I got a pretty good day of work in yesterday, but it still feels like I’m moving in slow motion. I’m down to paring the socket for the last leg so it can drop in. I think I may need to do a little fine tuning on one other leg too, as it’s not sitting exactly straight.
I am having mixed feelings about these leg joints. First off, let me tell you that this fir is a pain in the neck to work with. Chiseling the end grain to square up the mortises is tough going. Especially deep in the mortise. It dulls my nice LN chisel pretty quickly, and even with a very sharp edge it doesn’t pare well across the end grain. Paring across the face grain with my big paring chisel is better, the LN is just too small to do a good job deep in the mortise. And, for whatever reason I’m having to do a lot of work to fit the legs into the mortises. The tenons aren’t as perfect as they need to be, and the scale of these parts really complicates things.
After all of this struggling to get the legs fit into the bench top, will it be worth it? Right now I’m not sure. Wouldn’t it have been enough to have stub tenons fit into blind mortises in the bottom of the bench? And I still need to make the stretchers, leg vise and sliding deadman. Grumble, moan, complain.
Part of my frustration is the time this takes, part is that I wish I could do a better job, and part is that at the end of the day this won’t be a beautiful workbench. It will be sturdy, and a huge improvement over the Wobbly Wonder™ I’ve been living with for the past year or two. But I can already imagine myself building its replacement out of a nicer material. Something without knots, with a finer grain structure. Even a better grade of Fir.
One more cuppa and I’ll muster the troops and wrestle this thing into submission.