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Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes!

lew

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Once the legs were completed, I started on the aprons and stretchers. The stretchers are to be mortised and tenoned into the legs. The long stretcher needed to be securely fastened into the side stretcher but their thickness was only 3/4 ". That meant a very short tenon (1/2") on the ends of the long stretcher. I decided, mistakenly, to use a fox tenon and a dovetail style mortise, with tapered sides and wider at the bottom.

 

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It took a little work to get the mortises chopped. I even had to make a small measuring tool to determine the width of the bottom. My inside calipers were just a little too big.

 

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Next, I calculated the wedge size and then modified the tenons to accommodate the wedges.

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My mistake here was failing to take into consideration the amount of spreading vs. the hardness of the wood. Fortunately, I had the foresight to try a test piece and discovered as the tenons halves spread, they cracked at the shoulder. Insert a long string of Navy language here.

 

Back to the drawing board. Early on in the project I had considered using a sliding dovetail for this connection. Hindsight being what it is, that's what I ended up using.

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The other failure, at this stage was when I ripped the materials for some of the aprons. The wood was plenty dry but internal stresses caused the some warping and twisting of several pieces. Allowing the pieces to set for a couple of days only made matters worse.

 

I ended up ripping more pieces and then creating the tenons.

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Used a stop block/miter gauge to create to shoulder cuts

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Then the old Delta tenoning jig for the cheek cuts

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And finally nibbled away the remaining material to complete the apron and stretcher pieces.

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I cut all of the tenons a little over sized so I could trim them to get a really snug fit during assembly. The minister said this table would serve multiple duties. I wanted to be sure nothing would work loose over time.

 

All that's left for the base, I hope, is a final dry fit and then a glue up.



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Just now, Fred Wilson said:

Lew, it's not a mistake unless it is made in the final product.  Anything else is just dry fitting errors.

Awaiting the final project pictures.

Thanks, Fred! I, too, am waiting to see the table with the finish applied. I was hoping they would send a photo.

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