Alright, it's not perfect, but it's as good as I can manage on this project. I'll try harder next time. And by trying harder, I mean to say, I'll try to be more patient and stop to resharpen more often and take lighter passes with the plane so I don't take off too much. These table tops are NOT perfectly flat, but they're damn close. Good enough for my brother, anyway.
Hinge mortises! I think I truly enjoy hand mortising hinges. There's something about it that it's just so satisfying. One straight chisel, one small gouge (I sharpened my first gouge! (using Mary May's instructions)), and a router plane. 10 minutes per mortise. I listen to audio books while I work. Dracula!
We didn't care for the shiny yellow brass, so I bought Jax Brown Brass Darkener. You soak the hinges in acetone for awhile, then scrub them with steel wool to remove the lacquer on them. Then you can soak them in the Jax for a minute or two, then rinse with water, wipe lightly with steel wool until you like it, dry them off and spray lacquer to lock it in. These came out fantastic.
Product Review: Starrett 819 Automatic Center Punch
This tool is awesome!
Perfectly centered screw locations. Easiest time I've ever had with hinges.
Ready for screws. Speaking of which. Did you know that hardware stores only sell even numbered screws? These hinges call for #7 wood screws. I had to special order them! WTF! I skipped ahead and started finishing the table tops while waiting for the screws to arrive.
Rule #493: DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, drill through the front of your tabletop when pre-drilling your hinge screw holes. Avoid this catastrophe by any means necessary. I saw some guy on YouTube make a little depth stop like this. Drill a hole in a piece of scrap, cut around it on the band saw, and adjust the amount the drill bit projects from it to your desired depth. Easy peasy.