Getting a leg up

OK, so its been a while since my last entry. While Spring brings the reentry into the workshop after the winter’s chill, it also brings other, time sensitive, commitments. First off, there are finals at school, and getting everything graded. Then, there has been a bit of landscaping that was necessary: removing overgrown shrubs and trees (memo to everyone; DO NOT plant Alberta Spruce next to a building. The backside will die back, leaving you with half a tree. Not my idea, btw; they were there when I bought the house!) and planting new ones. Then there is the small matter of the Wisteria that ate the house., Well, it was trying to, anyway. Last years growth had started to invade the soffet vent and climb the satellite dish cable. It definitely needed a home of its own. So for Arbor Day, I built, wait for it… an arbor! Well I started it on Arbor Day. Because of a boatload of rain, the final construction was delayed, which meant moving the 12 foot planks into the workshop to keep dry so they wouldn’t warp before everything could get bolted together. Which meant that there was no way to work in the shop. 

But, eventually, everything finally dried out enough to get the arbor erected (thanks Kevin and Benjy) and my QSWO was finally out of the kiln and delivered (on the same day as the arbor raising), along with some nice wide poplar and hackberry boards for future projects.

And so, to work!

I started with the legs for the dining table. I debated which method to use to get the quarter sawn ray flecks on all four sides of the legs, trying to avoid the natural, but less attractive, plain sawn figure on two sides. Stickley used two methods: mitering four thinner boards, leaving a hollow in the middle; and veneering the plainsawn sides with thin quartersawn slices. Since my design uses a through tenon for the lower rail, I decided to go with the veneer method. This way, I could start with an 8/4 thick board and use a dado blade to cut the mortise, then sister a 5/4 board to it, giving my the necessary thickness for the leg. I installed a new Wood Slicer blade in the band saw, (cut through the QSWO so easily, easily beating the performance of that canine brand), and resawed my veneer slices to 3/16″. I left them a little thick so that I could adjust the finished dimensions of the leg to be perfectly square. 

While the leg glue ups cured, I started milling the bottom rail stock. Let me tell you, 9″ wide 8/4 QSWO, nearly 4′ long, is quite a hand full. Even after ripping to the 7″ width that I need for my curved design, I got a nice workout at the jointer and planer. Tomorrow, after the veneer glue up has cured, I will drill through the veneers into the mortise, and clean them up with the router. Then drum sand to final dimension. Then I can make the tenons while the stock is still square, test fit them, and then and the curved cloudlifts.

It has begun!

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One Response to “Getting a leg up”

  1. […] episode was written and recorded by our good friend Chris Kenney and is titled “Getting A Leg Up”. Originally posted on May 19, 2009 and can be found at Chris’ blogAcorn House […]

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