One Down, Three to Go

I spent a few hours cleaning up the shop, then spent a few hours helping a buddy work on a Cigar Box Guitar project.  He can play, I can saw and sand.

But in spite of that, I made a bit of progress on my workbench.  Baby steps, but I feel like I’ve finally stepped over the line in the sand.  I marked out all the joinery, plus drew in a giant cabinetmaker’s triangle to keep things lined up. Or maybe it’s a giant “caution” sign. Time will tell.

Ready For Sawing

I clamped the first leg in my shoulder vise, which is kind of a token effort.  It mostly didn’t move.  I pared in notches for “second class saw cuts”.  It’s pretentious, but I’m working my way up to second class.

Notched for “Second Class” Saw Cuts

I used my “Roubo Beastmaster” from Bad Axe for this.  It was a eBay score last year, and I’ve finally been able to put it to use.  My benchtop is 5″ thick, and this reaches all the way to the shoulder with maybe 1/8″ to spare before the stiffener hits the end grain.  It cuts pretty aggressively.  It’s work, but way less work that slinging the #8 Stanley around.

First Cut

I cut all of the shoulders first, then ripped the cheeks.  The tenon cheeks.

Everything Sawn

Then I had to get the hunk of waste out of the middle.  I chiseled in the actual shoulders, then used my giant mortise chisel to chop and pop.  I chopped down about a 1/4″, then chiseled in from the end grain to split out the waste.  It went pretty quickly.  I think that’s a 5/8″ mortise chisel, I haven’t measured it.  I don’t have a 1.25″ mortise chisel. but it would make a nice conversation piece.  By the way, I absolutely love that hammer, I picked it up based on Paul Seller’s recommendation.  I refinished the handle (it had stickers on it, and some kind of spray clean) and put a hard yellow face on one side, and a soft grey face on the other.  It’s got plenty of heft.  I use the yellow face to drive chisels, and the grey face to tap dovetails together.

I’ve decided that my regular chisels SUCK.  They are “Sandvik” brand, and they don’t hold an edge at all.  I sharpened my 1″ chisel, including a polished micro bevel.  25 degree primary bevel, 30 degree secondary bevel.  I could shave with it.  I tried just out of curiosity, and have a tiny bald spot on my arm to prove it.  “Woodworker Pattern Baldness” I think it’s called.  Regardless, before this leg was done not only was the chisel dull, it has a dozen tiny nicks in the edge.  The mortise chisel on the other hand was still sharp.

Chopping Out the Waste

I checked the faces and shoulders for square, they were pretty close, but I did need to tune them up a little.  I used a shoulder plane, my #4 smoother, a paring chisel and a couple of files/rasps.  I have one file that has teeth like a float, that worked the dest, and left a nice finish too.

Three More to Do

Tools of Mass Destruction, Laid for Tomorrow

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