Orchard Street Sofa #7: Mostly chiseling

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Blog entry by AandCstyle posted 02-20-2016 12:42 AM 1347 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Progressing to the leg tenons Part 7 of Orchard Street Sofa series Part 8: A very short day »

I began today by sharpening my chisel. This shouldn’t be a big job, but white oak is a killer. I hadn’t sharpened it after the book case project so it definitely needed some attention. Once that was done, I cut the sides on one of the legs. It worked well, but was slower going than I would have liked.

Therefore, I took Mark’s suggestion (Thanks, Mark) and cut very close to the lines on the sides of the legs with the TS then pared to the lines. This was much faster and I don’t think I gave up any accuracy.

With that step out of the way, it was time to attack the through mortises. I followed Paolini’s procedures for all this to lay out the locations for the mortises in the arms. I laid the end on its side and laid the arm across the tenons.

Then marked the sides of the tenons on the edge of the arm from underneath.

These lines were squared across the top and bottom of the arm.

The inside edge of the tenon is 1” from the edge of the arm and the outside edge of the tenon is 2½” from the edge.

Then I marked the diagonals of the squares to locate the centers.

This is done on both the tops and the bottoms. It is easier to drill down at a 90° angle than some unknown angle so Paolini shows how to “level” a curved piece. Loosely clamp the arm in your vise and align your combination square with the vertical line from the tenon sides. Then tip the arm one way or the other until the bubble is centered.

Then drill a small hole down through the arm to ensure the center is properly located on both sides. This is the bottom of one. I was pretty close, but no bull’s eye.

A word or warning, the arms are left and right, so DO NOT mark and drill your arms on the same sides like I almost did. I had it marked and was ready to drill the pilot hole before the realization hit me. Whew!!!

Then a 1.375” bit is used to remove the bulk of the waste from the mortises. My photog was on break so there aren’t any pix of this. :( Be careful with this step because the forstner bit likes to wander. DAMHIKT

However, he returned and here are the arms with drilled holes.

I sharpened the chisel again, then my final step for today was to begin chiseling out the mortises. I put the blue tape on the lines to give me a little shoulder to hold the chisel against. I find that easier than just trying to hold the chisel on the lines. Also, I put the arm on the bending form (with some scrap under the arm) because I thought it would give good support.

I got 3 of the mortises cut half way through today.

-- Art

5 comments so far

View Scott's profile


153 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 02-20-2016 01:59 AM

Looks like it is going well! Looking forward to seeing the completed project.

View bearkatwood's profile


1809 posts in 1612 days

#2 posted 02-20-2016 03:42 AM

That tape trick is a handy one, looking good.

-- Brian Noel

View CaptainSkully's profile


1612 posts in 4159 days

#3 posted 02-20-2016 03:51 AM

Dude! I’m totally living vicariously through you. I’m almost coughing from the QSWO sawdust I’m virtually inhaling (which is legal in WA)...


-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Luddite's profile


231 posts in 1839 days

#4 posted 02-20-2016 02:02 PM

I’m in total agreement with ‘CaptainSkully’. Great work on the leg tenons, I can appreciate the need for detail.

I don’t use oak much but when I do I prefer QSWO.
Stay woodworking my friend.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View AandCstyle's profile


3258 posts in 2857 days

#5 posted 02-21-2016 12:35 AM

My thanks to everyone.

-- Art

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