Alright, so next up we need to square those table tops. The circular saw was on a job site so we had to resort to the router and a straight edge. Not my cup of tea so I asked Nathan to do it for me. I hate routers. One slip and *poof*, all those hours wasted.
Then we'll need some elongated mortises in the breadboard ends. I bought the Lee Valley Premium Hollow Chisels and they work SO much better than the stock set that came with my Steel City Mortiser. Holy crap they cut with so little resistance it's like a new machine. We took turns drilling mortises because it was actually fun for once. I thought this would take me 2 hours (usually does). Took 30 minutes to drill 20 mortises.
I should have drilled the drawbore holes before drilling the mortises, but no big deal.
What's this?! A MISTAKE?! How dare you!?
I was so certain that a 3/8" diameter peg would both look right and be the right choice for strength. Nope. It looked so out of proportion that I immediately regretted not testing out my theory on scrap first. We cut a plug from red oak (all we had available) and glued it in. Sawed it flush and drilled a 1/4" hole inside it. No one will notice unless they look right at it. And I think the aniline dye will even out the wood tones anyway.
Took both of us to cut the wide tongues on the tabletops using the dado stack on the table saw. One person to press down to make sure the blade cuts to the full depth, and the other to push it through.
A nice tight fight.
A smattering of tools for this step in the process. It's important to slow down here and take your time. You really want this joint to fit snugly without any unsightly gaps. I went too fast. Now I have some unsightly gaps. I won't show them to you though. Not when I'm this sober.
Oh! Also, another mistake. :D I should have left the breadboard ends 2 inches long on both sides so that I'd have something to hammer against to disassemble a tight fitting dryfit. :P I think I gave myself 3/4" on one side. Not ideal. Learn from my mistakes!
Alright, slow and steady here, measure multiple times and make sure you've got it laid out correctly.
All cut up and ready for glue. Notice the elongated peg holes and that the glue is only on the center tenon. That means I learned from and successfully avoided TWO previous mistakes. :)
I spring jointed the breadboard ends so that they would provide extra pressure on their outer reaches, so one clamp in the center should have been enough to pull the joint tight, but I must not have been perfectly straight, so a second clamp helped. With that one drawbore peg hammered in, I shouldn't need anymore clamps at all, but I kept using them as insurance.
36 drawbore pegs and not a single blow out. Amen! I did have a few pegs splinter apart while pounding them in, so I just pounded a peg from the other side to push it back out. No big deal. I spent a lot of time rounding the tips of the pegs and filing the entrances to each hole with my rattail rasp until just a sliver of oak was providing the mechanical leverage of the drawbore.
Cut 'em flush and smooth the breadboard ends to be flush with the rest of the top.
Of COURSE I'd cause more tear out. Goddammit. This was a really deep tear, too, so there's no way I could smooth it without making a huge divot. So I decided to try wood filler and hope that it would blend in when I applied the finish. (It did.) Newly applied wood filler on the left... and me pointing at a sanded spot of wood filler to show that you can't really see it all that much.