New router table base – Day 5

(Sixth day elapsed)

The mistakes have arrived.

After four days of really good progress and feeling good, the first hiccups arrived today. I still contend the overall mood of the day was good, but it does mean that I have some work to do to get things back on the right track.

So I left off yesterday with having to put the mortises in to secure the middle divider panel. I used the power switch panel to mark where the back panel mortises needed to go. Before I set it down on the back panel at just the right spot, I put tenons back in so that I could get another visual. I put tenons in each of the shelf mortises on the power switch panel, and put them together again. Except, I wasn’t paying good enough attention, and one of the tenons didn’t line up with the mortise. As a result, I ended up blowing out the mortise on the face of the panel. Dang. I took the tenon out and used one of my glue injectors to put the veneer back to how it should be. A couple of squeeze clamps and I set that panel aside for now.IMG_20160224_165810099

That was an easy enough fix, if it works, so moving on to what the task was. Since I had already marked the middle divider on both sides, I just had to make all the mortises where I needed to. Long story short, everything lined up just peachy.

With the middle divider all done, I needed to put mortises in the left back panel to connect up with the back. That also went fine and lined up properly. It was time to put all the panels together in a dry fit mockup. This is where my mistake was revealed. Everything lined up beautifully, all the tenons I did (selectively) went into the mating mortises.

However, something I did on purpose when the project began was forgotten until this very moment. I increased the size of the bottom panel and made it oversize, with the thought of trimming it up to fit the rest of the panels just right. Unfortunately I almost immediately forgot that plan when I cut the mortises for the bottom panel first. Of course, I registered off the edges of the panel. Only when the whole thing came together did I realize the error, which is about 1/4″ between the middle divider and power switch panel where they meet the bottom panel.

IMG_20160224_173950756 IMG_20160224_173946578

You can see the difference between the top and bottom in the pics. This can be fixed. What I’ll need to do is to plug the mortises and flush trim them. Then I can trim up the bottom panel and left back panel down to what they need to be. Then I can put the edge banding back on, cut new mortises that match for the bottom panel (only), and it all goes together like it should. Should be a 45-minute delay, tops. The track saw will do the heavy lifting.

So, a setback, but a manageable one. I was simply amazed how otherwise the entire thing came together with no drama, just as I planned. My new approaches to taking my time and being completely sure paid off in a big way. I don’t mind making mistakes as long as I can fix them easily. It is going to be a really nice addition to the shop.


Tomorrow is a midterm and some good work progress to be made, so I can’t guarantee I’ll get any shop time. If I do though, I probably won’t get to making shelf/drawer holes because of the error.

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