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Benchcrafted Roubo Workbench #9: Condor Tails - or Not

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 01-17-2022 10:58 PM 792 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: A little of this and some of that Part 9 of Benchcrafted Roubo Workbench series Part 10: Tail Vise Installation Screw Up »

You could make end caps that are secured to the top with the barrel bolts and a mortise and tenon. However, I was enthralled with the condor tails or the houndstooth dovetails. Even so, after a lot of consideration and watching Willam Ng and others show how to make them, I decided to go with something completely different.

I suppose it is a variation on a box joint.

I proposed the idea to the folks on the workbench smackdown thread. There was a lot of discussion about how the square corners would handle the stress from seasonal wood movement. Since the end caps will be secured with barrel bolts, the laminate board joints are more cosmetic than functional. The barrel bolts should handle the stresses from the seasonal movement. I’m hoping that will be the case. Otherwise the square corners of the joint will crack.

I started by cutting the front and back laminate joints using a stacked dado set.

After both ends of the front and back laminate boards were finished, the fence was switched to the other side of the blade. The dado stack was left at the same height as it was for the laminate boards. That ensured that the slots would also be the same height.

I made a pseudo jig for holding the end caps securely on end against the miter bar.

Since the end caps are 4×3, one dado was cut on both ends and on both end caps, making sure the same face was against the fence, then the fence was adjusted to cut the other one. The wixey fence readout and digital calipers were a big help getting everything set.

One end cap was clamped in place, then the front and back laminate board were tapped into the joint.

The distance from tenon shoulder to shoulder on the top was still ~1/16” too long (fortunately). I’d say the difference was a result of using a tape measure and the inevitable error that comes with its use.

After trimming the shoulders on the top side with a router and a fence, then flipping the entire top over and repeating the process on the bottom side, I used a chisel to remove the excess from the side shoulders. Had I left the tenons full width of the table the side of the tenon would have extended the full width of the top and I could have avoided a lot of tedious chisel work.

A bit of work with rasp helped with any tight spots in the joints.

The end caps are now complete and the front and back laminate boards fit into the end caps. However, it isn’t time to glue the laminate boards in place yet. The tail vise needs to be set first. That will be the next entry. Yes, this is just like a Hollywood movie, 3 chapters when 1 or 2 would have done just as well.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"



8 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10290 posts in 2042 days


#1 posted 01-18-2022 03:12 AM

It’s still progress, Earl. Glad you’re getting some work done on the bench and it’s getting closer to being a functional part of the shop.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

21716 posts in 2598 days


#2 posted 01-18-2022 01:01 PM

Looks good to me Earl :-) They ain’t condor tails but everybody has condor tails. I hereby christen your joint Earl’s Tail!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

5519 posts in 3807 days


#3 posted 01-18-2022 03:59 PM

I was thinking buzzard tail, or pig tail, maybe corn cob. Sliding dumbass is already taken.

I should get the tail vise entry written up tonight. It should be a little more interesting.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

5168 posts in 2784 days


#4 posted 01-18-2022 06:08 PM

Good progress Earl, I like the “Earl’s Tail” design :) I hope you remembered to trim back the tenon when you had to trim the top back.
Looking forward to the next installment of this adventure.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

5519 posts in 3807 days


#5 posted 01-18-2022 06:18 PM

Duck – I had to take a bit off the tenon. I used the ROS with some 120 grit paper rather than trying to hang a circular saw off the end and then flipping the top over and doing the same thing again. The circular isn’t quite tall enough to get it all in one pass.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

5168 posts in 2784 days


#6 posted 01-19-2022 12:01 AM

Yeah, there have been times I wish I had one of those circular saws with a 14” blade.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9602 posts in 2847 days


#7 posted 01-19-2022 03:30 AM

I like the look of the Earl’s tails. A sliding dumbass would have been nice too but tomato/toe-mot-toe.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

5317 posts in 2198 days


#8 posted 01-20-2022 05:16 AM

I deem that the Swiss Tail! Very unique!

Looking excellent Earl. Very excited for you. Having something you put that much effort into and looks as good as it does to walk into when you go to the shop is worth every penny/bit of effort imo. It just encourages creativity and better work overall.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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