I made a bit more progress last night and learned a few interesting things, first and foremost that my skills leave much to be desired.
I started the evening by checking my layout marks the way I should have done them in the first place; by placing the rockers adjacent to each other I was able to easily verify they were properly aligned. Luckily my previous marks were in the correct place and after a quick check I confirmed that my spacer blocks were a bit too wide.
After a 15 minutes on the shooting board both spacers were adjusted to the correct width (I realize the #4 is not the best plane for this task however that is the last sharp plane iron in my toolkit that is not cambered, I really need to unpack my sharpening station). A quick check confirmed that the dino’s feet are now centered on the rockers.
Unfortunately, when I centered the tail on its support piece I discovered that the rough cut notch in the tail was badly out of square in both directions so the next 45 minutes was spend slowly pairing and flattening the surface while constantly checking for square.
Now that the tail support connection is reasonably square I was able to layout the screws for the cross piece. This time I learned my lesson an used a center punch to mark the hole positions and my Millers Falls #5 made short work of them.
The cross piece is attached to the rockers via pocket hole screws for which I have always used a Kreg jig however the loss of my Bosch cordless drill (to an internal fire) had made cutting these more difficult. Luckily, I decided to try my new Millers Falls #2 – Type E which has a very large drive pinion and a much larger chuck than my #5. This drill made short work of the pocket holes; despite missing its LRRCW (if you have any interest in eggbeater drills I would recommend you spend some time at http://www.georgesbasement.com) which meant I have to be careful when cranking.
The tail joint still needs some adjusting but I was able to assemble the prototype temporarily and discover it actually appears to rock well. The front spacer won’t be there in the final version but I am using shorter screws for testing purposes and wanted to prevent any racking.
Tonight the plan is to finish squaring up the tail joint, finish the eyes, temporarily attach the handles, and decide whether or not to attach the dino’s arms.