Sunday, Dino got two more coats of navy blue paint and is looking pretty nice; all that is left is painting the inside of the mouth and the eyes and he will be good to go. Ralph is another story……
In between coats of paint, I worked to get Ralph assembled as the final step before sanding and painting. I cut out the tail cross piece, notched the tail to hold the block (I did a much better job this time and the fit is pretty good), and screwed it onto the tail. I then clamped one of the rockers to the right leg in the appropriate place and attached the cross piece using pocket screws and then attached the other rockers in same manner. I then used some smaller, shorter screws to temporarily attach the rockers to the legs; everything looked great and it rocked smoothly.
The trouble came when I flipped it over on the bench to take it back apart; I noticed there was a gap between one of the feet and the corresponding rocker, which could only mean that something was not lined up properly as both legs and rockers are identical. A few quick checks with the combination square confirmed the problem, one of the legs was ¼” farther forward that the other and 1/8” shorter (relative to the belly); this was introducing a significant twist into the rockers which was amplified over their length.
I decided to re-sand the leg bottoms on the oscillating spindle sander in order to get them back into the correct position. I marked out the corrected lengths on the legs and added the curve off the original pattern.
A few minutes on the sander got me close but I will make the final adjustments tonight after I get home.