journey. So here’s a shot of the roughed in legs, before milling.

Saw Bench Legs Glued & Nailed

They were all over the place size-wise so to dress them up I placed small pieces of the tenon stock into the mortises to line them all up. Then I clamped the legs together and cut them all to identical length both above and below the mortises.  Since I already had the router table set with the 1/4″ round over bit, I went ahead and routed the leg edges to match the top and the stretchers. Here’s how they came out.

Saw Bench Legs after Milling

Crappy photo, sorry about that.  However, in this photo you may also notice that I have cut both the top and the bottom of each leg with a 10° bevel. At this point I was pretty careful to mark each leg, with right, left, front and back before taking them to the saw. I also carefully marked the direction of the bevel on each side of each leg. I am a rank beginner but I do know how easy it is to get confused once the clamping and cutting begins. Don’t make it hard on yourself, carefully mark and confirm this stuff before you start. Fortunately, this actually worked and I made it through the step without incident.

At this point I had proudly generated several mounds of saw dust, having used the miter saw, the jig saw and the router table. Now it was time to use the hand saw. I had to re-read the plans because it is now time to cut the joinery that will fix the legs to the sawbench top. Plans call for a 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/4″ notch to be made to the top of each leg………

OMG, as I write this I realize I cut the first notch in the BOTTOM of the leg. Oh that stinks, that really stinks. And here I am preaching about being careful, marking and checking. Ha! The mortise for the stretcher is at the bottom of the leg. I was subliminally drawn to mortise=top. Not so young Padawan.  So the moral of this story is “Mark the top and bottom as well as the front, back, right and left”. Sigh….

Saw Bench Leg Notched Wrong!

Oh well, I’m not making another leg, I’ll just have to repair this one. Looking at the bright side, it’s a good thing my shop time had run out or I would have cut them all wrong.  Here is a nice close up of that notch. I’ll glue in a piece and plane it flush and no one will be the wiser.

DOH… I guess I shouldn’t have posted this on the Internet if I wanted to keep my secret ……

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.

Categories: Woodworking Tags: ,
  1. April 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I really appreciate your anguish and just remember a quote I heard from Thomas Edison when I do something similar.
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    Sometimes it is how well you can hide your mistakes, and they give a piece “character”.

    • April 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks for the kind and encouraging words ww2! I know so very little at this point in my journey, but I do know that I’m one of a guild and I’m proud of that! Builders are special people.

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