Mix and Match (VII)

Post 7 in a series describing the [uncharacteristic] almost non-existent design and impromptu build of a small joined piece of furniture. Primary woods being used are Jatoba, Ipe, and Black Cherry, with a few Gonçalo Alves pegs thrown in for good measure. Previous installments can be found in the blog archive to the right side of the page.

When I left off last time, I had just completed fitting some Jatoba crosspieces to a pair of Ipe stretchers using two varieties of soffit tenons. The Jatoba crosspieces had been planed on three sides – I left their top surfaces alone until they were all fitted, so I could plane the surfaces of the cross pieces flush to the stretchers.

The ladder for the, uh, new fire station is now complete:

Another view:

Of course, the wedges still need to be fitted to lock it all together, but that will happen after the whole works is assembled.

Speaking of that,  I ran the rip saw down the soffit tenons in preparation for the wedges:

Then I knocked the ladder apart again so I could give the Ipe a last kiss with the plane:

I was just taking a thin, thin pass off, slicing away the pencil marks and any grubbiness:


Almost done now – one minor item remained: the feet. This piece is ‘designed’ (and I use that term loosely) to rest on a hard surface and I needed to fit some sort of feet into place. If I had spent more time at the beginning doing a detailed drawing, I’m sure I would have come to a more ideal solution. As it was, I felt like I nearly painted myself into a corner by not giving this aspect of the piece more forethought. anyway, after running innumerable schemes through my mind over the past week, I finally hit upon what I felt to be a decent solution.

The feet were to be mounted on the underside of the Black Cherry floorboard, and the layout took a few minutes to sort out:

Then I routed out the core of the join in a series of steps (not illustrated). Following that, it was time for a bit of paring:

A more or less complete concealed sliding double dovetail mortise:

I then made up a test stick for fitting- the feet are to be made of Jatoba, oriented as a tree grows with the grain running vertically. The test stick took several steps to make, but here is the final trial fit:

The grain in the dovetails is oriented in such a way that any seasonal movement will have minimal effect upon the tightness of the joint.

To start, the twin dovetail tenons are inserted:

And then slid straight down to the bottom (not, of course, so that they bottom out on the tenon ends – I leave a clearance gap of 0.005″ or so:

Then a little persuasion was required to get things moving down what can only be called a slippery slope:

Further, but not quite there yet – maybe a couple or three more taps:

When the tenons are fully home one would never know that there was a joint there. It’s best kept a secret I suppose – I’ll tell them I just glued the feet on the bottom:

With the fit confirmed, I made the 4 feet, and erased the pencil lines off the bottom of the Cherry board. I’ll show those finished little feet in the next post, along with the final assembly of this item. Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way.   ☞ on to post 8

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