Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Top Is On


Today I rose early and walked out to my shop eagerly hoping to get this bench assembled before quitting time at 4pm. Thanks to the help from the Benchcrafted Customer Service team, I was able to get the top lowered onto the legs rather easily.

I was lucky in that the three remaining legs fit quite well on the first test fit. One was a tad loose for my tastes, so I glued on a thin strip of veneer to take up the slack. Figures, the first one was the best, which never happens of course. I've cut lots of large dovetails before, but never in this configuration. After making all the angled cuts and nailing only one of them (my saw is too small, with too fine a tooth pattern which left a hump in each cut) I came to the conclusion that I would have been more pleased with my joints had I cut away from the knife line, then pared the rest. Wetting the end grain of this oak, and using my Imai paring chisel (thanks again Raney) right in my knife lines made relatively easy work of getting the end grain dovetails dead flat. My sawing skills aren't bad, but I like the control the chisel gives.

I also got the base drawbored together using pairs of 7/16" pegs. I had a little hiccup when I discovered my Lie-Nielsen dowel plate goes from 3/8 to 1/2. Luckily I had a piece of 0-1 tool steel from Ron Brese in my scrap bin. I drilled a 7/16 hole, lapped the face on my oilstone, and was making pegs in short order.

Next up, the leg vise.





7 comments:

  1. I've never seen a patched on joint section like that, but that is perfectly executed and beautifully preserves the live edge on the underside. Quite a sensible use of materials that I think AJ would approve of and creates a unique look. What did you use for the patch, an off cut from the same flitch? I've really been impressed how each FORP bench has it's own personality. Bravo!

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    1. Yes, I used stock from the piece I cut off the end of the top.

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  2. Whats in the joints... glue, lube?

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  3. Awesome Jameel, just awesome. That's all I have to say. I was honored to be part of that now fabled week!

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  4. Jameel, Your photography is sublime too.

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    1. Thanks Greg, but the reality is I cheat. These are mostly cell phone pics that I desaturate, vignette, tweak gamma and contrast, unsharp mask and some other photoshopping. They look pretty awful right from the phone.

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