Now that all the mortises have been milled (chopped, bashed, cursed at), we’ve just got a couple more tenons to cut, and then we can slap the base together and sit back and admire our work.
First, before I cut the tenons, I decided to go ahead and drill the rest of the holes in the legs so I could warm up a bit before I went at it with the handsaw. This, obviously, was easy. Nothing like a drill press and some good forstner bits to make you feel like you’ve got skills. ”Man, those holes are clean. No tearout at all… I’m really good at pulling this lever down on the drill press.” you’ll say to yourself.
Anyways, holes for the drawboring, and then some countersunk holes for the knock-down hardware, and we have this:
Pretty! Looks like I even know what I’m doing.
Anyways, now that I’m a little warmed up, I need to cut the tenons on the front and back rails. For those of you with the Benchcrafted Roubo plans, I’m making my bench 15” longer than what’s specified. To simplify this, I just stretched the base by 15”, and left everything else the same. However, that means that I was cutting tenons on the end of a 60 5/8” board. The only way I could see to do that was to clamp it to my poor excuse of a bench, and stand on my sawbench to make the cuts. It was somewhat awkward and vibration-prone, but I got it done eventually.
Now that I’ve got all the mortices and tenons done for the base, let’s see if this thing will go together…
Success! Well, with that minor victory, we may as well get the holes drilled for the knockdown hardware. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of that process. You’re probably thinking “of course not, it only took you like 10 minutes. All you had to do was drill 4 straight holes”. Well, please remember that I’m a rank amateur. First, here is a picture of the hardware:
I felt like a midget holding those things. Benchcrafted is selling them for like $30 for a set of 4, and honestly that’s a pretty good deal. It feels like you could use those things as a weapon. Anyways, see how long those are? Well, that’s a long way to drill a perfectly aligned whole with a brace and bit. At least for me it is. Two of the nuts/bolts went right together, another set after a little bit of fiddling, and then I spent 45 minutes cursing and yelling at the 4th one. Why would I curse and scream? Because I’m a child, that’s why.
Anyways, after MUCH consternation, I got them all in, and the result was a huge, heavy, rock-solid bench base.
Next up? The leg vise! Stay tuned…