So I was reading through the instructions for the Crisscross guide I ordered for my leg vise when I was struck with a sudden feeling of dread.
The mortise for the Crisscross mechanism needs to be 19.5″ long, 1.75″ wide and 1.4375″ deep. As I was staring at the diagram in the instructions I had that sinking feeling… Can you see it yet?
Here is a hint. What is going to intersect the mortise (slot) for the Crisscross? Why, the tenon on my front stretcher of course.
If you look closely at the picture below you can see where I’ve drawn in the slot for the Crisscross and the mortise for the stretcher. Now, if I hadn’t already cut all of the mortises for the stretchers this would be relatively easy to avoid. Just move the tenons to the beck of the stretchers. However, I have already cut all the tenons and chopped all of the mortises. Dang.
Well, first, I can rout out the slot for the Crisscross until I’ve assembled the base because I’ll need to cut through the tenon. That also weakens the tenon, and if this bench is anything less than absolutely rock solid then it’s a fail. I can (and will) drawbore the joints, and that should help reinforce this joint. I could also drive some long lag bolts through the leg into the end of the stretcher (or use barrel nuts) to reinforce it, but that strikes me as sloppy.
What other options do I have? I could change directions and not use the Crisscross. But I don’t want to do that. I could re-make this one leg and the stretcher, but I don’t see that happening either.
Thinking out loud (so to speak) I expect I’ll follow these steps:
- Drill all the base parts for drawbore pins
- Drill the holes for the vise screw in the leg and chop
- Machine the slot for the Crisscross and test fit it
- Assemble the base and top, glue, wedge and drawbore everything
- After the glue has cured use a router to clear out the protruding tenon
- Assemble the leg vise and slather on a finish
If the bench loosens up in the future I’ll have to deal with it then. I can always screw on some plywood shear walls, because we all know that would e attractive.