I approach the final glue-up on the accent table very carefully. The four mortise and tenon joints yet to be glued are the only joints resisting side-to-side racking of the piece. These joints need to be nicely fitted not only at the tenons, but also at the shoulders.
Below, you can see two of the joints I'm talking about.
Pushed together, it quickly becomes apparent that the fit is not yet satisfactory. While the near joint in the photo below is tight at the bottom, it is not at the top.
Fortunately, there is a solution. First, I mark the surface of the leg with a pencil at all the locations where the shoulder of the stretcher touches, or nearly touches, the vertical surface of the leg. I follow that with a hand plane, slowly removing thin shavings of material only in the areas of the pencil marks. Then, with an iterative process of fitting, marking and shaving, I carefully continue with all the joints until all are simultaneously fitted. The goal is that with simple hand pressure, I can close all the joints completely, effectively eliminating the thin dark shadow lines such as the one seen in the photo below.
I glued up the four joints in two stages; both on the same day. The set-up for gluing and clamping is shown below. With relatively light force used with the clamps, I added the temporary scaffolding to support the weight of the clamps so that they didn't fall off during the night and damage the piece.
It's rewarding to remove the clamps the next morning; the dream suddenly closer to reality.
Fear Not the Dreaded Glue Squeeze-out
I no longer fear glue squeeze-out. It's fairly easy to deal with if the external area of the joint is waxed prior to the glue-up. Below, you can see me lifting a rather major glue mishap from the surface of the joint with no glue residue at all visible to the naked eye. Later on, just prior to applying the oil/resin finish, I'll clean up the excess wax using a clean rag and mineral spirits, the same solvent present in the beeswax that I use.
And, here it is!
Photos Would Have Been Helpful
The next steps include flattening the top-supporting surface of the stand, as well as making sure the feet set flat on the floor. Sorry no photos. The process spanned several hours, but for some reason I didn't remember to break out the camera. For those with woodworking experience, basically I used winding sticks to measure the flatness of the top and feet. It's important to note, however, that I supported the piece by three points. For example, when flattening the top of the stand, I provided one support point at each end of one end rail and one at the center of the opposite end rail; a tripod basically. This made it possible to relieve the stresses in the long stretchers before taking readings from the winding sticks. Of course, I then used a block plane to do the actual flattening. For the non-woodworker woodworking fans out there, I hope to photograph this process in more detail on a future project.
For now I'll set the stand aside for a rest as I prepare some brass bar stock to become mounting brackets for the top. Until next time...
Hej då and happy shavings!