Portable Bench Build (Part 8) Front Leg Cut in Half

The morning started out great, in the shop relatively early. I hand planed one of the faces to get rid of the bulk of the glue and any larger variances in wood. I would have used the jointer, but a 12″ jointer just isn’t in the budget for this project. This makes it so the double leg will lay reasonably flat on the band saw. There are a couple of less than perfect glue joints, but they are minimal and I am more than accepting of them at this stage.

With a straight edge in hand, I count out 5 layers which is the base of the foot on both ends. Draw a line between them, double check that I could still count to 5, yep all good. Go over to the band saw, adjust the depth of cut for this massive piece of stock and zip through it. It went amazingly quick and pretty smooth for its thickness.

Off to the jointer, I finish cleaning up the flat faces, they are extremely crisp. I joint the angled side, the first few passes take very little. This is expected as there was a little wavering from my hand cut on the band saw. Total passes was about 8 or 9, all is good. Onto the next leg, following the same process, when I flip it over to clean up the angle I stop abruptly and cringe. My heart feels like it dropped out of my chest for a moment. I shut the machine down and turn and look at Brad.

After all my planning, extra caution, triple checking, I drew the line at the wrong angle. Ugh, both our brains go into overdrive. Do we cut the middle section out and glue up a new panels? That’s probably a week lost time. Do we dare just glue them together? That’s probably bad as the joint is more end grain than side grain. How about we put pair of one inch dowels in and do the glue up? This seams to be the quickest and most stable option with minimal loss of time.

Yes screw ups happen, and I think its important to discuss options on how to fix things. I don’t like them, I try not to let them happen, I even often over think things to minimize the potential. But it happens, deal with it and move on.

With a bit of layout and planning, I figured spacing for the dowels. Brad grabbed a section of oak dowel from a previous project. He drilled a hole in some scrap, and test fit it. It was loose enough to allow it to slide in comfortably, this will be perfect. He cut the dowel into 2″ sections, four pieces total, which will be two per leg once the legs are cut apart again. I drilled the holes with the forstner bit and started to pray it would all go together.

Over at the main bench we put the dowels in one side and set the other leg on top, alignment wasn’t perfect, which I expected with 4 holes, even the thickness of a pencil line is enough to throw us off. We took the dowels to the lathe, put them in the chuck one at a time and sanded a taper for about the first 3/4″. Back to the bench, into the holes and test fit again. Oh that’s pretty close, I tap it with a dead blow and we are within 1/4″ of closing the gap. Pry it apart and slap on plenty of glue, but only on the faces. I didn’t glue the pegs in, mainly because they were already snug enough, glue would have made it swell more than I felt comfortable with at this point. A couple of taps with the dead blow again and it went together. We added a few clamps to be sure and let it set.

The glue was tacked and cleaned up before lunch. When I got back, I started my morning over, drew the line, cut it on the band saw and jointed it. While I am disappointed that I made such a silly mistake, it wasn’t a terribly difficult fix and I am satisfied with the result and the amount of time it took to resolve. My apologies, there are no new pictures for this post, I was distracted finding a solution to the problem.

Next we start gluing up sections for the top.

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