The leg tenons were turned to size with a small chamfer at their ends to assist with entry into the mortises in the seat. With the legs tapped into the seat, the mortises for the side stretchers were carefully bored.
The measurements for the side stretchers were established using two 6mm (1/4 “) dowels, held side-by-side, with one end of each dowel touching the bottom of the mortises and a pencil mark made on one of the dowels alongside the free end of its neighbour. A goodly amount is added to this measurement to ensure the stretchers stretch the legs apart slightly, keeping the whole structure taut.
The side stretchers were turned to shape, parted off at the predetermined length and fitted to the legs.
The legs were again fitted to the seat and the mortises for the centre stretcher were bored into the side stretchers. The centre stretcher was similarly measured and turned.
Before withdrawing the legs from the seat, I made a saw cut across the top of each leg, perpendicular to the grain of the seat. The saw marks are guides for sawing the cuts for the wedges which will jam the legs tight in their mortises come glue-up time.
No longer possessing the physical attributes to swing a ‘toe hoe’ (though in truth, it’s a fairly gentle art); I resorted to an ‘electric adze’ for the initial roughing-out of the seat. The Arbortech and Saburr Tooth discs are uncouth, messy tools and the angry grinder they attach to makes an unholy racket, but wood removal is swift and controllable.
As with my usual regime, I won’t let a machine within two processes of any finished surface, so with this seat, I finished the shaping with a travisher.