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(This is the third and final post on this subject. The earlier posts about this planing beam are here :  A bench of sorts, a planing beam of sorts and Planing Beam – First Steps . A related post is here An example – planing stops )

So I’ve finished putting it all together. It seems more than sturdy enough, and is light enough to be movable, in pieces, by me working alone. While I admit to not yet having done much chopping of mortises, it doesn’t shift around easily. And the trestles can be used by themselves, if needed.

So far, so good.

Assembly was pretty simple.
-Chisel out the corners on the through mortises.
-Fit the tenon cheeks to the mortises using a plane.
-Chisel off the corners of the stub tenons.
-Drill, dry fit, mark the hole centers using a transfer punch, then drill the drawbores.
-Assembly was done dry, no glue at all, and the joints all drew up tight and rigid.
-Final trimming and smoothing (much smoothing and chamfering was done as I went – depending on sequence and what was accessible when.)

The “tricky” bit was trimming the upper stub tenons to the top rail – the lower cross rail sets the width between uprights, so the upper stub tenons must match both position and size. The lower stub tenons simply be match the size of their mortises. Not so tricky, just required some care and forethought – clamp the lower cross rail to the top rail, centered, and then use it to position the uprights for trimming.

I didn’t apply any finish, and even left the beam top rough, as delivered – it’s pretty flat. I’m hoping the friction will keep the workpieces from sliding about. I may try something different down the road. I’ll eventually have to flatten the top, and my jointer will leave me with a smoother surface.

The blue painters tape did seem to help avoid chipping. My brad pointed bits did well, but did leave a slightly ragged face without the tape.


At Mark’s suggestion, I ended up using doubled pins for the drawbored mortise and tenons. 3/8ths [9.5mm] oak dowels, with about 1/16th offset [1.5mm]. I used a hand drill with a Big Gator drilling guide – worked well enough. (I did firmly clamp the drilling guide in place.)

I left the through tenons proud – I’d planned on flush, but this looked nice and should be just as functional.


The pins mate to holes in the underside of the beam. But honestly, it’s pretty solid without them.


The planing stops, the holdfasts, and the dogs should provide most workholding. I can also use a clamp, a Veritas Wonder-dog, or a does-foot batten, if needed.