The most difficult and most time consuming part of this project is not the curve for the legs, the dado’s, the tenons, or even the mortises.
It’s the corner braces. Getting them cut to size with the 45 degree angle isn’t that bad. Preparing the notches, laying out where they’ll fit on the piece, and then making those cuts, is.
I decided to stick with the Soft Maple for the braces. So I ripped a yard long strip off, and planed it down to 1 1/2 inches wide. Then I cut that into 4 9″ pieces, and cut the 45 degree angles on each end.
You’ve got to cut out small squares on both ends of each of those. The depth of those squares needs to be a bit deeper than the thickness of the bench, so when installed they’ll stand slightly proud, and you can plane off the excess.
I easily figured out what “a bit” would be with the help of my cabinet scraper.
Cutting the first line that runs perpendicular to the top of the brace is easy enough. The next cut needs to fall right at the intersection of the two angles (someone reading this likely knows the geometric term that would be good to use here). I think last time I carefully chiseled out a small shelf and cut down that. This time I had another idea. Holding two braces together, I created a vertical wall to guide the saw. It worked quite well for my purposes.
Once the braces are prepared, but before I laid out their position on the stand, I went over them with the smoothing plane.
Laying them out and set just right is sometimes simple and other times frustrating. Once you get your lines right you’re set. You just cut down and then, then, well hell if it isn’t time for the flipping Coping Saw again. I swear, this is the most used tool in my shop.
Given how much I hate this tool, after being good and using it on the two legs, I threw caution to the wind and just chiseled out the waste on the top. No disasters resulted.
At this point I still need to clean up the joints for the braces a bit. Then I’m going over the whole thing with the smoothing plane.
After that I’ll saw the kerfs in the tenons, prepare the Walnut wedges that will get inserted, and glue the thing up. We’ll see how this week goes. If one good evening presents itself, it’ll get done then. If not, next Saturday.