I got a lot more done on day three of this project, than I have in any previous project. I attribute the increased efficiency, to my new router table. Since the pieces for this project are small, it’s safer and faster to rout them on the table, than by hand. Day three started at the table, by making the stopped sliding dovetails in the legs. One thing worth noting, is that the dovetails, are 1/2″ wide, but I used a 3/8″ bit to make them. This requires 3 passes, One down the middle to remove the bulk of the material, and then one down each side, to bring the tail to the final width. It takes longer than using a bit of exact width needed, but in my opinion it produces a superior joint. Passes two and three, remove very little material, and are thus less likely to produce chatter, & inaccuracies.
Next I cut the mating dovetails in the apron ends. Again, multiple passes are better than one. In this case I used two passes, One that just nicked the surface to prevented tear out, and one that brought the tail to final width. To support the boards while routing, I used my favorite jig. Ok, not really I bug through the scrap bin till I found a decent sized piece of MDF, and then I straitened & squared two of it’s edges.
With the dovetails done, it was on to the table saw to cut the haunches. Yes I said haunches, square blocks don’t fit in round holes. The bottom of the leg tails are round (a side effect of using a router), and the apron tails are square so something has to give. Now I could round over the apron tails with a file, or square the leg tails with a chisel, but that’s to much like work. After they’re glued up no one will know what method I chose anyway. As you can see in the following photos, I morphed into David Marks, and used my cross cut sled just because I could.
Maybe I’m overly anal or overly cautious, but I never like to use the table saw to make precise cuts. The haunches for this piece are high precision, if they are off by a few thousandths, it’s going to show. To ensure the haunches where perfect, I cut them a 64″ short, and then pared of the remaining material at my make shift bench vise.
The last thing I did before dinner was, was clean up the faces of the apron pieces with the smoother, and rout the decorative beading. I’m still a newbie when it comes to neanderthal woodworking, but I have to say, using the smoother seemed pretty fast. It was definitely quieter than the ROS and the shop vac.
Since I was bored after dinner, I spent time in the shop honing my neanderthal skills. What do you get when you give a newbie, a hand plane, and a bowed & warped board? A thinner bowed & warped board, and a pretty pile of shavings.