Driving the pegs was easy, it is just amazing how much oak can twist around corners and withstand beating. The holes are 1/4″ and the offset is 1/16″ so the 1/4″ (+ a smidgen) peg had to snake through a 3/16 hole. And they drove easy, once I got round the bend (the peg stops, bang, bang, and away it goes). If you look at the peg at the lower right, you’ll see it split as it was driven, several did; I either kept going, cut the split off and continued or popped them out and put in a new one. To remove a partially driven peg, I just used a drift punch to drive it out from the back side.
I waxed the tennons and pegs, it really helped the repeated assembly as I marked, drilled, marked, drilled …
Here is what it looks like when the pegs are planed flush. Notice the difference between the upper left and right pegs – the left pegs had a shoulder and made quite a dent as I drove them home. On the right I wasn’t so beast like and things are nice and flush.
Making the pegs was tedious and there are 24 of them, my back was dead by the time I was finished. I tried using the method Peter shows in the book, that got me a blood blister and a mashed thumb. I tried turning them the lathe, that took forever, I kept making them oversize and got failures because I couldn’t see the trouble spots. Then I started using a draw knife (I love that thing) and driving the pegs into a dowel plate (just a plate I have in the shop drilled with a bunch of 17/64″ (1/4-“) holes). When they stopped, back to the draw knife, repeat three or four times. If a peg survived that, it was usually good to go. I didn’t bother to taper them, just put a longish point on. It still took forever but I didn’t need a test fit.
These are some rejects (I used [up] some pretty marginal wood for the pegs), you can see one that split in the stool, it was backed out and replaced (hmm, actually, you can’t see it but it is the lower left one and is split vertically from the head to the leg).
Later, I drilled out a bunch more holes in the dowel plate so I could step down from 7/16″ to 17/64″ in about 1/64” steps, then I could rive and round (eliminating the drawknife) but I was still wishing for a doweling machine. A pencil sharpener works great for putting a bevel on tip.
Why didn’t I just use the sorta round tapered pegs like in the book? This wood is sorta dry and doesn’t want to compress much at all and I didn’t want to have gaps around the pegs. Wet [er] wood will compress more so you can keep driving the tapered peg in until it fills the hole but doesn’t split the leg.