Stepladder: Episode 5

Stepladder EP5 Keyframe

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We’re ready to layout the back frame, marking the cross rails for the angled tenons. Then a guide is used to cut the mortise holes and the rear frame comes together.

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22 Comments

  1. Paul Bowes on 4 October 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Very nice episode. I also like the new video approach and the camera angles. greatly improved an already brilliant product.

    You will never now how much these videos and your teachings have inspired me and many others in our wood working.

    Keep up the great work Paul and the team.

  2. Harvey Kimsey on 4 October 2017 at 8:16 pm

    My problem with Paul’s mortising jig is it requires perfectly milled stock. Do you recommmend I refine my stock by hand planing or can I just use the guide on one reference face of my stock?? Lovely video. Thanks!

    • bobeaston on 4 October 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Not one to recommend anything, because I don’t know your work, and because I’m still learning and know the shortfalls of my own work. Who am I to advise?!

      On the other hand, if you have watched Paul’s videos for the past 4 years, you know that one of his most oft used words is “Perfect!” … So, I guess we have to improve our game. 🙂

    • ehisey on 5 October 2017 at 3:28 am

      Harvey-
      You always want to use the same edge/side of the board as the reference face when working with jigs. That way even if you are not square, atleast one side will match “perfect” and you only really need to clean up one side of the joint.

    • jakegevorgian on 6 October 2017 at 5:49 am

      If you have a power plane, I would recommend getting your stock through it and then hand plane by very small amount by remembering the count (one two three swipes with the smoothing plane usually removes the good power plane marks) that usually guarantees the thickness for me.

    • Patrice Gagné on 6 October 2017 at 6:18 am

      Harvey,
      You musn’t absolutely hand plane your stock… if you have a well tuned power plane, it will render a neat enough surface for you to use that jig. But since this course is about being accurate in hand woodworking, I guess I would reccommend you to hand plane your stock instead of using a power tool. What the jig is doing is only guiding you to dig a hole on an adjacent face of a piece of stock. The neater your faces will be refined, the better your joinery will look.

      Regards.

    • Michael Ostrander on 15 January 2018 at 4:19 pm

      You’re right. Very difficult to get that “perfect” by hand. Just reference the “face” side of both pieces with jig (make sure they are either both front or both back) and cut the joint. You should only have to clean up 1 side, and maybe not even that.

  3. jakegevorgian on 6 October 2017 at 5:52 am

    Paul, I’ve come up with a system that helps me get to the bottom with my router plane. Basically I use a sets of flat thin sheets sandwiched in between the router plane sole and the face of the wood, then I incrementally get rid of the thin sheets as I cut each layer down. Probably would be a good experiment to try.

  4. rudy doclo on 6 October 2017 at 8:01 am

    Hi Paul, I just love your way of teaching. Even yesterday a solution popped to my mind, thanks to the very basic way you teach how use the chissel! I had a little problem fixing a wall frame on to a round 100-year old beam (Robinia) and it worked like a charm. Thanks so much.

  5. wdelliott on 6 October 2017 at 9:54 am

    Paul,
    What was your thinking in having shoulders only the two sides of the tenon, but not on all four sides of the tenons? Your mortise hole on the ends seems to be peaking through once the tenon was seated, ever so slightly and was a circumstance that shoulders on all four sides of the tenon would have remedied, I would think.

    • Philip Adams on 9 October 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Hello William, with this being a utilitarian piece, Paul said that he didn’t feel the extra work to get 4 shoulders square was necessary. Thanks, Phil

  6. Raphaël P on 7 October 2017 at 3:20 am

    You don’t seem to angle the mortise in relation to the tamper of the back frame – like the shoulders of the tenons. Is it unnecessary ?

    • Philip Adams on 9 October 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Hello Raphaël,
      There is only a very slight angle, so you may need to make a slight adjustment to the tenon or mortise if they hit. But it may not cause any issues as in Paul’s.

      • Raphaël P on 12 October 2017 at 8:57 am

        Thanks Philip for your answer.
        Very exciting project, so many complexities for such a simple product.

  7. low on 26 October 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Paul,
    The thickness of the tenons for the back frame is 1/4 inch.
    I like to increase the tenons to 5/16 or even 3/8 inch thick.
    May I please know what you think?
    Thank you.

    • Philip Adams on 30 October 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Hello,
      If you are increasing the thickness of the stock, you can certainly increase the width of the tenon. Paul said to increase to 5/16″ would be fine, but 3/8″ is a bit much if you are not increasing stock thickness.
      Thanks, Phil

      • low on 3 November 2017 at 1:02 am

        Hi Phil,
        Thank you for the reply.
        I increased the tenons to 5/16 inch .The stock remained at 7/8 inch.
        Yes, 3/8 is an over kill.
        Proceeding to the challenging part – fixing the hinges!
        Thank you again.
        Best regards to all.
        Low

  8. dotian on 28 October 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Hi All
    I’ve just come to mark up the cross rails but they seem to be too long? The cutting list specifies 16” (406) for the bottom rail but this is the same dimension as the width of the base of the front frame. I’ve positioned the rails as per the drawing and video and have arrived at a length of 314mm for the bottom rail and 351mm for the top rail. I don’t think I missed anything in the video which covered cutting the rails down to size. Did anyone else come up with similar lengths and is there a reason for the longer lengths specified in the cutting list?
    Cheers

    • dotian on 28 October 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Sorry I’ve transposed the lengths – should read 351mm for the top rail and 314mm for the bottom rail!

      • dotian on 28 October 2017 at 6:10 pm

        Goodness I’ll get it right eventually – 351mm for bottom and 314mm for top!
        Time to lie down in a dark room!!

  9. Hunter Heri on 14 February 2021 at 5:04 am

    I had the same issue, don’t worry, you didn’t mess anything up. Better too long than too short!

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