Irregular Situation V

Continuing on with the account of the making of the irregular pitch, regular plan sawhorse…

Once the nuki were all cut, I did a trial assembly with the legs to see how things come together. The ideal is to cut everything once, put it together once, and have everything fit perfectly, but I haven’t got there yet. I usually need to make a couple of trial fits and slight adjustments before the fits are satisfactory. In this type of structure with splayed legs, all the parts need to snug up simultaneously – here’s the mid-way point:

The fit looked pretty good at the initial fitting in this case, which I put down to being extra fussy with stock prep and leg shaping:

Then I spead the works apart again and fitted the top beam in and began to bring it all together:

The fit was fine, so I moved onto the next step – processing the dovetail tenons on the tops of the legs. While I have a few different types of dovetail planes, I prefer to cut sliding dovetails by router:

I used a simple jig, the router referencing off the outer edges of the MDF:

This was the result:

Then I started working on the top cap, which I chose to make out of some Larch. In the region of the Kootenays (a region of S. Eastern British Columbia) I was living, there were loads of standing dead Larch for some reason, so it was possible to obtain some really good material – this was layout around the shop as scrap in fact. I had never worked with Larch before, and I found it to be a forgiving material and easy to work cleanly.

First I established the layout, then mortised the entry points for the dovetails and cleaned them up with a chisel and paring block:

Then I used a kebiki to score the lines for the dovetail mortises:

Then out came the bulk of the waste using a Forstner bit in the drill press:

That was followed by a pass with the router, and here’s the result of processing half the dovetail:

Then I cleaned up of the inside corners with a 5mm paring chisel after completing the dovetail routing on both sides:

It looks like there will be a part 6 to this series….

Anything to add?

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