Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mix and Match (IV)

Another spot of work completed on this project. Heading into the shop today I knew that a few mortise walls needed paring, and in rock-hard Jatoba no less. So, I started out with a bit of sharpening. Then it was time to let the chips fly:

Some paring too of course, with the 5mm:

A more or less completed mortise cluster:

After cutting two set of mortises, I decided to see how the Ipe planed. Actually, on face grain, quite well:

On edge (vertical) grain, despite the plane being sharp, with a tight mouth, and a 60˚ blade bedding angle, I had a small bit of tear out on one of the Ipe pieces. this wood has interlocked grain, clearly. I decided to borrow the LN scraper plane from John upstairs:

That took care of the problem.

Well, it seemed like time for the Ipe and Jatoba to get acquainted with one another:

Both species are from South America-  I wonder if they grow in proximity to each other?

The fit was tight, but not too tight. Here the tenons are about 3/4 of the way along:

Another couple of taps with the hammer and the tenons were fully seated:

Here's the other end being fitted, tenons not quite all the way through at this stage:

That one's not totally perfect, but I am pleased with the result. This is the first time I have cut this joint, and it always takes me a few go-rounds before I work out all the fitting issues with a given joint.

I then pared out the remaining pair of Jatoba legs, and thus reached the end of that road, at least prior to completing the fitting, which always seems to require another bit of paring here and there:

Time to fit another one:

All the way down, looking from the inside face:

I can see a small bit of gappage there, and tend to think that I could have housed the whole affair - or done a better job. I can live with it.

The exit side has no obvious gaps though:

One assembly sitting on the jointer:

And then both assemblies were done:

And both sitting on the jointer:

The joinery work was satisfying. The fits are very solid and I suspect that the joints would be adequately strong with just a pressure fit. I may yet add wedges, or maybe peg the central tenon. I'm making this up as I go along. Ipe apparently exudes a chemical called lapacho which makes it pretty much impervious to glue, including epoxy. Some people try wiping the surface with acetone or other solvents, and then gluing, but I've also read several people who have said, after much experience, that  Ipe is impossible to glue and that glue will always fail - there's a discussion on Woodweb on the very topic. Well, I'm fairly used to putting things together without glue or metal fasteners, so this isn't a worrisome issue in the least.

There are a few more mortise and tenon joints associated to those Ipe stretchers, and that will be the subject of the next post. I hope you'll stay tuned. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.  ➸ on to post V


  1. That has to be the coolest joint I have ever seen. Nice work.

    1. Jeff,

      alas, I somehow forgot to reply to your comment, and many months have passed. I appreciate that you chimed in and like what you are seeing.



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