I had a fairly productive weekend, and made great progress on the little workbench I’m making to be dedicated to sharpening. This has been a good project, and I’m feeling loads more comfortable with dimensioning operations and mortise and tenon joints. My saw cuts are more predictable and generally where I want them to be. Making the big mortises wasn’t as clean as I’d like. I bored out the waste with a Forstner bit, but the wood was so wet that it’s all stringy in the center so paring the walls of the mortise tended to rip big hunks out. I’m definitely not not planning to work with wet wood any time soon!
The first tenon fit was a little sloppy in the mortise, they got better with each successive try. I was able to get decent fits around the shoulders so in the end my only problem was a few small gaps between the tenons and mortises, all due to slightly sloppy mortises. I’ll wedge them when I do the glue up.
Kolya helped me with the base glue up – he was in a hurry to go get lunch and I wanted to get this in clamps before we left. We painted everything with Titebond 3 and went out for sandwiches and errands. Just a little squeeze out everywhere, which I cleaned up with a damp rag (knowing I’d be sanding).
I couldn’t resist a “glamor shot” with the granite countertop remnant test fit. The base is very solid without any top stretchers, so I decided to forego them. I’m going to use liquid nails construction adhesive to glue the granite to the base, which will provide as much additional strength/resistance to racking as I could want. The base without the top (or clamps) is extremely rigid.
I sanded the base to 220 in preparation for finishing.
Kolya and I painted on a coat of Mahogany gel stain, and wiped it off. It looks a bit pinkish in this picture, and perhaps I should have just oiled it because the stain makes the grain look pretty wonky. I plan to put a dark clear over it (probably orange or garnet shellac) after a couple of coats of oil, so in the end it should be fairly dark overall. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking with it unless it’s attacked and beaten senseless by a rouge band of facts. Check out Kolya’s “Lost Art Press” shirt – perfect, I hadn’t noticed that until now.
I expect it will take all week to build up coats of finish, maybe I’ll start on the drawer at the same time.