The base of the desk is done, sixteen mortise and tenon joints glued and pinned. It is square in three dimensions and the joints are tight. Not perfect, but definitely a personal best. A professional would have starved to death if he or she spent as many hours as I did on this, but I eventually got there.
When things go well for me and I get to the very last step of a major project that I have invested a lot of time in, I start to feel dread. If you have ever had something go disastrously wrong at the very end, as I have, you'll understand. In this case, the last step was drawboring and I chickened out. I have long Bessey clamps, so I am not as dependent on drawboring as woodworkers in the distant past were. I chose to glue the frame together, clamp it, let it dry thoroughly and then pin the joints with the clamps in place, producing something close to a drawbore I think. Even then, there was almost a problem. I made the pins on my drill press with this Lee Valley tenon cutter. I discovered to my chagrin when installing the first one that it cuts the pins .01" oversize and I had to really wail on it to get it in. After that I carefully sanded down each pin to be about .003" oversize and things went fine. It was laborious and I will not do this again until I purchase a dowel plate.
As I wrote previously, I originally intended to put a lower stretcher across the back and eliminate the traditional center stretcher because it interferes with the legs of the user. In the end, I decided to add another lower stretcher near the back where it won't interfere with the legs at all. It has a nice through tenon that makes an attractive design element.
Here is the desk with the top on. You may notice something missing. That is the subject of my next post.