I spent a few hours in the shop continuing on the base of the bench. With the mortises out of the way, it was time to start cutting the tenons. I started with the four end rails, 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. To cut the tenons I first cut the shoulder with my table saw. This allowed me to cut the depth accurately and give me a good starting point. To help gage the amount of material that I needed to pair off, I made a few more passes at different points along the tenon to act as depth gages. After that I simply paired off the waste with a chisel and smoothed out with my shoulder plane.
After cutting the tenons I needed to fit each one as they all needed a little adjustment to fit. As a mortise and tenon were matched and dry fit, I labeled both parts to ensure that I kept them in order.
Once I had all four rails ready I was tempted to go ahead and glue and set them in place on the leg posts. This would have been a bad decision as there is still a lot of prep to the legs that will be much easier to accomplish before the glue up begins. I started on the two left side legs adding the through mortise for the parallel guide and the pilot hole for the leg vise screw. The pilot holes for the front and back rail were also drilled at this time into the legs.
Once, the left side legs and rails were ready it was time for glue up. With the massive tenons and wide shoulders on the rails, the glue up was easy. I was surprised how little adjustment needed to be made to get it square. With the left side of the base complete I can start seeing the bench come together. With just a little more work I will have the right side complete and ready to install the front and back rails.
Until next time…be safe, learn something, and have fun!