It’s Easier to Remove More

I’m sick of projects.  I want to spend the next month just sharpening and sorting.  Figuring out what I have, giving away what I don’t need, and planning a permanent tool storage solution around that result.  I’d also like to beef up my DIY moxon vise with an extra board on the back jaw for balance.

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The shop is becoming cluttered again.

But all of that depends on actually finishing one project: my Stent Panel workbench.  I’m very close: four more boards to laminate onto the remaining legs, one short stretcher to fit and a show face to attach to the benchtop.  But then comes the final problem: piston-fitting the leg tenons.  Since abandoning long stretchers, friction-fit joinery has become a must.  And for portability, I also won’t be gluing or drawboring the legs in place (at least not at first).

So far, sizing tenons has been a trial and error process.  I flatten a tenon board, square an edge, and then send it through the thicknesser to just over the correct thickness and width.  In at least two cases, the tenons ended up too thin (by 1/64 or so) for the mortises.

My first thought was to CA glue plastic shims to the tenon cheeks.  This worked fine.  But the correct thickness plastic shims are either hot pink or white, neither of which are a great color matches to the rest of the bench.

My second option is wood veneer.  In fact, Rockler makes a 2/83″ pine veneer sold in 3 sq ft batches for under $9.00 (it was $12.98 including shipping).  I figure a film of PVA glue brings the patch up to 1/32; I can shoulder plane down the reverse side to friction fit. And the face grain to face grain glue surface should make the veneer a permanent addition to the tenons.

The leftover veneer can be used to fill any remaining gaps once the bench is assembled and flipped over.  Measure twice and cut once, indeed.

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