My sabbatical officially ended on Jul 14, but I still had a few weeks of class left. And I need to get my flagpole mounted, but that’s another tale.
I missed a week of classes with travel to SQL Bits and the Red Gate office, and last week I ended up cutting my wood in to pieces for the final project. Not a lot getting done there, and some simple planing of edges and sides, but I walked into class on Tuesday with this:
The left boards were planed at home to size (perhaps a touch small), but were square and ready to become legs. The middle stack is the aprons, which were planed (by hand) and squared, and then machine planed to thickness. The right stack is the top, which I managed to get fairly smooth and needed to glue.
My first step was to mark up the legs for mortises. That’s one of those tasks I couldn’t do at home, so I wanted be sure I did that.
I was in class early, with no instructor, so I had to remember from the last month how to mark these up. I did two, and then the instructor showed up to note I only needed one as the machine would do the rest.
This is my favorite machine.
It’s a specialty machine, but it does such a consistent job of making mortises, way better than I could. Without it, I’d dread cutting more than 1 or two and certainly wouldn’t be sure I’d do them well. With it, I’d use this joint much more often.
It took 10 minutes or so to set up, and then another 20 to cut 12 mortises. By hand I’d likely have 2 done, tops. They looked good, too.
With those cut, and the instructor around, I turned my attention to the top .He looked at my boards, and with a slight gap in the centers (more by accident than design, though I did want this), he clamped them dry and proclaimed them good. We added glue, clamped and set them to dry.
I wanted to watch him do this, even though I’d clamped a few boards at home. I was looking for hints and got a few. Hopefully I’ll do a better job next time. While those were drying, I went back to legs.
First I had to smooth them. While I can use a little sandpaper at the end, I needed to plane them first.
Once that was done, I dropped them in the jig and cut tapers on the bandsaw. My first tapering, and while it was easy, it was also nice to have someone else build the jig and show me how to use it to build confidence.
Once the top was dry, I had to flatten and square the edges. That went quicker than I thought and I managed to get it done with a few minutes to spare. The sides were easy, the top ,a little more challenging, but in the end, it was flat enough to grip the bed of a planer when I dropped it on.
With time left, I needed to bevel the bottom. One student was doing this by hand with a planer, but the instructor took pity on my lost week in the UK. He let me use the table saw. I lined it up and then he showed me how to safely run it through. I’d never run a board through vertically, so it was good to see how someone else does it
I ended up with a nice pile of parts, including a beveled top.
The next major step is to cut tenons and then assemble the thing.
And hope it fits.