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1 bent leg !

Welcome! Forums Project Series Workbench 1 bent leg !

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  • #554927
    Mark Ridley
    Participant

    Hello All,

    Building this bench is taking me a long time – but I can see the finish line.

    I actually made the two leg assemblies first, as I had some pieces of timber already at home. These were my first real go at M&T joints – and they seemed to come out OK – and the pieces all fit together, and felt sturdy. I decided to glue these up and put them aside.

    Some weeks later I have laminated the top and planed it to near finish, and laminated the aprons, and cut the wedges … so far so good.

    I then marked out and cut the apron recesses. It took some time, but I did it carefully ensuring that I had nice right-angles where the legs would fit into the hollowed out piece.
    Then it was time to make a first dry assembly ….

    From the title here, you can guess what I have found … three of the legs fit nice and snuggly in their recesses, but the final one fits OK at the top but is about 3-4 mm out by the time it passes the bottom of the apron (on the inside of the recess).

    Now I am not sure what has happened to make this bent, as the uprights were all perfectly straight before I glued them up … now admittedly one (at least) of my M&T joints might not be perfectly straight – and this may have bent the offending leg.

    This wonky leg is the one that would be closest to the vice – so I feel I need to do something, as this is likely to be taking most of the strain.

    So – do I cut/plane a very thin wedge to fill this small gap?
    Ignore the gap and just ensure that the bolt is good and tight?
    Try a couple of clamps to try and straighten the leg when it is in situ, and quickly get the wedge in the other side?
    Any ideas ?

    Mark

    #554928
    Jim Thornton
    Participant

    Hello All,

    Building this bench is taking me a long time – but I can see the finish line.

    I actually made the two leg assemblies first, as I had some pieces of timber already at home. These were my first real go at M&T joints – and they seemed to come out OK – and the pieces all fit together, and felt sturdy. I decided to glue these up and put them aside.

    Some weeks later I have laminated the top and planed it to near finish, and laminated the aprons, and cut the wedges … so far so good.

    I then marked out and cut the apron recesses. It took some time, but I did it carefully ensuring that I had nice right-angles where the legs would fit into the hollowed out piece.

    Then it was time to make a first dry assembly ….

    From the title here, you can guess what I have found … three of the legs fit nice and snuggly in their recesses, but the final one fits OK at the top but is about 3-4 mm out by the time it passes the bottom of the apron (on the inside of the recess).

    Now I am not sure what has happened to make this bent, as the uprights were all perfectly straight before I glued them up … now admittedly one (at least) of my M&T joints might not be perfectly straight – and this may have bent the offending leg.

    This wonky leg is the one that would be closest to the vice – so I feel I need to do something, as this is likely to be taking most of the strain.

    So – do I cut/plane a very thin wedge to fill this small gap?

    Ignore the gap and just ensure that the bolt is good and tight?

    Try a couple of clamps to try and straighten the leg when it is in situ, and quickly get the wedge in the other side?

    Any ideas ?

    Mark

    Have you ever noticed it’s always the last piece that doesn’t fit. Just about the time a person thinks they have it made! LOL

    Anyway….my thought is to start measuring and figure out just exactly where the “wonkiness” is coming from. That will dictate your solution. They apron itself might have a twist.

    If you can't afford to do big things...........do small things in a big way!

    #554929
    Mark Ridley
    Participant

    Thanks Jim … Murphy’s (or is it Sod’s) Law definitely applying here …

    I put a straight edge on the leg …. so I know it is (mainly) that leg …

    I had a thought that I could swap the back set of legs to the front, and recheck them all again … but when I did the marking out of the aprons I actually used the legs and wedges for where they are supposed to go, in case there was any deviation in size …. so swapping leg assemblies over might uncover more ‘gaps’ … we will see this weekend.

    #555674
    Mike Nichols
    Participant

    I had a similar snafu on one of my leg assemblies due to a twist.
    I took the agile/pragmatic road and figured it was a bench so did a combo of these you suggested:

    Ignore the gap and just ensure that the bolt is good and tight?
    Try a couple of clamps to try and straighten the leg when it is in situ, and quickly get the wedge in the other side?

    I _could_ have gone back and built another leg assembly but really it is rock solid even with a bit of gap due to the apron housings, the bolt and the wedge so I figure I can make a “perfect” bench later after I get learn more. Fact is these are beefy mortises we are chopping and I am not a “natural” at it yet so will have to accept a bit of offness while I hone my skillz.

    I know that doesn’t directly advise you but reading a similar mindset from other workers here helped me move on to the goal of building furniture so thought it might help. Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Mike Nichols.
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