Wednesday, October 7, 2009

tenon that mortise

Ok the floating tenons were glued in the rails but there is another step before the frames will come together. I planed my joinery such that the rebate of the Rail will hit the rebate of the Style being too far inside to come together. In other words I made the mortise a little on the inside of the frame so that I would HAVE to trim some of the rebate off to assemble the frame.
It's all about allowances! I've said this before and will say again and again... I like to give myself some sensible breathing room. "Don't commit until you have to" they say. It's true, committing prematurely can be a dangerous thing heh.

It doesn't take long to shoot away that little extra material. This way you can also be paying attention to the possibility that one sides needs more material taken off than the other. Don't rush it though! This is defiantly "workmanship of risk" as Mr. David Pye Would say. One stroke too many and there's an eyesore of a hair-line gap and a heart ache. There are ways to come back from this one but I want to get it right the first time!
Now how many people will notice this little meeting of rebates? It's covered from the top with the top panel and is tucked behind the leg and aprons on the bottom. Well it's not really about that. I could talk about consistency and integrity but on a more personal level I just wouldn't be happy with the result or myself by not doing my best.

Ta Da. Now it fits, it is neat, I get a warm little feeling and maybe a little hint of a smirk touches my face. I find fitting joints like this to be kind of exciting. Not like winning the Tour De France or anything but on a small, consecrated scale. It's partly walking that thin line of not quite and too much. Put the pieces together see what needs to be removed. Take a couple plane strokes and put it back together. Maybe you know full well that it wont fit yet but you just want to see where you are. Now it's close. I check every couple plane strokes. Now I try to assemble the part after every plane stroke. Watch and feel closely. It pretty much fits, but it doesn't feel happy, one more light plane stroke. Ahhh there we go.
The procedure is really quite simple. Just a combination of simple technique and patients. I often feel something more though. Maybe there's some psychological, philosophical, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo goings on. Then again maybe it's just seeing all the work that went before this paying off. Maybe I'm just a wierdo... who's to say?

On another topic, again. More mortises... 64 more of them.

Followed by a few more hours fitting the tenon stock. The major mortising is done for this set of tables but I have more to come, almost the exact same ones but for pedestals. I admit that some of this can get to be tedious but still find it more personally rewarding than my "night job" heh. While fitting the tenon stock I turn on some music and take it relatively easy as my fingures get cramped and sore heh.
I'm not working these round from square. I used a round over bit on the router table but I do not have a "correct" bit for the tenon thickness. The last ones I did took far less "correcting" of the round over than these... I need a different round over bit.
There's a search for a balance of machine and hand work. I find that balance to change from project to project and depending on the material used. Sometimes I am tired of machining and just want to get a plane in my hand and little shavings at my feet so, if I don't have a lot of them to do, I will shape that tenon stock by hand. On the other hand if I feel inclined I have no problem with roughing it out on the router table, they will require some fine tuning by hand anyway... As a Godfrey would say "There's no art to waste removal." For me it depends on what I'm feeling at the time ha.


Nick Brygidyr said...

well looks like those tables are coming along nicely! do you find your end mills make a different sized hole in end-grain than in side grain? mine sure does, i learned my lesson after chiseling out 6 tenons after my dry fit....

Nicholas Nelson said...

Yes, they sure do. It's not the bit's fault though heh.
I also noticed how FAST my center-cutting tips got dull while working on the Shedua! GAH!!! it got to the point that I was moving the 200+lbs machine while pushing the stock trying to get that small plunge-cut every pass. Not cool. I did get HSS bits instead of carbide because I didn't know exactly what length to have on hand. But the way that HSS went I can't imagine that Carbide is the headache free answer. I wonder if it's just that dang wood!

Nick Brygidyr said...

hah it's totally the wood, kwila and shedula have tons of silica i believe. they work easily but the silica dulls the hell out of everything. thats why im not too into these exotics.

i got carbide end mills and they were pretty cheap.