Tréteau XII

Returning now to the Mazerolle sawhorse build, part 12. Back to the noxious Canarywood. Today I processed the cuts for the interior x-brace mitered half laps. In a previous installment, I rough cut the laps on all the pieces, and now the wood has had a couple of days to settle, I can proceed with taking the cuts out to the line. For previous installments in this series, please refer to the ‘Blog Archive’ located on the right of this page.

My first step was to make an MDF template to clean out the lap trenches to the required dimension. After that, I routed the housings on the sides of the pieces so that they were within a few thou of the width of the lap trenches. Here’s the scene after that stage:

Next I made up a paring block using a piece of oak I had in my scrap pile. The lap is not at 45˚, so two miter bevel angles are required. Once the paring block was ready, I clamped it in place and commenced paring, staying slightly fat of the line:

I also made some use of a small shoulder plane to work the abutments:

Here’s one of the mitered laps, now very close to final form:

Once a pair was done, I offered the joint up to see how it fit, adjusting with chisel and shoulder plane as necessary:

As the joint came together a little added persuasion was employed, both with a clamp and by tapping with a mallet:

Here the lap is a hair away from fully-seated:

Not too bad, though there appears to be a slight opening at the right miter – one pare too many unfortunately:

The ink lines, by the way, were very slightly out from where they had to be in terms of the angle described. After I discovered this issue, rather than scraping off the marks, I used a pencil to lay another line on top, which you can see if you look closely. Then I found a precise reference point and relied upon the router jig to cut the correct angle. Thus the discrepancy between marked line and cut line.

I gang-cut a pair of sticks at a time during this step – the result is that in a couple of spots the ink line, or a slight step between surfaces, is giving an impression of a gap when there is in fact no gap (though the one at the right miter is in fact a gap, no two ways about it). I will show these laps again after I have planed the pieces clean and chamfered them, and hopefully they will look better.

Here’s how the other one came out:

I think there is a very slight opening at the bottom miter, but it will likely disappear when I chamfer the pieces. All in all, the mitered laps came out acceptably, though they are short of perfection.

Here’s another view – the Canarywood is certainly quite striking, no?:

With the pieces assembled, I could now check with a straightedge and confirm my pieces were aligned as they should be:

Things are looking good as far as alignment goes, and in fact I may work the subsequent cuts (the tenons) on this piece using the assembled unit as a basis instead of working the individual sticks, as that approach should even out any errors. The Canarywood is very rigid, so I can’t rely upon anything to ”bend to fit’ later.

So, two pairs of interior braces are now lapped, and I will move on to completing the laps for the other sets of braces in upcoming posts in this series, hopefully without any over-pares.

–> Go to post XIII if you dare!

Anything to add?