Tréteau 31 -finis!

The last matter to deal with on this project is the fitting of the sacrificial cap. I managed to obtain a nice piece of vertical grain Fir from the architectural millwork shop down the street, for $6. Price was right! I wanted something a bit softer than the Canarywood, a material that would not be too slippery in surface quality, and the Fir fit the bill perfectly.

I made up a MDF jig to rough out the sliding dovetail mortises, of which there are 6 in total to be cut in the top and cap:

A few steps later, the mortises were roughed out:

Then a little chisel work to square up the drop in sections – here on the Fir cap:

A run in with a dovetail bit and a little more chisel work and the mortises were complete:

Then I made up the double dovetail keys in a scrap piece of white oak, and checked the fit of the keys:

The fit was acceptable, so I glued them in place.

Next, I started cutting the trench for the locking pin:

I checked the pin against the trench to see how it fit:

Next, I installed the cap, slid it forward and transferred marks from the beam to the cap:

The trenched parts complete:

Install – the parallelogram shaped pin is Honduran Mahogany, which is about half-way in between the hardness of the Fir and the Canarywood:

Peek-a-boo out the other side:

Last step was to clean up the cap with a few planing passes and some chamfering:

Here it is, at last all done and ready for use:

The other side:

For the near term, I’ll leave the fixing pin a bit long, and then run it in and out a few times before trimming it flush at some future point. The cap is also slightly proud of the beam to act as a bit of a bumper to keep the beam underneath it in better shape longer (I hope).

All in all it came out well, though not all the fits are as nice as I would like them due to an error in the glue-up process. The main point was to learn a layout method which would apply to roof carpentry, and in that respect it has been a very worthwhile undertaking. The sawhorse should last a while – I wonder how much weight it can take? I won’t be doing any destruction testing though, hah-hah!

Thanks for dropping by today. I wonder what I’ll find to write about next time?

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