Putting the "log" back in Blog

When you cut a mortise on the wrong side…

Posted on March 19th, by Andy Brownell in Around the shop, Projects, Uncategorized. 1 Comment

Typically this can be a pretty glaring error no matter how well  you can patch or hide the mistake. This is exactly what happened to me this weekend while I was marking out the mortise for my split-top Roubo leg glide vise. The glide rail is mortised from behind and then secured with some pegs from one side. The front of it remains exposed on the front of the bench for all to see. Unfortunately, that’s the side that received the first several plunges of my bench-top mortiser. D’oh!

My stomach sank. I only have so much of the Niangon wood I’m using for some bench details. In a moment of frustration that many of us experience from time to time my immediate reaction was the immediate uncensored fricative. Then I had an idea that prevented my type-A personality from trashing the whole chunk of Niangon. After all, my leg glide vise needs to match the sliding deadman and Moxon vise, right?

Split-Top Roubo Leg Glide Vise in Niangon

A wedged through-tenon would prevent me from making a new piece or a patch for the front, and look just as nice. So I continued with the mortise all the way through, flipped the glide rail around and cut the tenon to length. Sure there will be more holes than the standard piece, but I think it will function properly. Plus think of the weight I’ll save in the overall piece! 😉

Split top Roubo base in Maple

I’ve also made some progress on the shelf ledgers for the lower rails and the shelf pieces. These came from pieces that would normally be thrown away, but will look nice with a combination of the spalting and light/dark of the maple. Anywhere I can save money on this Roubo build is fine with me.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade (or a wedged through-tenon).

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