A Square Deal (17)

Continuing on with working on the apron corner joints, today the focus on fitting the joints and establishing the miters.

Here’s what the joint will eventually look like:

The apron faces are offset forward, and though not shown in the drawing, the offset portion will be beveled down to the face of the post. Much of the upper portion of the joint will be covered by the crossed pillow blocks, not that there is much of a viewing window on that area anyhow.

After rough trimming the vertical miters on the front edges, the joint drew quite a bit further up:

I looked at kerfing the miter for starters:

That wasn’t working as well as I might have liked. The bubinga is pretty darn hard and a miter cut is right in between both the crosscut and rip tooth patterns, so neither side of the saw was doing just what I wanted. The cut seemed a bit prone to be heavy on one half of the miter or the other, but not in what seemed like a predictable manner. I do have a small special tooth pattern diagonal-cutting saw, but decided that another approach altogether might be better.

I had a simple jig sitting on the shelf, made a few years back, that looked promising. I did a few modifications to it and voila! I have a miter paring jig:

A closer look at the edgy scene:

The cut surface after round 1:

Same process followed on the tenoned apron:

As the joint drew closer up, a few slight surface inconsistencies appeared here and there on the broad surfaces where the sticks met. These were readily smoothed out with a plane:

Somewhat closer now:

This fitting process for this form of joint was a lengthy one, as I felt I needed to creep up to a good fit in a very careful, measured manner. One cut too many and the joint would be drawn tight with an open miter, so caution was in order.

Many fit and trim steps later, I was thinking the joint front miter was pretty much there:

Then the face miters could then be rough cut. The result changes the joint appearance a fair bit:

These miters on the edge are to be be left plenty fat until the post gets fitted up:

Frequent checking with the square was essential as the joints were fitted up at each round of adjustment:

As I got closer, I switched to a chisel for those final pares, taking advantage of a shearing cut:

Another corner is more or less done as far as miter trimming:


A hair open on one of the top longitudinal abutments, so another bit of massaging will be helpful:

Probably cleaning out the twin tenon mortises a hair more will allow it to sit more tightly.

Looking at these cut ends, there is an errant saw cut on the left side piece, however most if not all of that will come out when the miter gets trimmed later on:

Got most of the way done on the third miter, however I then noticed it was time for dinner, so all for today. Yep, that’s right, all day to trim and fit two joints! (I had a few other minor tasks to occupy me, mind you).

Thanks as always for coming by the Carpentry Way. Head on down to post 18.

8 thoughts on “A Square Deal (17)

  1. CHRIS;
    Love the growth as the wood is eaten away! Looking more and more in harmony with each step! It is nice to actually see it come together and understand the steps and why the order of the process is.Keep them coming!Thanx!

  2. It's funny that when the first operations were done, milling and moving, storing etc, the weight and hardness of the bubinga is the challenge, but when the joints are “created” the same traits are an advantage. Holding their shape, sharp edges, and hard flat surfaces etc, all while being put together and taken apart so many times. Beautiful work Chris. Oh…. and where is that video of the surfacer at work?…Just kidding.

  3. Gorgeous work Chris. Doing this in bubinga of all woods, adds quite a bit of difficulty to the project. I've been fallowing your blog for years, but this is a first time comment.

  4. Joe,

    thanks for your comment, and apologies for the delay in video of the surfacer operation. Definitely will be forthcoming when I start working all that Port Orford Cedar.

    Bubinga is a great wood for joinery, save for its hardness. It has a slightly sticky quality, a bit akin to Yew, but a more than a notch harder.


  5. Thank you anonymous for venturing a first time comment. don't want to scare you off, but I always appreciate commenters leaving their name. Call me old fashioned.


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