Prior planning prevents…..

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Most of us know how that phrase finishes out. One of my first teachers in cabinet making did his very best to pound that into my head, but sometimes I forget. As I did here in vanity number 2. You would think this would be the first vanity.

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It’s a good rule of thumb to layout joinery while the stock is still square around. This common sense rule is applied daily at my bench but it was forgotten here. I just simply got ahead of myself and this detail was overlooked. Luckily it was just on one, and not both vanities.
The part in question are the two side to side stretchers that serve as one half of the leg bridle joint, and the anchor for the two “floating supports” that make this design what it is. A floating top. The supports are mortised into the stretchers, so you can see how this lack of forward thinking could make or break a project.

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After a moment I decided to put the piece together to determine where the supports would be. Then I took everything back apart again, and locked the stretcher in my vise. Using a small 6″ level, I placed the support piece against the stretcher right where the joinery should be. I was able to trace around the supporter piece to layout the outside walls of the tenon cheek, trusting my eyes and the level.

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From here I used dial calipers to finish laying out the mortise length wise. Trusting my chisels, and eyes once more I marked out the mortises from which I’ll transfer to the support piece tenons later on.

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I elected only to chop the mortises on the back stretcher first. Once this joint is chopped, cut, and pared to my liking, a dry run of just these joints will help me layout he identical joints on the front stretcher, along with level and square.

No harm, no foul.
JT

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