Monday, September 5, 2011


Well, I managed to do what I did not think that I could do this long weekend. I assembled both sides of the crib. When you consider that my wife and I also attended a wedding ceremony on Saturday morning and a wedding reception on Saturday evening I am surprised that I finished both sides.

I thought that it was difficult cutting 56 mortises and 56 tenons. It was, but the difficulty was in the shear quantity of work. It was more a matter of repetition. Assembling 28 tenons into 28 mortises is yet another story. I have assembled mortises and tenons before but it was usually assembling a frame or assembling legs into a table or chair. Assembly all 28 verticals into the top and bottom took some thought and a lot of coordination, both physical and mental. One of the problems was that you have to work quickly. From the time you glue the first mortise and tenon until the glue the last mortise and tenon the glue of the first set must still be wet so that you push everything together for assembly.

Following my wife's suggestion I poured some glue into a little container then used a wide artist's brush to apply the glue. The brush allowed me to deliver the glue quickly and accurately without wasting glue of applying it where I did not want it. That method helped a lot. As you can see in the picture I used my table saw as a work surface. Of course it was unplugged and the blade was out of the way. I cover the top of the table saw with a sheet of plywood and covered the plywood with newspaper then I propped the frame up on pieces of 2X4. I put glue into the bottom rail then applied glue to each tenon of each vertical as I inserted it into the mortise. Then I applied glue to the top rail, applied glue to the tenons on top then assembled everything together. The trick is to get all the tenons and all the mortises lined up. Once you get to the point of lining everything up it is simply a matter of applying the clamps and tightening everything down. I glued one wide on Saturday between going the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. I glued the second side today after dinner.

I would say that I have broken the elephant's back. the biggest parts of the project are done. Now it is trimming, rounding all the edges, drilling holes for assembly and painting.

The worst is behind me!

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