I really need to move this sconce project along, if for no other reason than I’m tired of thinking of catchy titles for blog posts about it.
Yesterday I cut all of the tenons, on all 16 rails (I’m making enough parts for two lamps). Since I offset the tenon toward the outside face further than I’d originally planned in my model I discovered I don’t need to use stepped tenons. They will fit into the intersecting mortises if I just cut a 45 degree chamfer at the tip of the tenon. I like this a lot better, I should have spotted this in my CAD model – I’ll update the plans to reflect this change later. A couple of the tenon shoulders got a little wonky, but I think they be okay after a little paring.
I started in on the mortises. I’m using a 3/16″ router bit to hog out the material and then squaring them up with a chisel. THis worked OK until the router bit broke. I think I need to cut them in several passes — I was cutting them in a single pass, but slowly. Off to Woodcraft today to pick up a new bit, and god knows what else. It’s dangerous to walk in there.
Anyway, I read about a technique for using a stack of shims to rout deep mortises, taking out one shim with each pass. That was you don’t have to re-set the router for each cut. I’m going to do this on the top mortises, maybe that will keep me from blowing out the tops (and breaking another bit).