One Down, One to Go

Well, Good Friday is a slow day in the OR, as a result I was asked if I wanted to go home a bit early, save the hospital some staffing money, I said hell yes and lit up outta there before the charge nurse could change her mind. See I work on the Orthopedic Surgery Team, and our specialty is usually pretty busy, and we don't get the opportunity to get outta there early very often. When the chance presented, I jumped.

This gave me a chance to finish up on one of the pair of saw horses I have been working on. Just a couple of loose ends to tie up. I started by sawing all the tenon wedges even and cleaning up the glue squeeze out from last night. Then I set to marking out where I wanted the end notch to be. But something was not quite right.

You can see my brilliance went to work once more, when I was cutting my dado's I measured my cut on the wrong side of one of the lines. I had used the full length of my tri-square to set the depth of overhang, Obviously I messed up on the one on the right, Now I have to replicate this error when I cut the dados for the other horse so it looks like I meant to do that, What's that you say? No I'm not completely sure why I'm mentioning the mistake here if I plan to forever pretend that I meant to do that from this day forward. Ahh such is life.

Anyhow I chose to cut the notch in the end with more overhang. I set the horse on the floor and went to town with the rip saw.

Then I went to work on the patch where I had the knot knock out while I was chopping the mortises, I was musing on here about a type of wood putty. . . I just didn't really like that idea. As I sat and looked at it this morning I decided a dutchman patch would be just the trick. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before. Thank god it did now.  In the pic below you can see the chiseled out area for the patch and the two pieces of pine I sized to fit the hole. The knot hole looks smaller because it obliterated one corner of the patch area, so I glued and pounded a little chip of scrap into place to even it out . . . a dutchman under a dutchman . . . brilliant! 
I let the piece dry in place for about 15 minutes, tinkered around with rounding some corners and planning where the holes would fall for the ability to use holdfasts, After time was up I planed the patch flat and was very happy with the result. There are several other chips and knock outs that I could have patched as well, nothing as bad as where this knot fell. This was cheep, super dry construction lumber, It would crack and split if you looked at it crosseyed. I decided that I would leave the rest, I am not constructing a thing of beauty here, I'm building a tool, and several blemishes, as long as they do not affect the function, are more than acceptable.

I do have the one confession here to admit. This horse was supposed to be done with all hand tools, and 99% of it was, in the course of today I discovered that I lack a 3/4 inch brace bit (or I have seriously misplaced it in all the recent moves across the country) either way I had none today to drill the holes for the holdfasts. I did not have the patience today to go to the antique stores in town to try and dig one up, nor did I want to wait for that gem I bought on eBay to show up at the door. I took the bait, chucked a forstner bit into the cordless black and decker drill, and blasted out the holes.
There I feel better with that off my chest.

To finish up I gave the horse a good coat of Danish Oil, and set her off to dry, Like I said one down, one to go.




  1. Looks really good! Great save with the notch. See, it really did want to be a traditional saw bench.

  2. Found this first on LumberJocks then just finished reading the whole story. Great work and a fun read! Given your space limitations in your workshop (I'm almost in the same boat but not quite as small) you may, like me move outside when weather allows. The saw benches are perfect companions. Before you build your second one, you may want to consider making it not quite an identical twin.
    You may find it helpful to add a 2 1/2" gap down the middle of the top and make a couple of saddles for a 3/4" pipe clamp. It gives you a lot of clamping flexibility for when you are away from your main bench. Details here
    You wouldn't need to alter much else in your design.


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