setting a depth at the edge of the
board, then working your way across.
Generally stay 1/16" to 1/8" above the line in this rough stage.
The next step is rough smoothing
and refining the curve. The surface
is probably very uneven at this stage,
and aggressive sanding is one of the
best ways to smooth everything out.
A 7" polisher outfitted with a sanding
disk works great (Fig. 3).
Now you are approaching your
pencil line. Once the surface is
smoothed out, break out the random
orbit sander with an 80-grit sheet and
sand through to 180 grit (Fig. 4). The center curve
of the seat and the curves in the legs are cut before
assembly. The outside curves of
the seat and all fi nal touches can be
carved after the bench is assembled.
Bringing it all together
Since this open mortise-and-tenon
joint will bear all of the weight, you
will want to use epoxy and two 21/2" screws on each joint
to ensure a strong bond.
The recessed square countersink
holes in the tenon are made using a
hollow chisel mortiser outfitted with
a 3/8" bit. The hole should be just
slightly deeper than 1/2" .
Once the square holes are cut,
clamp the legs in place and pre-drill
for screws. Remove the legs, apply
a coat of epoxy to all the mating
surfaces and clamp them together
again before driving your screws in.
The square screw
caps (Fig. 5) can be made from any contrasting wood
that is 3/8" x 3/8" square. Sand all four
corners lightly at 45° and use the
bandsaw to cut off the cap. Repeat
this process for the remaining caps.
With the tenon in place, you can
finish carving the outer seat curves
using the power carving tools as
the main curves are carved
and smoothed to your satisfaction,