Bench Cross Member

Now that each end of the bench is assembled it’s time to get the final pieces ready.  The long rails needed a bit of adjustment to fit into their mortises and the cross member was trimmed to close to final size.  Then the parts were taken upstairs and dry assembled to make sure the bench would actually fit between the table legs (better safe than sorry).

Now it was finally time to shape the cross member.  First I applied a 1/2 inch wife wide and 1/8th inch deep rabbit on each side (I realize it should have been 5/8th but it worked out).  It was nice to use my Stanley 45 plane, it’s been sitting on the sidelines for too long.

Then it was time to round over the corner and since I do t have a set of hollows and rounds it was the 45 to the rescue again.  Yup, I have a set of the hollow and round attachments for the 45 (including the stair tread one).  The 6h was just the right size.


It’s not perfect but that’s kind of the point 🙂

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Dining Table bench – mortices 

The massive dirt moving project that is my back yard has been taking much of my  time recently and SWMBO banned morticing while our son is asleep (apparently the hammering was waking him up) so progress has been slow.  

I have cut the mortices in the legs where the skirt attaches.  I used my #45 to plow a shallow groove to guide my mortice chisel and chopped 1/2 inch mortices.  Once they were chopped the #45 and a router plane set the groove to a consistent depth to help keep the rail flat.  The outer side wall 3/8 inch wide which may be a mistake but it allowed for a longer tenon though  I followed the “half the rail” rule for sizing the tenon.


I’m slightly behind where I should have been because on Saturday I had almost finished the first tenon and was just making the final cut when I inadvertently marked the wrong side of the cut and ruined it.  Luckily I had not trimmed side rail to final length so I was able to salvage the part (though the tenons are slightly shorter than planned).

Harvey Ellis Saw Till – Part 9 – Resawing

With the lumber rack finally complete I was able to focus on the saw till again. The two ready back panels were cut down to size and then received a rabbit (rebate) around the edges using my Stanley 45 and Veritas medium shoulder plane. A quick test fit showed that things went together well though I may need to trim the vertical dividers a bit.

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Next it was time to resaw another piece of the Douglas fir to make the remaining back panels. I marked out where I wanted the saw kerf to go and started the end grain cuts with the board vertical before moving to the saw horse to cut the side kerfs. You will notice I am using a the same modern disposable saw that I used for the strand board; my rip saw was very dull when I purchased it and I have never sharped a saw before so I figured I would try with the Husky. I have never resawn by hand before but I think this may have been a mistake as the cutting was very slow and it kept jumping the kerf I had made (hard to tell if this is just a lack of skill or the set of the saw). After an hour my hands were sick of the handle and my body was worn out; I had made it through less than 20% of the board.

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My next post will likely be related to sharpening a rip saw.

Harvey Ellis Saw Till part 5 – The Back

Now that the main joinery is complete it is time to focus on betting the back built. There are three primary horizontal panels which are ¾ inch thick; one in the drawer compartment and two in the upper area. The two upper pieces will have three vertical dividers which will have quarter inch panels between them. I used the Stanly 45 with a spur to rough out the tenons and then refined it with my shoulder plane.

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For the corresponding grooves I used a small plow plane. Since I am using two separate planes I can swap back and forth. Unfortunately for the top piece the fence shifted on me and I had to plane the edge flat again which made it smaller than planned.

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For the thin panels I am using some SVG Douglas Fir I have had air drying for quite some time.  Some months ago I picked up a 1X12 at the local hardware store which had some tight grain lines and the pith was off to one side. I jointed the boards and chopped out usable sections around some large knots and I ran a smaller section through the band saw and planner back when I had a tech shop membership. Unfortunately, these panels cupped a bit as they finished drying so some cross planning with a #7 and #6 was necessary. Air dried Douglas Fir planes beautifully and has a lovely pinkish huge.

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This week I will start gluing up parts of the main casing in the evening.  I have a limited number of clamps so it will be easier to spread out the glue up.

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