Legging up

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.

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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.