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This is a nice, lightweight fret saw with a 12″-deep throat for increased cutting capacity. It is a German-made saw and can be purchased new from Lee Valley Tools Ltd.

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A pair of thumbscrews secure the standard 5″ pin-less blades which are tensioned by the lightweight frame.

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Overall, I do like this saw, but not as much as my fantastic Knew Concepts saws.

If you would like this saw, please leave a comment below with a brief description of the first project you would like to make with it. You may enter until the end of Thursday, January 22. I will then draw a winner at random. Even if you don’t get this saw, remember that there is still much more I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new! Please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

Maple Trestle Table, Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL)

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside; and
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks I haven’t worked on the table for four days and I’m finally getting a chance to get back at it today! Follow along with #flairww. -2:24 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I left off, I had just finished flattening the table top. Joinery between the two slabs comes next. #flairww -2:26 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve laid out on the faces where I want the mortises to be located. There will be three 3″-long mortises. #flairww -2:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I can use the same layout for the other side, I put pencil marks on my aluminum ruler. #flairww -2:41 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The layout of the second half was ridiculously easy. Now I need to flip over the top and separate the two halves. #flairww -2:44 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Maybe I should clean up some of these plane shavings first… #flairww  -2:48 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Two bags of shavings! #flairww -2:55 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks In the shavings, I found the transfer punch I’d used when I installed the battens. #flairww -2:57 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Well, that was kind of exciting. I didn’t break a horse, but I did knock over one. #flairww -3:02 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a socket adapter in my drill to quicky remove the lag bolts. #flairww -3:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks They’re free! #flairww -3:09 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll be using a plunge router to cut the mortises. This is easiest with the surface being mortised in the horizontal position (and the slab vertical). #flairww -3:13 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Had I been able to get a @FestoolUSA Domino XL, I could have easily cut the mortises with the slabs in the horizontal position. #flairww -3:14 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cannot imagine using a stationary machine such as a horizontal boring machine/slot mortiser to mortise these slabs. #flairww -3:15 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want really deep mortises and my Milwaukee plunge router has a greater plunge capacity than my Porter Cable. #flairww -3:17 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my saddle square to transfer the layout lines from the face to the edge. #flairww -3:21 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a large X to clearly mark which sections receive mortises. #flairww  -3:22 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I clamped a straight piece of wood to the router’s base to act as a fence. #flairww -3:25 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Why? I’m not positive that the slabs are of even thickness so I am using the face as a reference surface. #flairww -3:26 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s the distance from the face to the mortise that is important. I used the CS-2 because I’d like them to be roughly centred.#flairww -3:27 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks THAT’S where my CS-2 went! :-P Nice build; I’m having popcorn playing with Domizilla thinking how useful it would be #flairww -3:27 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Thanks :) I hope @BridgeCityTools makes you a new CS-2 soon! #flairww -3:28 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because of the live edge, I moved the edge of one mortise. #flairww -3:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks I like how you Xed out the X for the mortise. Is that a woodworking double negative? #flairww -3:53 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks More seriously, are you going to use the router horizontally or have you mounted the slab vertically like you did before? #flairww-3:53 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I’ve got the slab clamped vertically to a sawhorse. #flairww -3:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve routed the first set of mortises. They are 2-1/2″ deep which is the capacity of my router bit. #flairww -4:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Unfortunately, my Milwaukee plunge router requires me to hold down a stiff plunge lock lever with my thumb in order to release the plunge lock. #flairww -4:01 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My thumb is quite sore after just three mortises… #flairww -4:01 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was a fairly slow process to cut a mortise, too. #flairww -4:02 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And now I need to set up to rout the set of mortises on the other end of this slab. #flairww -4:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can smell burnt wood from the friction of the non-fluted shank against the mortise walls. #flairww -4:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh, I forgot to mention that I’m using a 1/2″ diameter up-spiral router bit. I wouldn’t want to use a straight bit for deep mortises because they don’t clear chips as well. #flairww -4:07 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It took me over 2 minutes to rout each of the three mortises. #flairww -4:08 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I guess I’ll rout this set of mortises on my knees. #flairww -4:11 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I applied some DriCote to the router bit. It’s supposed to reduce friction and keep the bit clean. #flairww -4:15 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to see if I can defeat the sprung plunge lock on my router. #flairww -4:17 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There’s the culprit! Remove the spring and I’m a happy woodworker! #flairww -4:19 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I bolted the lever back on, positioned where it is comfortable to operate. Here the plunge is locked. #flairww -4:22 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And I push the lever down to plunge freely! #flairww -4:23 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I might have broken this handle when I knocked over the saw horse. #flairww -4:27 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm… when the plunge mechanism is unlocked, there is noticeable play in one column. Before… #flairww -4:32 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks … and after. I don’t know if you can see it, but I can see and feel it. Not good. #flairww -4:33 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My Porter Cable has some wiggle too. It’s not as much but still significant at the end of a bit protruding 2-1/2″ from the collet. #flairww-4:34 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide: if you want a better way to measure runout, chuck up a piece of round stock. less tricky to see/measure than a bit. -4:35 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide Good idea, but it’s plenty clear when you see it in person. I’m evaluating my options right now. #flairww -4:37 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks gotcha. got very little experience with rebuilding routers, but i know the feeling. good luck! -4:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide I’m thinking upgrade, not rebuild. I don’t think it’s a wear issue becuse it has so little use. Blame tolerances. #flairww -4:39 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks i did the same thing. went from old craftsman to new bosch. = night & day. -4:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Nice. #flairww RT @malphrusoxide: @FlairWoodworks i did the same thing. went from old craftsman to new bosch. = night & day. -4:41 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide I have a Bosch 1617EVS plunge router somewhere… gonna find it and see how it feels. #flairww -4:42 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks cool. forget which model bosch i ended up with. was working against a deadline so i didn’t get to shop around like i prefer. -4:43 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have no idea where the plunge base is. I never change the Bosch 1617 bases because it is very difficult. #flairww-4:46 PM Apr 30th, 2012

DyamiPlotke: my local tool monger has a number of used 3HP PC plunge routers in stock now if you need a new one. -4:52 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I found the plunge base and managed to swap over the router without any drama. The plunge feels good! #flairww -4:53 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Are they good? #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: my local tool monger has a number of used 3HP PC plunge routers in stock now if you need a new one. -4:54 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The Bosch 1617EVS plunges about 2-3/8″ so it might work.#flairww -4:56 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This table will be for sale when it is complete. E-mail me if you are interested. #flairww -5:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So far the cost is a Domino XL and OF1400 :) #flairww -5:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I have 1 I bought used & like it equal 2 my Festool OF2000 Different feel but both very nice The PC is big & well balanced -5:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks dominoXL v. domino… thoughts? worth the extra coin? -5:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide Totally different applications. For me, the XL makes more sense. But I already have the DF-500. #flairww -5:08 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide So for me, yes. #flairww -5:08 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To ensure the fence is positioned the same on my Bosch router, I first plunged the bit into an existing mortise. #flairww -5:16 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ok… my Bosch router is now set up. Next question: does the switch work? #flairww -5:18 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yes, it does work. #flairww -5:21 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here goes… mortise set 2… #flairww -5:23 PM Apr 30th, 2012

This video showed how I routed the mortises.  In this real-time video, I routed one of three mortises in this end of the slab.  There were 12 mortises in total.  (Duration – 3:07)

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks routing bits limit depth,but are precise,I tend to cut deep mortises with a mortise chisel. good luck -5:31 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks … and… done that set of mortises! #flairww -5:34 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodshaver101 How long would a 3″ long, 1/2″ wide, and 2-1/2″ deep take you to chop by hand? #flairww -5:36 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So the second set of mortises took 10 minutes… about 30% longer than the first set. #flairww -5:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before routing this mortise, I should check that it won’t go into this cavity. #flairww -5:43 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I moved the mortise in by 3/4″ to be safe. #flairww -5:48 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since these pieces are a little awkward to turn upside-down to knock the sawdust out of the mortises, I’m using a stick to scoop chips towards the vacuum hose. #flairww -6:02 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s the third set of mortises done. I added a 1/2″ deep haunch and will do the same with the others. #flairww -6:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks I have that same set up. Do you have problems getting the motor into the bases? Is the side of your motor all scratched up? -6:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Yes and yes! I took some fine wet/dry paper (dry) and sanded the body smooth. It’s better but not great. #flairww -6:07 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The last mortise has been routed. Now I need to clear out the mortises and make floating tenons! #flairww -6:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My crevice nozzle, very conveniently, is a friction fit in the 1/2″ wide mortises. #flairww -6:41 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So the mortises I cut with my Milwaukee were 2-1/2″ deep and the mortises cut with my Bosch were only 2-1/8″ deep. #flairww -6:50 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to extend the bit further out of the collet (still with a full 1″ in the collet) and make the mortises deeper. #flairww -6:51 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, NOW the routing is done. #flairww -7:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Like my Milwaukee, my Bosch also has a spring-loaded plunge lock. It’s not as stiff as the Milwaukee, but my thumb’s still sore.#flairww -7:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I found some maple for the floating tenons. The next step is to plane it to the correct thickness. #flairww -7:12 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To ensure the floating tenons were the right thickness, I planed a test piece ahead of the good stock. #flairww -7:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I then used the bandsaw to define the tenons. I’ll use a fret saw to finish the job. #flairww -8:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But first… dinner! #flairww -8:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks that should hold good.  -8:32 PM Apr 30th, 2012

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks about 5 min I’m a mortise cutting mad man -8:33 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That is really fast! Can you take a video? RT @woodshaver101: @FlairWoodworks about 5 min I’m a mortise cutting mad man -8:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop finishing off the floating, haunched tenons. #flairww -9:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here is one tenon complete and partially dry-fit. It’s a friction fit and will be a struggle to remove. #flairww -9:24 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the second floating haunched tenon cut as well. I think they need to be a bit thinner though. #flairww -9:39 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I ran the tenons through the thickness sander a few times to get it to the perfect thickness. #flairww -9:55 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a big tenon! It makes XL Dominos look diminutive.#flairww -10:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I get to put the two halves back together for a dry fit with the tenons! This is EXCITING! #flairww -10:07 PM Apr 30th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks I always like dry fitting time – it’s when you really get to see if it’s going to work and what it will look like. #flairww -10:09 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan I’m excited and nervous. Will my deadblow hammer be seeing a lot of work? #flairww -10:11 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks you even make tenons outta slabs! :) nah no heavy work with the deadblow… you’ve thought of everything (I think :) #flairww -10:13 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Hey – this isn’t doll furniture! #flairww -10:15 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The deadblow hammer is for scale. If this doesn’t impress you, I want to see what you do! #flairww -10:17 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first joint went together easily…. #flairww -10:19 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second side is going to need some clamping pressure.#flairww -10:21 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I wish I had some really big clamps right now. #flairww -10:23 PM Apr 30th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Ratchet strap around the end? -10:24 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If it comes to that, maybe… #flairww RT @luggermatt:@FlairWoodworks Ratchet strap around the end? -10:25 PM Apr 30th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks I use them a lot on the boat. Good for ‘encouraging’ big joints into place ;-) -10:26 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With one slab butted against my workbench which was butted against the wall, I was able to use my deadblow to close the joint. – 10:29 PM Apr 30, 2012

FlairWoodworks Next, the countertop connectors are installed and tightened.#flairww -10:35 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then the battens are reinstalled… #flairww -10:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I feel like a kid on Christmas day! #flairww -10:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The dry-fit tenons worked brilliantly. There’s no more than a paper’s thickness in deviation between the two slabs on the surface. #flairww-10:45 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now… should I glue it? #flairww -10:45 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to clean up the shop while I ponder that. #flairww-10:46 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks yes :) #flairww -10:46 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You’re probably right. Might be an intense glue-up! I’ll have to get some slow-cure glue. RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks yes :)#flairww -10:47 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Oh definitely a slow cure; do you have a slow-cure epoxy? #flairww -10:48 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks 5-minute? Um… no. RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks Oh definitely a slow cure; do you have a slow-cure epoxy? #flairww -10:49 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Glue the tenons into one slab then you can take your time to get the other in position; wet w/glue slab 2s mortises #flairww-10:56 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks once in position but before pushing together, apply glue to the tenons then push like hell, man! #flairww -10:56 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy That’s definitely how I’d do it! #flairww -10:58 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks I hear my neighbors chanting ‘Chris!’ ‘Chris!’ ‘Chris!’ I think they want to see glue-up. Man up. :) #flairww -10:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Oh, you…. #flairww -10:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks It was either that or a Canucks joke… #flairww-11:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I don’t think I actually need a slow-curing glue, thought it could make it less stressful if I have trouble. #flairww -11:01 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks On edge, the table is up to my chest! #flairww -11:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Jolly good :-) -11:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Then do your other idea and mix your own TB Extended; first slab do as usual; second wet mortises with TB-Ex #flairww -11:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks When you wet the tenons just before pushing it together, use normal TB; home-brew extended wont skin in the mortise#flairww -11:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Get your brother to snap a pic of the table on edge with you behind it or peeking through the center #flairww -11:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s not so easy to get this spring-loaded plunge-lock lever back reinstalled! #flairww -11:34 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, it wasn’t that hard – it just took some lateral thinking.#flairww -11:36 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m done in the shop for the night. Now for some video and blog editing. #flairww -11:45 PM Apr 30th, 2012

The top is nearing completion.  The legs and feet have yet to be started.  What’s next?  In Session 10, I began work on the legs!

I would be delighted if you left a comment.