Never enough clamps

Well, the vice leg glue-up seems to have been unaffected by its shower, and it’s now a suitably beefy leg (by which I mean, it’s now large enough to look comically too large for the benchtop. Oh well, it won’t be the only thing that’ll look funny about this by the time I’m done I suspect). There wasn’t much time for the rest of the week to do much work (so I occupied myself by buying more tools. Why did nobody tell me this was a sickness you could catch? What the hell did I need a #6 for? Well, other than for preparing smaller boards that didn’t really need the #7, and for filling the space in the tool cabinet between the #5½ and the #7…. though maybe a T5 would help with the symmetry… Oh, for pete’s sakes!).

Today was dryish in defiance of a forecast for thunderstorms and drowning pets, so after the chores for the week and a visit from family were done, I managed to get two or three hours in. I spent a bit of that staring at the top, the remaining boards that will have the leg tenons in them and which aren’t laminated up yet so I can cut the joints with saws rather than chop out the mortices by chisel, the four legs and the boards for the aprons, assembling and reassembling them in my head to walk through the sequence looking for a lazy-ass shortcut. Not finding any, and finding to my disgust that the bench didn’t assemble itself in reality by magic while I was imagining how it’d go together in my head (stupid physics), I opted to assemble the aprons today and cut the leg mortices tomorrow. So I cleaned up the four remaining apron boards (the top two of each were already planed clean) and picked my sides and oriented them to have matching grain directions, and then edge jointed them. Which sucked the north end of a southbound donkey the first time, but by the fourth I was starting to get the hang of it. I guess having fifty-four different planes has at least one upside. Though I may need to ease off on the carnal feelings towards my #7, I don’t think the RSPCA would approve.

Got both the aprons prepped for glue-up, planning to glue them both up at the same time. Got out the cast iron clamps and laid them out, all grand, then got out the aluminium sash clamps and prepped them….

Bugger. I knew this was going too well. Okay, so the options are to either clamp up one apron at a time (yeah, no, this is falling behind already); open the cast irons a bit more and put spacer blocks between the aprons in line with all eight of the clamps, then put the aluminium clamps into the gaps that created (except that I don’t have enough space blocks and that’s a nice big fiddly panel glue-up job that I can see taking one turn of pressure and then bursting upwards like a juggling trick gone wrong); or just use the cast irons.

Did I mention I’m a lazy pineapple at the best of times?

So the aprons are now clamped with the cast irons and curing under a tarp, and tomorrow I’ll cut the legs to length and start the joinery by marking out where the tenons will go in pencil and then assembling the leg frames with the short stretchers as two units. Glue those up, and while they’re curing, start marking out for the record 53A and figuring out how and where to mount that exactly. When the leg frames are made up, it’ll be time to cut the mortices and tenons at the top and the housing dado the top short stretcher will sit into, then the joint with the apron, then the long stretcher, and then it’ll be the final assembly.

Ah, sure that’ll be easy, right?

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