Colgate EALL (7)

Work continues on the three benches for the Japanese room at Colgate University’s East Asian Language Lab (EALL). I am a chronic under-estimator of time – what I thought I could wrap up in a day and a half ended up taking three, ah, well four, but at least the work went without any glitches, so it’s all good.

Some more avodire showed up, quartersawn 4/4 and 8/4 material I had ordered up from M Bohlke in Ohio:

Where staples were sticking out enough to gain purchase, I found duck bill pliers helpful, though with cases where the staples were driven in flush I simply lopped the last inch of the board off:

Back to the long bench, where mortises were added for supporting the bench seat via 6 blind-mortised crosspieces:

Here the housings have been trimmed square and central mortises have been punched in, and, oh yeah, the dadoes for the floor panels have been done:

Another view:

The crosspieces have what could be termed a simplified tusk tenon, sans sloped haunch:

Nearly there:


All the joints I am fitting here are a tight friction fit, with grain compression required via hammer. I chose to rely upon the joinery alone, and these joints will not be glued.

Another view:

A while later all 6 crosspieces have been fitted, to both rails:

Next up is the fitting of the end rails and the three intermediate through-twin-tenoned rails:

Once the long bench was through the fitting stage, I set the parts aside and could at last get into final assembly, starting with the small bench. I jointed and planed the floorboards for all three benches, then processed tongues on the boards.

Here the three seat boards have been fitted to one of the end rails:

The middle board is only tongued on the ends, not the sides, and there will be a space between the sides of the middle boards and the two boards which flank it.

A while later, assembly is slowly being realized:

I found some 1/8″ (3mm) shims were needed to keep the boards at the spacing I wanted. After the frame joints were drawn up tight, I fabricated the wedges, also in avodire, and got ready to fit them:

The only glue here is on the wedges:


As soon as the last wedge was driven, and the squareness re-checked, the painter’s tape was removed and the protruding wedges summarily hacked off with the dozuki:

Though through tenons could be described, especially if they stick out proud, as a somewhat ‘loud’ design aspect, in this case the tenons will be trimmed flush, and the wedges will be hard to spot, so hopefully this will strike some sort of middle ground in the ‘loud vs quiet’ tug of war:

Another view:

I will trim the protruding tenon ends next time, and after that the ‘horns’ on the ends of the frame rails will also be trimmed.

The top was flipped over and a check of the leg assemblies was made, just to be sure all the effort to hit my numbers in cut out was worth the trouble:

Everything was lining up as it should so it’s not too much more work until the leg assemblies are installed and wedged:

That bit of fun will wait until the start of next week. The weekend is here and Saturday will be a nice day so I will make hay, as they say, outside of the shop while the sun shines. Gardening season is just getting going.

Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way. Comments always welcome. Have a great weekend! Post 8 is up next.

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