keep your blades sharp and clean, especially when making the many angled cuts. I found that the Teflon coating on my carbide-tipped blade helped in preventing burns.
The joinery in the base of the drawing board is an adaptation of an open mortisc-and-lenon joint. It's a fairly simple joint but requires accuracy. You can see in the drawing how half of each mortise is cut in each of two pieces that are then glued together to form the complete mortise. The tenon is made up of two halves in the same way. The joint is easily cut with a dado head if you adjust the height of the cut accurately. Since two dado cuts come together to form a single mortise, any error in the depth of the dado will be doubled in the width of the final mortise. The same doubling of error can affect the tenon on the front of the end stretcher.
When you begin to prepare your stock for the drawing table, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, for this type of joinery it is especially important that your stock be perfectly fiat. When you're cutting these joints with a dado head, the wood must lie flat on the saw table. If the wood isn't flat it can't lie tightly against the table, causing the depth-of-cut to be off, so be sure to joint the surfaces carefully.
The second thing to keep in mind is that all of the material for the project must be the same thickness. The mortises and tenons in the base require the joining parts to be cut exactly half of their original thickness. If they aren't the same thickness to begin with, nothing will fit right. The safest procedure will be to thickness all of the parts at the same time at the same
planer setting. Be sure to include plenty of extra wood for trial cuts and setting up.
Cut all of the parts for the entire drawing table to overall length and width. For the time being, leave the upper end of the rear leg square and full width. The narrower portion of this leg is best marked and cut after the base can be dry assembled.
You'll notice in the drawing that the only difference between a mortise and a tenon is how the halves are glued together; they're both cut like a half lap. Cutting these half laps on the tablesaw is a two-step procedure; making the shoulder cut, and then removing the waste.
To make the shoulder cuts, adjust a crosscut or combination blade to cut exactlv half the thickness of m the stock, lock it there, and cut the shoulders for all of the half laps. Bear in mind that the two halves of a front leg or an end stretcher are svm-
Use a handsaw for dead-end cuts like these notches in the rear leg.
FIG. 1: DRAWING TABLE
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