Building Some Chevalets, a Class Action #2: Making Hand Tools with Power Tools


I would love to have the time to work on these chevys with hand tools without the noise, dust, and sharp whirly things but I’m on a mission here and time is of the essence. In that light, this morning started out (after cleaning up the glue-ups) with dadoing the recesses in the columns to match those made in the face plates yesterday. I am pleased to say I can still count to ten without using any toes.

Next I laid out the mortises in the bases and moved on to the mortiser (sorry, no photo). In order to organize the process I first made sure that all bases were the same width and then cut the mortises with the same fence settings, first with one side and then the other against the fence. This meant that the remaining centre piece was the same width in each piece, I then set the dado for that width and cut the space between the tenons in one pass.

I finished them up with passes on all four sides cut with the column flat on the table saw.

I want these really tight because I will have to knock them down for storage (or possibly shipping). I’m hoping to be able to fit a few of the joints tight and fasten them with bolts. To that end I machined them snug and fitted with a sharp chisel.

It seems that I have accomplished the tight fits as these needed to be assembled with the assistance of my four pound pin maul. They are (right to left) a tall (23"-25"), two mediums 21 1/2"-23 1/2", and a short (20-23"). This should allow me to fit most students up with a comfortable size.

In order to be ready to go tomorrow I then got out the parts necessary for the glue-ups of the arms, carriage posts, and carriage logs. (my terms)

….. and glued them up

I now have eight hours in them and have used four and a half ten foot 2×6′s and two ten foot 2×8′s.

They should take on chevy looking shapes tomorrow.

Thanks for looking in.


The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.


When you’re on a mission, you certainly don’t waste any time!


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

That’s a lot of progress in a very short time.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

That’s an interesting tenon cutter. I have a shop made one and I’ve considered cutting the way you show (on end) but I’m afraid it’s not stable enough to make the pass with large pieces like that. Is it locked into the mitre slot somehow? Very cool toy. :-)

Losing fingers since 1969

Coming along just great Paul.


Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

Brian, it’s a Delta tenoning jig. Mine is an older model than that one but basically the same. It is pretty secure but I pay close attention when I do this kind of operation. :-)

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Thanks for sharing. I like to follow the building.

Not only quantity Paul but also quality. With production like that you could become a Chevalet dealer. I hope you will be blogging your classes when the time comes.

Mike, an American living in Norway