Home / Woodworking / Side Table / Guides and tests

Guides and tests

Well, made a dog’s breakfast of the bandsaw boxes I was playing at. Couldn’t make the turn needed and the blade came out the side of the blank. Oh well. Now I have two paperweights (and one successful box, out of four blanks). I’ve ordered a one-eighth inch blade off Tuffsaws, that should get here next week and I can try again. I’ll prep new blanks tomorrow for that.

Bit of a waste, those 🙁

Meanwhile the older replacement y-lever for the #5½ arrived and I replaced the existing y-lever with it and it’s been a lot nicer to work with since. And no surprise. This is what the more modern y-lever looks like, two pressed steel parts riveted together:

Unfortunately, the rivet on mine isn’t as tight as it should be and even glue didn’t stop the inevitable end result (and if you’re thinking this would interfere with setting the plane you’d be right):

Meanwhile, back on the main project…

The bridle joints involved are a bit of an oddity; nobody really cuts them often enough to get good at them, at least not off the saw, so these are Richard McGuire’s basic jigs for helping to cut them (and the test sticks in the backgrounds, just a spare bit of poplar that I’m using up).

Four cuts, four jigs and the japanese saw reappears.

Okay, doesn’t look too awful…

Ah. Right. Hm. Odd. No gaps but also torqued right the way over. So check the guides again and yup, the shoulder of the cut was just not tidy enough so out with the chisel and a bit of tweaking and another test joint gets cut…

Ah. Bother. Okay, one guide still needs a wee bit of tweaking and we cut another test joint…


Right. That’ll do I think.

Next step, a 12 degree guide and then on to cut the actual leg&apron joints.



  1. Mark,
    Have you paid for any of Richard Maguire’s video projects and, if so, have you found them any good? Have to say, I do like his no BS approach and was thinking maybe it’d be interesting to try his latest hall table build (I just happen to be about two thirds of the way through a console table build myself at present)

  2. I like bridle joints but still haven’t made one by hand that looks good. And these can look real ugly done if done badly by hand. I’ll have to watch Richard’s making of the guides and see if I can get as good looking joint as you have.

  3. Tony,
    Yes, I’ve bought all of them and found them well worth the money. I’ve also pre-ordered his new one (the Hall Table series). His approach really is excellent and the videos are very easy to watch.

  4. They’re remarkably straightforward with his guides Ralph, and those are fairly simple to make – there’s not much that’s critical on them and if I’d made them from poplar like a sensible person instead of using some spare oak, I’d have had them made in 30-40 minutes from scratch. I do wonder if I should test them in oak before using them. Should be okay though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.