Sunday, November 20, 2011

Diane's Saying I Always Hear!

     A number of years ago, Diane and I would head out to the desert to paint, run, read, and get away from it all.  I'd do a couple hour run while she set up her easel and found her subject.  When I came back I'd read and just watch her work.  Well, she tends to talk to herself (don't we all!) and I asked her one time what she said.  Her reply has stuck with me: "I work until I get to a problem, figure that one out, and work until I get to the next problem".  It made so much sense to me that I've been approaching my work that way ever since.

Nice Legs!!

     For the trio of tables I'm working on there have been many design and construction problems that needed solving.  Angles, joinery, bevels, etc. all compound the complexity.  I've just completed the legs.  I knew I wanted a lightness to them so a taper and a beveled face seemed appropriate.  The first step was to bevel the face of each leg.  This was easily done on the tablesaw however; the tenon limited being able to work to the center of each leg.  This was solved by using a hand plane.
     After beveling, each side of the leg needed to be tapered.  Using the tapering sled for this was not possible because of the one face being beveled, it wouldn't lay flat on the tapering sled so I needed to come up with a solution for that.  After a bit of head scratching here's how this was accomplished.
Taper Jig & Leg
After Cut

     In the photo on the left you can see a jig I made for the leg to ride in.  The side of the jig of the jig is guided against the fence on the bandsaw and they're pushed through as a unit.  You can see the wedge that was removed in this operation.

Wedge Taped On
Jig & Leg Reversed


To cut the other side the wedge that was removed is temporarily taped back to the leg.  Then, by reversing the jig and the leg as a unit but keeping the fence in the same position I was able to cut the other side of the taper.

     All that remained is to refine the cut edges and the beveled face.  After honing my smooth plane I completed that step.  There's just something relaxing and rewarding about hand planing a surface.  Trying to capture that on film is pretty difficult but I tried it anyway:

Planed Profile
     The beauty of it is how the light reflects off of the surface and how the grain wraps itself over the beveled surface.  After the surfaces were completed, each edge was chamfered ever so slightly with 8 strokes of a block plane.  Can't wait to see how these turn out after the hand rubbed oil finish.  Next step will be to fit the inset, Zebrawood top into the frames.

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