The subject was a James Krenov style saw horse, similar to this one (from the Lumberjocks forum):
The material we used was straight-grained ash that Steve had picked up at A&M Wood in Cambridge. Steve pre-milled the rough stock to size to allow us to concentrate on the joinery.
My goal in taking these courses is to learn better techniques while getting feedback during the process from someone who actually makes a living with this knowledge.
This project exposes the novice to a drawbored blind mortise-and-tenon at the leg-to-foot joint, a wedged through mortise-and-tenon at the lower stretcher-to-leg joint, and a simple lap at the top rail-to-leg joint. The top rail itself is retained with two screws, as this piece may eventually have to be replaced due to wear or damage over time.
I used a striking knife instead of a pencil for marking-out the tenon shoulders to ensure crisp edges. Nicely sharpened chisels were available in class to deal with the lap joint notches in the hard ash. Shoulder planes were used to clean up the tenons for a light press fit in the mortises.
I did make one mistake during my layout of the top rail's lap joint (D'oh!), but it won't prevent me from finishing the project to my satisfaction. I can turn the error into a visual feature with little effort.
Of course, I need a second sawhorse to make a pair -