Chinese Gate Bench-Progress 5

Woke up to about 8″ of heavy wet snow this morning.  This mess continued all day and is still coming down as I write this.  Trying to get to work Monday is gonna be fun.  Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program.

The plan for today was to continue shaping parts.  But first I had to disassemble the dry fit from last time.  This went a little easier than I had anticipated but still took about half an hour of slowly knocking each joints apart.  Once I had the bench broken down to its basic elements I turned my attention to the long rails.  The first order of business was to create a template to ensure uniformity.  I used a scrap piece of cheap plywood to make my pattern from.  A little divider gymnastics and I had the layout completed.  Using a coping saw I cut the rough shape.  I followed this with 4-in-hand rasp and finally knocked off the sharp edges with sandpaper.  Using my newly minted pattern, I marked out each of the long rails.


I then used my bow saw to cut the rough shape.  Then I clamped the two rails together in the vise and used the rasp to refine the shape to the line.  Some further cleanup with a file and sandpaper and I was ready to add the heavy bevel to the edges.


To create the edge bevel I marked guidelines with a pencil using my finger as a gauge.  Most of the bevel I was able to cut with a spokeshave save the inside curve portions.  For this area I simply used a chisel bevel down and pared to the guidelines.  A little sanding and the long rails were done.


I must have been moving pretty slow today because that is about all I was able to get done.  I did manage to profile one leg and fabricate the small blocks that stiffen the end of the long rails.  The leg profile is subtle but adds a bit of dimension to the piece.  I used the same moulding plane for this as I used for shaping the short rails.  Of course it’s the only moulding plane I own, so the choice was easy.


Tomorrow I’ll finish profiling the other three legs and add some edge details to the seat.  Then it will be time for final assembly.

Greg Merritt

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2 Responses to Chinese Gate Bench-Progress 5

  1. BrianJ says:

    Admire your production rate Greg. I have had several setbacks in my current project, but hope to be back at it soon. As usual your project seems to be coming together well, and your craftsman signatures ( your markings, etc) are really something to note.
    Good on you man.

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