Today started with us admiring our end wall cross frame (which we completed yesterday) and then marking and cutting the lower element of the frame to length. This is the sill that’s going to sit on the brick all at the end of the slab. As these ends are going to to visible we planed them.
We then put the elements of the end wall, except the wall plate, away close to what will be their final resting place on the wall.
We then located the lefthand elements of the wall plate of both the front and rear walls in the ‘finished pile’ and laid them out horizontally with the end wall plate – the one with with the one-sided dovetails at each end. With everything straight and level we transposed the dovetail measurements to the front and rear wall plates.
Ben had to leave at this point but I progressed to cut the mortice for the dovetail at my end of the wall plate. Again this was a time to remember to check the depth of cut with the circular saw.
After carefully cutting the edges of the mortice, I added multiple cuts…
…to make the removal of the bulk of the material easy.
I could have gone a bit deeper with the saw as I still had quite a lot of material to remove with the chisel. I thought I’d try a new technique with this. With the wall plate level across its width I chiseled a channel across the base of the mortice and stopped when it was level.
I then worked sideways from the channel to clear the rest of the mortice.
I checked the level of the bottom of the mortice as I went.
As you can see from these images, the dovetail mortice runs across the top of the mortice for the post tenon. However, the post tenon stops at least 5mm below the dovetail mortice so that the tenon does not hit the bottom of the dovetail when the timber shrinks.
I then put the wall plate on its side and repeated the technique to remove the rebate which will allow the end wall plate (the last 15mm) to sit on the top of the post.
The light went before I was able to check the joint but it looks OK. As always it is very pleasing to see the joint you planned on paper come to life.
I finished in the dark, swinging the front and rear wall plates around so that I could cover up everything – rain is forecast.
Tomorrow we will do one of two things. If it’s fine we will finish these wall plate joints and start on the end wall plate at the other end of the building. If it’s wet we will put up the tent.