Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" #8: week

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Blog entry by a1Jim posted 05-27-2010 01:11 AM 7116 reads 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: week Part 8 of Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" series Part 9: week »

Charles Neil lowboy build-along, episode #8

Ok gang, we have our legs and they’re mortised and tenoned. The next step is to cut out the front, back and side panels.
Before I go further, let’s review some basics, going back to the beginning. #1. Select wood with the figure you want, check its quality and moisture content. Thanks Charles. #2. Let wood acclimate to its new environment, for as long as possible. (It’s been 6 weeks). #3. Double check the dimensions before rough cutting and milling. #4. Rough-cut material and let it acclimate as long as possible. (Only 4 days, but we should be fine) #5. Re-check the wood for new defects, such as cupping, twisting, and checks.

#6. Check rough cut material before cutting for squareness and flatness.

#7. Double check the measurements for secondary cuts.


Alright, I’m ready to rock and roll.
Now that I have the secondary cuts made, I’ve set up my router table to make the long tenons on all of the sides and back material, but first I score the edge to be cut, with a marking gauge. This is the type of marking gauge with a blade and not just a pin. That way, it cuts the wood instead of just making a scratch mark on the wood.

You might note that I’m using the term secondary cuts; the point being is that I don’t make the final cuts until I absolutely have too. Another benefit in doing things this way is that if you have blowout, aka, tear- out, when routing or sawing or problems in your first cut, you have another shot at having the cut come out right the second time, with the extra material you still have. Charles calls it, “having a way out”, and I agree whole-heartedly.
Okay, now I have the router table set up and the material scribed.

Now I make the first cuts, but again, I take the cautious approach and only cut a third of the way down on our cut. This minimizes the chances of tear-out.

Photobucket The cuts I’m making will ultimately be cut down as tenons, to fit in the legs. One side will be cut deeper than the other side; this means that I have to select which side I want as the outside of the backs and sides and that the tenon ends up the same thickness as the outside edge of our legs. I also have to make sure the tenons are the correct thickness for our mortises.

Now that I have cut both sides of the tenon on the router table (note: this can be done on the table saw with a dado blade but might involve making two passes if your dado will not cut 7/8 wide.)


I lay out the tenons by putting my back and sides alongside the legs by marking where the mortises have already been made. Be careful here, because the mortises on the back and sides are offset and you could mismark a tenon, if your leg is not orientated properly.

After marking them, out I place Xs on the tenons, so I won’t mistakenly cut the tenon off.


Now I set up a stop on the band saw, so as not to cut too far onto the faces of the sides and back.


I now use the band saw to rough out the tenons. Notice, I leave a small, 1/8th “, or so while band sawing. This is to fit into our grooves that we made on the router table. Photobucket

This also helps keep the panel in place after assembly and then afterwards, it keeps the panels from bowing outward during the times there will be wood movement.

The next step is to fit the tenons into the mortises on the legs. This is a process that may take some time but it’s best not to rush it. You defenatly don’t want to force your tenons in by hammering them in. A good fit is important, so as Charles say, s sneak up on it. (Do a little at a time) .

Next time I will finish fitting the sides and back and have it up on its legs

Remember, the techniques I’ve gathered are from Charles Neil’s subscription online webisode, “Mastering Woodworking”.
Charles will be starting a new project soon, so if you’ve thought about signing up for his “Mastering Woodworking” webisodes, now would be a great time.

21 comments so far

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4230 days

#1 posted 05-27-2010 01:15 AM

Jim your going great guns on this LITTLE project lol she is going to look stunning when she is finished mate and a great learning blog for us newbie’s to fine furniture making


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Rotceh's profile


231 posts in 3986 days

#2 posted 05-27-2010 01:45 AM

I think that is a interesting work, you must to have good skills, patience and order. I want say:” thanks for show us, how it must to do it ”, and thank you for all your post jim, you forever have a good words for all people proyects. I think that this words say that you are better person than craftman, and your are a great craftman.

-- Work is my road to knowledge,Curiosity is my fellow traveler. El trabajo es mi camino al conocimiento, la curiosidad es mi compañero de viaje. Héctor

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4421 days

#3 posted 05-27-2010 02:10 AM

Thank you Jim.
How inspiring.
You have a wonderful touch,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18706 posts in 4214 days

#4 posted 05-27-2010 02:15 AM

Keep up the good work.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1594 posts in 3790 days

#5 posted 05-27-2010 02:22 AM

Great job, nice project its looking fantastic.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4291 days

#6 posted 05-27-2010 02:45 AM

Love it, keep us up to date, and are you doing any video of the project?

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 3515 days

#7 posted 05-27-2010 04:39 AM

It looks great Jim, I can’t wait to see the rest of it come together.

-- Mike, Western New York

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3729 days

#8 posted 05-27-2010 06:59 AM

Sneaking…nice looking wood, I like watching your technique for matching the mortise and tenon.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Troy's profile


186 posts in 3602 days

#9 posted 05-27-2010 07:27 AM

Looks good. Mahogany is great material. (A little concerned you didn’t have a splitter on the table saw…)

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4116 days

#10 posted 05-27-2010 07:36 AM

Thanks everyone
I’ve never done a video Pete but maybe towards the end if I can figure that out.
Troy I’ve never used a splitter or guard in 21 year but it doesn’t mean there not worth having or using

View Ken90712's profile


17781 posts in 3727 days

#11 posted 05-27-2010 10:39 AM

Great work Jim. I don’t have a splitter or guard either. Did not learn with one, although have been thinking of a splitter after using one in a class I recently took. Look fwd to seeing the progress.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3603 days

#12 posted 05-27-2010 12:44 PM

Great post Jim. I always like seeing them. By theway congrats on the 30,000 posts..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3609 days

#13 posted 05-27-2010 02:06 PM

Great way to share your skills Jim really enjoying the updates
God bless

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4838 days

#14 posted 05-27-2010 02:40 PM

You’re doing a great job Jim.

I’ll be waiting for the next installment.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

245 posts in 3549 days

#15 posted 05-27-2010 03:05 PM

Really enjoying this Jim

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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