We were watching an HGTV show that Vern Yip hosted about an urban condo they are planning to give away in Chicago. He was talking with his assistant and mentioned places he likes to go to get design inspirations. Can't quote it directly but what it boiled down to is that you never know what stays in your mind when you just observe things that may come out in a later design. He's right!!!, as they were walking around in some recycled furniture store I saw a set of tables that inspired me for the ones that have been playing around in my mind for a long time now.
The first concept was to cut notches and attach the legs into those. You can see I experimented with placement of them on the rear. After doing that and looking at them for a while it just seemed awkward and bulky. The next idea was to have the legs extend up, into the frame with an exposed and splined tenon. This, on the other hand, looked too slim and fragile. Finally, after seeing the tables on the HGTV show I came up with the design I like, that's the one in the lower right side. Good thing too because the Popular prototype for the frame was running out of space! The mockup leg is made of MDF and consists of a through tenon that is angled out 10 degrees to add stability and give a sense of movement. In reality, there will be one centered in the short end and two across the back. Good, you have the design, now, how are you going to build it?
For the prototype, where only one thing is required it's no problem to work it out the best you can but when it comes to making three tables and nine legs plus the joinery it helps to have some type of consistent set up. My work method is to use power tools to basically rough out what I can and then finish with hand tools to refine and fit every part into its proper place.
|Mortising 45 degrees at the rear|
Now comes the mating part of the mortise, the tenons. The legs were left long and the mortise will be cut longer than needed as well. By angling my tenoning jig at 10 degrees every leg will cant out the same amount. Each leg required two passes and are cut slightly oversize.
|Cutting 10 degree tenons|