Thursday, January 3, 2013

Legs & Aprons

     Having the drastic change in my vision due to the side effect from a medication has really curtailed my woodworking.  Talked with the optometrist this morning and was told my new safety glasses are supposed to be delivered to them Thursday.  I have bifocals but there's just not enough near vision to comfortably cut dovetails or do any carving.  My reading glasses are so-so but ----- that should all change tomorrow!
     What I have been able to accomplish is laying out the legs and cutting the mortises in them.  So many things you need to keep track of.  The grain pattern plays a huge part in this for me even though most folks won't even notice.  I use a combination of chalk and writing on green tape to keep myself straight.

Okay, Which End is Up?
     I also use a set of machinists stamps that I picked up at a garage sale years ago, I'll mark every tenon with them.  The markings will correspond to the letter I stamp on the inside corner of the legs.  There's no way that it will get erased so it's the best system for me.

Machinist Stamps to i.d. Inside of Legs
     All of this was done before cutting the mortises and then the tapers on the inside of each leg.  Of course, if you've been following my blog you know the mishap I had with the tapering!  Things like that are good though, it keeps with my philosophy of "if it don't kill you, it'll make you stronger" and I think the Dutchman patch came out fine.
     Next up was forming the tenons to fit the mortises.  For this I decided to forego the tenon jig and simply make a series of passes to get them to rough size.  With only four tenons to cut there was no reason to either change to a dado head or go through the trial and error of the tenoning jig.

Sled to Cut Tenons
     This was a quick way to remove the waste and was followed by cutting the haunch and fine tuning with a rabbet block plane.

Final Sizing of the Tenon
     My preference is to use this tool over a shoulder plane, for me it's easier to control although I have to be careful to keep it parallel and not create an angle.
Great Christmas Present

     Their timing couldn't have been better, my daughter and son-in-law gave me a set of Lie-Nielsen card scrapers complete with the leather wallet for Christmas.  They weren't too sure what they were used for so was able to give them a quick demo on the apron before I glued everything up!  Took a great curl right out of the box, didn't even put a burr on them before trying it out on this piece of Sapele.

Final step was to assemble the two legs to the apron.  The apron is about four feet long and about 13" wide.  There will be a shallow glove drawer on either end of it with a caned shelf below.  I've been referring to this table as the Star Jasmine table but ….. that's going to change.  My initial plan was to carve the flower in the center of the bottom shelf but decided that it would seem odd design wise.  Everything else is straight, simple lines and adding that would disrupt the over-all feel of the piece.

About 50 Degrees in the Shop

     Until I get the new glasses I don't want to attempt the dovetails across the tops of the legs so thought I'd get a head start by assembling the legs/apron first.  We'll see but it may be a challenge cutting them with it already assembled.  Just another challenge.  Notice what appears to be a cup of coffee on the bench?  Well, I'm using Old Brown Glue for this project and discovered that this is the best way to keep it at a good viscosity.  I've used another brand of liquid hide glue but find this much easier to use and clean up as needed.

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