Saturday, April 9, 2016

Project Update: Massively Massive Tearout

As I completed the cleanup of the leg number four kerfing, I drove the chisel too far into the "other side" and basically ruined the top of the bench by creating massive, unnecessary tearout. This happened because, in my zeal to get that final mortise completed and out of my life forever, I disregarded Random Roger Green's advice: work one side at a time. This means chiseling and cleaning up the first two inches of the top before flipping the slab over and working the remaining two inches of the bottom. I got carried away and worked the chisel from the bottom through the top and created three HUGE chunks of tearout.

Fortunately, I was able to sift through the detritus on the floor and find the pieces I could glue back to repair the damage. This was a good lesson for me. Slow down, listen to the voice(s) of wisdom (thanks, Random), and proceed slowly and carefully, especially when working on something that will be visible in the end product.

The result:

By the time I remove the tape later today, the tearout will be virtually invisible. The lesson learned will not.

I next turned to the legs. During our last meeting, Random Rog told me I could go ahead and cut the legs to length. Of course, it's too early to mount them - I still need to cut the lower shelf stretcher mortises into them. Because my final desired leg height is 31", I went ahead and set up cut lines 27" from the tenon notches in their tops.

I then broke out the chop saw and went to town.

This illustrates another advantage of using 4x6s for the legs. I could not have made this cut if I had used 6x6s.

The next step is to set out the cut lines and start drilling/chiseling out those shelf stretchers. I also need to settle on wood for the stretchers and shelf pieces. Random is recommending alder, but Chris Schwarz uses pine on his smaller bench example. Needless to say, the cost for a piece of 8/4 pine will be less than alder, but I'd rather do this one right.

So many experts, so little time.

Until next time...

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