The rails dried over night so I pulled the clamps. The first thing I did was to plane down the little shim that was filling a gap on the rails. It turned out pretty nice, but I just realized that it will be completely concealed when the table is assembled, so it wasn’t necessary anyway. Oh well, it was good practice…
I grabbed the three cross-bars that I glued up yesterday, planed the sides smooth, and cut them to length.
I used them to lay out the notches in the lower rails.
I used my pull saw to cut the sides, and unlike the notches I cut yesterday, when I busted out the notch, I left about 1/4″ to still be removed.
To do this, I got out my massive straight bit and set the depth using the cross-bars themselves. I then ran the bit back and forth over the bottom of the notch and got a glass-smooth bottom.
I test fit the cross-bars in the two notched pieces.
I paired each of the notched pieces up with an un-notched one and glued them together.
I clamped them up and moved on to the top rails.
I set the top rails upside down into the notches of the side legs. This allowed me to mark the exact depth of the notches I needed to cut into the bottom of the top rails. I then marked out the rest of the notches with my square.
I decided to cut these notches with my jig saw instead of the pull saw. Mainly because it was faster, but I also wanted to try another method.
With the notches mostly cleared out, I cleaned out the bottom with the router.
When I did my test fit, everything was too tight.
I started to widen one of the notches with my chisel, but my hand slipped and I discovered just how sharp the sides of my chisels are. I sliced all the way across my left thumb nearly 1/8″ deep. I quickly slapped some Nexabond CA glue (basically super glue) on the slice and let that dry for a minute or two, then came up with a different method…
I thought of a very simple way to open up the notch, especially since I still had the router set up for the depth. I clamped a square tight to the rail, set about 1/32″ away from the router base, with the router set at the edge of the notch. Then I cut the notch wider by running the router along the square. Adding 1/32″ to each side widened the notch a full 1/16″. The sheared shavings from the side were really cool. Somehow they were statically charged and stuck to whatever they hit and wouldn’t let go. The edges of the notch were perfectly smooth and shiny too.
I did another test fit and the rails worked great. The tops were perfectly flush.
I set them aside for now, and moved back to the lower rails. I pulled the clamps on them and planed down the edges. This cleaned up the glue squeeze-out and any burn marks or uneven areas.
I did a dry-fit, and it looked pretty good.
These will be set in the mortises, on the legs, so I set up a stop and cut the tenons out with my router and a 1/2″ straight cut bit.
They turned out pretty good, so I did a full dry-fit of the table base. It went together first try. The tenons on the lower rails were a little tight, but that is good, a little sanding and they will be perfect.
Before I glue it all up, I need to add round-overs to both sets of rails. I did all four sides of the lower rails, but left the areas around the notches uncut. I will finish rounding them once the cross-bars are installed.
I left the top of the top rails square for the table top to mount to, but rounded both sides of the bottom.
Nearly midnight again, so I am going to knock off for the day. Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow to sand everything down and glue up the base.