I was at our local chapter of the Modern Woodworkers Association gathering yesterday and I told the story of this blog post and was teased about not posting an embarrassing story. If you knew me, you'd know that I never walk away from embarrassment. The funny thing is that I had these pictures all ready to write the post but just hadn't yet. Well, here it is...
After working on the tenon's on all the aprons, I started working on the first mortise. I marked the top and bottom shoulders and the location with a slight shadow edge between the front of the apron and the leg. I then started cutting the mortise. I used a combination of a brace and bit and various chisels including a mortise chisel.
Above you see the initial fit of the apron into the leg. Using my chisels, i pared away material until I got a nice and tight fit.
As you can see, it's a super fit with a nice friction tight fit. I was really pleased with this and new this had to be a sign on how the rest were going to go.
I left this and came back the next day...
...and found that all was not so great.
The leg on the right was the first one and if you can look, I put the mortise on the wrong side of the leg, given that I wanted the taper to be on the inside faces of the legs. I knew that a patch (filling the mortise) would not look great so I made a new/replacement leg and then carefully laid out the mortise on the correct side.
It was very frustrating but I took it as a chance to practice the skills needed to make a tapered leg and a new mortise. The results were still quite good.
Above you can see a first dry fit with the assistance of one of the recipients of one of the desks (Mitchell, my youngest). I still have one more leg to finish and then the work to fit the tenons from both aprons into each leg.