Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Workbench Part VI - Oh My Mortise

It's been far too long since my last post but I have been working ever so slowly on the many mortises for this workbench.  As tedious as it's been, I really feel that my chisel work has improved in hollowing out the 12 mortises.  For each one, I was able to take out the majority of the material on the drill press with a forstner bit.  The trickiest part was supporting the legs on the drill press table.  I've added making a drill press table to the never ending list of projects.

Once the bulk of the mortise is drilled out, the next step is to square the inside walls to accept the tenons.  This is where the true workout started.  I was really wailing on the chisel with the mallet to get through the end grain sections.  At first it felt like I would never finish as each mortise was taking thirty minutes or more.  However I got a little better and by the end I was able to get a 90º face on the first or second try.

The real trick here as well is to have a super sharp chisel so it doesn't tear the grain up.  I can get my hand tools pretty sharp but I feel like there's still room for improvement.

After finally getting all of the mortises finished up I was able to do a dry fit of the bench and I must say I feel proud to have got this far.  This thing is heavy and should have no problem withstanding wailing on it with a hammer and chisel.

Also I had to get an "action" shot for a work profile and Alex was nice enough to snap a picture of me planing one of the short rails.  Next up is pegging the short rails to the legs and then installing some knockdown bench bolts on the long rails so that the bench could be taken apart and moved if ever needed.

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