My company, Red Gate software, has given me a 6 week sabbatical. I’m documenting the time with all the posts under a tag if you want to follow along.
I woke up early and got going, taking a cup of coffee outside to get started. I laid out all the boards and clamped them down, both to get an idea of how the clamps might lay out and also to mark up the places for the biscuits.
I used almost all the clamps, and realized I was short. I couldn’t get good pressure all over and need another 8-10 clamps. I’ve heard you can never have enough, so this is a good excuse to get a few more.
I was glad I knocked off yesterday as I couldn’t believe some of the marks I made. They were way off, probably because I hadn’t clamped things tightly.
I remarked things, going slowly and adding arrows so I knew which ones to cut. Once that was done, I used a square to extend the marks to the sides where I need to cut biscuit slots. It was a little slow to mark all boards, and I worried about a few of the boards that were slightly twisted. However I’m hoping glue will move things over and since the biscuits allow some movement, I’ll see how things line up dry in the next few days.
I got to use the right angle jig that I made with the biscuit joiner when I got it. Since I need to register the biscuit joiner on the same side for all slots. I put each board against the right angle and then cut the slots.
I worked my way down each board, and then back up, cutting the slots. It actually went fairly quickly, though with 8 boards, and two slots every foot, that’s a lot of cutting.
I got everything cut, and then put away as the weather was darkening and getting windy. With things put away, the next step is to re-set things up the next time, add biscuits, check fit, and then glue things up.
Class tonight was more catchup with the instructor out. I started by getting ready to cut more tenons. I think we’ll need to hand cut the 8 for our tables, though I’m hoping we can bandsaw a few of them. I struggle with the sawing.
I finished one I’d started last week and while it fit against the mortised leg fine, it was loose. The router plane is tough to tweak with really thin pieces. I was a little frustrated cutting, so I found the TA in charge and asked about the mortiser. He was happy to show me how to set it up, configuring the x, y, and z directions.
Once I saw it, I watched someone else cut their mortises and then went to lay out my board. Once that was done, I set the machine up and cut my own. It was pretty easy to use and worked so well. I might need to get one at some point.
With two great mortises cut, I want back to make tenons. I cut one of my aprons in half to get new ends and then went to work. My sawing got better, especially after one of the TAs found me a sharper saw. With the first cuts down, I worked on the router plane, trying to go slow.
It’s a semi maddening process, going really slow to shave off bits of the tenon. I got it close, maybe a bit tight, and then cut the other edges and got a great fit.
I started the next tenon, but ran out of time. I think I have three sides cut, though it feels a bit thin. The router plane is fighting me.
Fingers crossed that I get to machine a few tenons on Thursday.