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March 2, 2001

Ellen has been asking me to build a shoe rack for the front hallway; I have a plan in mind and I expect to build it once I get done with my work bench. It will be a mahogany bench with a walnut frame; the stretchers will be connected by a series of dowels for the shoes to go on. Also at one end will be a small table.

May 22, 2001

Well after some intervening stuff I'm finally ready to start on my hallway bench; I've been planning it out in my head while building my nightstand. I wrote the plans for the frame out this afternoon. I am making the frame out of oak, not walnut. I am looking forward to cutting mortises in the oak, it should be pretty easy after the purpleheart mortises of the nightstand.

May 23, 2001

This afternoon I finished writing out a plan for the bench frame.

May 28, 2001

Oops, disregard the above plan. I did my first redesign today and yesterday; instead of having the middle legs be the height of the table, they are going to be the height of the bench, with a rail in common between the table and the bench.

I spent today cutting the legs and starting the mortises in them. I am cutting all of the mortises shallow before I start deepening them, so that I can keep firmly in mind their shapes and locations during the marking process, then forget that and dive in to the cutting. Oak seems to cut like butter after the last mortises I did, which were in purpleheart! I've started all 12 mortises on the bench legs.

May 29, 2001

I cut the first mortise to it's full depth this evening. I'm using a tenon cut in a piece of scrap to ensure the mortise is the correct size and depth -- the joint between the leg and the scrap looks very pretty.

June 9, 2001

It seems like a long haul -- last night I finished cutting the mortises (on the bench legs only). This morning I cut the rail and stretcher for the front of the bench and dry-fitted them; I will chamfer the stretcher and round over the bottom front of the rail before I glue them up.

(A little later) I did the chamfer and the round-over (and trimmed a tenon slightly so the side sits a little better square), ready for the glue-up! Just one thing... I need to get some longer clamps than I have.

July 8, 2001

I glued this up a few weeks ago... trouble is, I did it wrong. I tried to get all the dowels to go into their appointed mortises at once, and could not get them to all fit in properly before the glue dried. So now I need to cut it apart and put it back together, I have a plan to do this but have not got to it yet.

July 18, 2001

It's done! Regluing the dowels was a snap. I put the top of the bench on last night; Ellen is going to try her hand at varnishing it tomorrow.

August 9, 2001

Take a look!