The Glue-ups Begin

The first part of the desk stand to be glued into place will be the long center stretcher. With the surrounding parts all dry fitted and clamped, I can now measure and mark the exact length of the stretcher. I previously cut the mortises a little deep on one end to allow for this final cut to length. A careful crosscut on the table saw and it fits right in.

After completing the final surface prep on the center and curved end stretchers, I then glued the assembly and clamped it up in two stages, one end at a time.

I followed that with surface preparation on the cross beams. these two parts will rest on the long side beams with a lap joints. In this type of joint, each part receives a dado creating an overlap that adds to its strength. First, I mark the dado location on the long beam by scribing along the edge of the cross beam with a knife.

After using a router to remove most of the waste material, I clean up the edges with a chisel and chopping block. The chopping block is basically the same as what I use when chopping dovetails. I just clamp it right to the beam and chop away thin shavings until I get to my scribe mark.

One final pass and I'm ready to try the fit.

With the long beam dados complete, I do the same on the cross beams: scribe, rout, chop.

I've decided to add two 5/16" dowels to the joints, just in case someone gets the crazy idea to lift the entire desk by these small cross beams. Ideally, the side beams and the end stretchers will be used for lifting and moving the desk, but you never know what might happen.

Now, let's see how this all fits together. This joint is on the underside of the desk, so I don't know if anyone will ever see it again, but if I get a nice tight-fitting joint here, and everywhere else, it means I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night wishing I had done a better job of it. Today, this is my best work. Tonight, I can sleep.

The cross beams are a bit long, so I need to temporarily position the top slabs in their final resting place to determine the exact lengths of the beams. Because the slabs will retain their natural edge, each cross beam end will project a different distance from the side beam.

After locating the outside edge of the top slabs, I make a mark, subtract 1" and make a miter cut on the table saw resulting in what you see below.

The excitement is building as I ready each part for glue-up. Soon will be the gluing of the long side beams to the legs, preceded by the final surface preparation, of course.

Hej då and happy shavings!