I got to work on the bird’s mouth for the top boards of the bench this weekend. They were quite difficult cuts to do in my little vice. I really could do with some kind of saw horse to do these kinds of cuts on. Maybe one with a removable fence and a bird’s mou…
…oh, yeah, right.
Having established where the round over needed to be (about 2¾” from the legs) I set up my sliding bevel to the desired angle, in this case 65°. I just used an engineer’s protractor, drew a line on the bench top and registered the bevel along the edge of the bench. Then I used this angle to mark a line tangential to the round over and firmed things up with a knife cut and a knife wall. Two cross-cuts and a bit of chisel work later and the bird’s mouth is done.
Next it was time to bore some holes in the top boards and front legs for holdfasts. Not that I have any holdfasts, but one of these days I get some. I knocked up a little jig to keep my brace and bit square (I still haven’t mastered this tool yet!) and bored six holes in all – two in each top board and one in each front leg.
I then bored three ¼” holes in one of the top boards. These are to take the dowels in the removable fence. I used dowel centres to mark the corresponding holes in the fence, and bored them also. In due course, dowels will be glued into the holes in the fence only.
Finally, I glued and clamped the leg assemblies. This gave me a chance to use my shop made clamps, and they seem to work quite well.