After a brutal schedule of work and travel, I was finally able to get the legs mortised into the top blocks that I had surfaced up. I wanted to make sure that I had a consistent 2 inch space between the blocks, so I cut a couple of spacers and then clamped the tops together. I then set the assembled base on the top, aligned everything, and traced the tenons onto the tops. No measurement and no stress. One of the legs had a little bit of twist, maybe an 1/8, and that would have really messed stuff up if I had tried to gauge them all square. My original plan was to have a larger overhang on the vise side so that I could mount the vise outside the left leg. I forgot that everything is reversed when you’re upside down, so I ended up backward.
You can see me making the mistake in the image. I had a three minute huff session and then I decided to leave it. Recutting the mortises would have put too many holes in the top and I still had to route out the groove for the sliding deadman. I actually prefer the top setup this way from a visual balance standpoint. It will probably make me want to install a leg vise sooner as well. The Benchcrafted siren call is strong…
I cut the legs to length using a handsaw. I scribed around the legs at the required length with a marking knife and then worked my way around three sides, kerfing in the cut. Once I had a solid 1/8 – 1/2 kerfed in, I dove into the cut. This worked really, really well. I was able to cut right up to my knife line and left one half of it on the leg.
Learning that I needed to put a starter kerf in place to guide accurate, 1st class sawing was one of the most important lessons I took away from reading “The Essential Woodworker,” by Wearing. All that’s left is to install the vise and add some finishing details.