Atkins Saws


Love Your Saws with Matthew Cianci

  Building the Super Sawbench, p. III - Joinery

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Matthew Cianci
Visit my blog: The Saw Blog


It’s funny how life throws things at you sometimes…. One minute you think you’re alright, and then SMACK… you’re knee deep in pucker-hole debris. This past Saturday was one such day… it began innocent enough…

After my ritual of morning coffee and saw literature review, I made my way down to the shop all ready to start chopping mortises for the super saw bench leg assemblies. A little while in, my mallet, which has served me well for 6 or 7 years, decided to spontaneously disintegrate.

I spent the next three hours clawing through my scrap pile to find a chunk of suitable species, cut and dimension it, chop a mortise through it for the handle, shape said handle, assemble and wait for the glue to dry.

Have you ever chopped a three inch deep mortise in canary wood? without a mallet to drive your chisel??? Not Fun. Yup…that was about it for the day!

Anyway, on Sunday, with the mallet ready for action it was back to work. Finally!

So, now that the stock is dimensioned, I set about laying out the leg joinery. The leg assemblies will each have two legs joined by a massive open mortise and tenon joint to the cross beam that the top will bear upon.

So at this point you’re probably wondering if I’m working from plans, or sketches, or some kind of visual guide, and the short answer to that question is, well, no. I don’t like plans, drafts, mock-ups, drawings and the like. I prefer to have a specific idea in my head and build to that… any changes I make along the way are a result of the process. Back to the bench…

Since the legs of the bench will splay out slightly to add stability, I start by making the angled cuts on the bottoms of the legs. I mark the cuts with a bevel gauge and use my trusty bench hook to make the cuts…

Next I stand the legs up and mark the finished height of the leg for the top cuts…

Once again to the bench hook, and here are the four legs at their finished dimensions…

Are you starting to get a visual? I am!


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