Friday, 7 February 2014

Will a Round Peg in a Square Hole Work...

How many of you guys miss new additions to Kari's blog, http://villagecarpenter.blogspot.ca? Damn I miss that girl. I hope she is doing well and still makin' sawdust.

So I got the body pieces of recycled oak stripped on their glue-up faces. It didn't take as long as I expected, but it still took a fair bit of time. I'm not really big on killing myself for my hobby, so when I get involved in boring, physical jobs like this, I'm not one for sticking to it. I do this, after all, for the pure enjoyment and somehow, slugging my guts out for hours on end doesn't quite have that ring to it.

I have done some gluing up with these pieces, making four glue-ups with three pieces each and one with 2 pieces, leaving two other pieces on their own. I decided that putting the entire thing together and then drilling all the holes was more work than necessary, given these pieces are only 24½" long by 3¼" high. I can see dealing with the holes after the assembly is done if your making a 12' bench like Richard is over on The English Woodworker blog (read about it here), but not one that is only going to be 31" long soaking wet.

I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not square or round holes would make any difference to the function of the screw and two stabilizers and couldn't think of one reason why they wouldn't. I came to the conclusion that as long as they all ran in close-quarters to their holes, whether those holes had square corners or no corners at all didn't make much difference. As a result, the hole for the 1" stabilizers in the two single pieces will be cut with a saw, rather than a drill, and the two-piece glue-up for the 1½" screw will be done in the same way. I will have to plane their facing pieces a bit with a round plane to expand the holes to fit, but again, doing them this way is far more exact than trying to drill 14" deep holes on the true after the assembly is completed.

The four glue-ups of three pieces each are for the dog-holes, a slight change from my original design. Whether these holes are drilled before assembly or after doesn't make a lick of difference to the way the dogs will work, so why not speed up the process and ensure they are square to the top by drilling them all out on my drill press before assemble? Sounds like a plan to me.

I've labelled the pieces here so you can see what they are for.
To ensure that I have a flat, square surface to work from, I planed down the bottom surface on all of them by first wasting material using a No.5 with a convex blade, then smoothing them out with a No.6. This way I'm sure the dog holes will be square and the screw and stabilizers will run true.
This shot shows a bottom surface after making it true
and square, as well as the tools used to do it. All
seven glue-ups have been treated the same way.
I'll get back to you again after I have drilled the 32 dog-holes and cut the three passageways.

Peace,

Mitchell