Dec 16


Finished the last of the crossbars today, checked the fit and fettled a bit, and then thought I’d try test-assembling the base…

That’s the bending jig; it was MDF so I considered it disposable (I must recover the screws from it now that I think about it). And the light was just going, hence the odd lighting. This really is too large to assemble on the bench; I’ll have to assemble it on this. It’s worse for wear thanks to moisture, but pffft. It’s MDF. It’s for the bin anyways.

Mental note, next time do this in daylight; can you see the deliberate error? πŸ˜€ I put the top bar at the end closest to the camera in upside down by mistake and got almost an inch of misalignment at the top, which gave me a moment’s pause until I figured out what I’d done.

When I put the end crossbar in the right way up, it’s nice and flush. Next job will be to cut the grooves for the top panel (and then cut the top panel to size, it’s quite a bit wider than the base because I didn’t rip the boards down; why bother until I had the final width determined?).

That nearest steambent upright is actually perfect, annoyingly. The end (the one floating in mid-air there) is at a perfect 90 degrees to the vertical. It’s making the other one look bad.

So, what’s left?

  • Rip the top panel to width.
  • Add the rebate and bevel to the top panel.
  • Cut grooves for top panel in long stretchers.
  • Cut mortice for back support.
  • Cut back support to length and cut tenon on bottom end.
  • Figure out joint at the top of the back support for the top crossrail.
  • Figure out joints at the tops of the two steambent uprights.
  • Fit top crossrail to back support and steambent uprights.
  • Cut back slats to length and cut tenons.
  • Measure off side slats (because they’re going into a curve, this is going to be fiddly) and cut tenons.
  • Cut mortices for slats.
  • Joint drawer runners into the bottom end crosspieces.
  • Thickness the boards for the drawer.
  • Cut the drawer front to size.
  • Cut the drawer back and sides to size.
  • Cut dovetails for drawer.
  • Groove drawer with #43 for plywood base.
  • Assemble drawer.
  • Drill for drawboring on the M&T joints that I’ll be drawboring (the long rail to upright ones and probably the back support and top crossbar joints).
  • Make drawbore pegs.
  • Finish plane all parts.
  • Finish walnut pieces with a few coats of shellac.
  • Paint drawer with milk paint.
  • Assemble and glue-up and drawboring of everything.
  • Finish entire assembly with several coats of Osmo wood wax.
  • Close door of shed, lock it, walk away and never do another project with a deadline ever again.


Dec 16

In the shed, nobody can hear you scream

So, job one, get the end crossbars in place. Time to chop some mortices with damn near no margin for error at all…

The new mortices for the end panel are within a millimeter of the other mortices for the side panels. In one case, there’s an actual small breakthrough.

But it held and that’s one down. Then on to chopping mortices in the steambent upright, which is equally stressful because if you stuff it up, it’s a lot of repair work.

Awkward to chop too. There was a bit of spokeshave work before this, I figured do that before cutting holes in the thing…

The holdfasts really do make this a lot easier.

Then assembly and fettling…

Ah, feck. Can you see the problem?

Yeah, I’m going to have to rethink how the crossbar at the top attaches here. Poop. The earlier idea of the tenons being on the crossbar and going in from the side probably won’t work. Tenons on the uprights and mortices in the crossbar I suppose.

Then get on with the panel as I can do that now. Squared up the end grain, then marked off the right width, ripped off about 2cm of material to get to final planed width. Took out a rebate with the #778:

And then flip the board over and push it in from the edge a bit and use the jack to plane a small bevel on the panel. Then it’s fitting and fettling and…

Not bad so far. That’s the three side panels done now, leaving only the top panel to be set in place, I’ll wait to get the crossbar idea sorted first, then I’ll rip that panel to width, do the rebates and bevel, and use either the #44 or the #43 to cut a groove for it, bearing in mind that the bars getting that groove already have one groove on the bottom for the side panels and will have mortices for the slats as well. It’ll all be grand when it’s all glued up, but during construction it’s going to be a bit fragile…

Dec 16


Back’s finally better enough to tackle the now ridiculous buildup of wood shavings in the shed…

Three bags full of the stuff in total, stuffed behind the bench, under the bench, all over the floor, in between the boards, everywhere. Of course, just because you get rid of the rubbish doesn’t mean that things stop being awkward…

Job one was to cut that plywood down to size so I could at least get into the shed again πŸ˜€ It’s to be the base for the drawer – I realised that the cedar of lebanon I had for that was not cedar of lebanon but western red cedar. Whoops. Oh well, better to find out now…

Then on to the front panel, which went quite quickly (so much faster doing this stuff with a template).

Then spent a while checking the mattress support platform for fit (it needs a millimetre shaved off one side, which is fine), getting the side rails cut to length and marked out for tenons; I had to stop to go collect turkeys and do last minute xmas dinner related shopping, so no mortices got cut today; might get one or two tomorrow but I doubt it, xmas eve is going to be busy with cooking, travelling to get food to where the clan is gathering (we think; my sister decided not to wait for the cot and niece #1 was born yesterday morning, everyone’s doing well, but this project now needs finishing fast πŸ˜€ and xmas plans just got made fluid), and then there are presents to wrap…

Meanwhile, I was looking at the idea of drawboring the frame mortice&tenon joints again, and knocked up a test peg.

And of course when I went to drill the drawbore holes, the battery on my drill let me down so it was back to the cordless drill.

I’m surprised at how well that drill works actually. Then pointed the peg and drove it home.

Cut it flush, and trimmed by chisel.

It’s a lot stronger than I thought it’d be; I was afraid of joint failure. And I love the contrasting appearance of the wood. I haven’t tested it to destruction (the tenon and mortice walls are much smaller than in the frame so I’m not sure what I’d learn). I did test the shellac finish on it to see if the contrast in the wood held up under successive coats…

I quite like that. And I think the frame could use the extra strength, I expect some tension on the slats. And I think I need to use a wedged through tenon on the top of the rear centre support as well. That could be interesting.

Meanwhile, the shed’s relatively tidy, all the components are in there, nothing more is needed but the time to get it done…