Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Workbench Part IV - Short Rail Tenons and Legs

Happy holidays!  What better way to celebrate Christmas then to sneak off into the shop for a bit and do some woodworking.  I left last time with the short rails a little wonky after the first milling.  Each rail had two faces still flat and square so I started the final milling with those.  I ran them through the planer and then finally the table saw which thankfully resulted in four perfectly square short rails.   I cut these to length (21-1/2") on the miter fence and went about laying out the tenons. 

Now the tenons can be really any dimension you want as long as it mechanically makes sense.  I already decided to deviate from the downloaded plan by making the short rails beefier but I stuck with the plan dimensions in making the tenons two inches long.  The structural shoulders ended up 1/2" deep while the cosmetic top shoulders I set at 1/4".  I used a marking gauge to scribe a 2" line all along the rail  from both ends.  After that I set up the dado stack in the table saw which allows for a wider continuous cut.  At 3/4" it still took three passes for each face...3 x 4 x 8 = 96 passes.  Let's just say it took a little while.  The wife stopped in while I was cutting these tenons and took a couple of action shots.  I'm wearing my most festive red and white checkered shirt.  Kind of a ginger Santa Claus look going when you get down to it...

After the tenons had been cut on the table saw the faces were a little rough so I took them over to the bench hook and used my shoulder plane to flatten them. 

With all of these finished up I thought it fitting to stack everything together as a small sense of accomplishment.  Note the wooden mallet behind the shoulder plane...a most excellent Christmas gift from the wife.

The last thing I did for the day was cut the workbench legs to length and put a nice chamfer on the bottom.  This will prevent the workbench from catching if I ever need to scoot it around on the floor.  The daughter and I leave for a trip to Kansas tomorrow to see the folks so I plan to start milling the mortises in the legs when we get back.


  1. Just discovered your blog. Nice work ! I follow Lola Nova, and thought I'd say hello. Look forward to future posts.

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