Chevalet Build #2: Starting the build

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 11-19-2013 01:41 AM 1724 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting the lumber Part 2 of Chevalet Build series Part 3: Working on the seat »

After getting the lumber, I had a fair amount of milling to do. Then I also had to laminate quite a few pieces together, to get the thicknesses I needed. Once all that was done, I was able to start the actual build.

I’m starting with the main upright support post and the foot/base.

The base has a step in it, to create the feet. I used a Forstner Bit to create the ends of the the step. I also started to hogged out the Mortise for the Upright support, while at the Drill Press. I then used my Band Saw to cut straight area of the step.

This approach worked really well. I cleaned the cut up with: a spokeshave, rasp and some sanding.

Here’s a test fit of the upright support after cutting the Tenon on it.

The next big step was to cut the notch in the upright support and the supporting brackets.

I used a dado blade and my table saw to cut most of the notch, but I didn’t have the blade hight to take it to full depth. I finished the small amount left with a router.

I also cut the “swoosh” on the top of the upright support, using the Band Saw. I then cleaned it up with rasps and some final sanding.

Next time I’ll be working on the seat and support arm.

5 comments so far

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4633 days

#1 posted 11-19-2013 04:39 AM

Way to go Mike, making good progress here! Amazing how quickly it starts looking like a chevy. I like your approach of using the drill press and the band saw to cut the step in the bottom foot. It looks like you choose one big mortise and tenon joint for the connection of the foot to the main vertical post. In mine I went with a double mortise and tenon. Also looks like you left no room for adjustment in the arm height, which is totally ok just make sure that you are sizing the post height correctly. You may also want to consider rounding over the top edge of the foot a bit more…just for aesthetics.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4137 days

#2 posted 11-19-2013 10:32 AM

I am planning to build one of these myself soon so it will be interesting watching your build. I wish I could get hold of that beautiful wood you are using for the project. Mine will have to be in fir or pine. It looks great so far. Good luck with the rest of your build!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8570 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 11-19-2013 01:56 PM

That’s a very good start.
Looking forward to seeing your progress.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4917 days

#4 posted 11-19-2013 04:11 PM

Mathew – I had the good fortune to sit on a try out a Chevalet a few weeks ago. I was able to get some good measurements from it. I think I’m close on my measurements and should be in the adjustment range of the jaws. I also thought about a double Tenon. With bolt going through the Tenon, I was concerned there would be enough there for the bolt to go through. It’s pretty solid with the one large Tenon and the bolt going through. Also, this still “rough” I haven’t done any of the round overs and easing of the edges.

Mike – I really like Douglas fir, I built my bench out of it. I thought about using Douglas Fir for the Chevalet. I can only pretty “wet” stuff from the home center, and I didn’t plan ahead to give it a chance to dry. I was pleased I got the Beech for what I did. I spent only about $150 on the lumber :).

View shipwright's profile


8570 posts in 3601 days

#5 posted 11-19-2013 07:27 PM

My first one is D.Fir but I was able to get nice dry material. It was reclaimed from a 6 X 6 patio roof beam that had been out in the Arizona sun for about 50 years. It works fine, as does my Garry Oak one.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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