Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Mid-Century Table (Part 3)

The second week of the Mid-Century Table build.
I'm trying out a lot of new things and luckily it went really well.

Let me tell you something about using jigs and templates.
How my spokeshave and I became friends. 
And why dowels are indispensable.

Jig 1

As last time described I have made a jig for beveling the legs. Here is the result of my first tries.

I clamped the jig to my bench and place a tapered leg into it. And then I started planing.
Quickly I recognized it is a good idea to do the first strokes with a block plane because the tip is really tiny.
After that it went pretty well with the jack.

Planing in jig 1

The jig gives a good hold for the leg. From my point of view you have got a good orientation.
It would be even better if the jig would offset the taper but I won't spent any more effort into it.
So I planed down to my line and established the first bevel.

First time to line

 After the first bevel is established the leg has to be turned around within the jig.

The second bevel

Long story short. It's working and I'm lucky with the result.

Mock Up Leg

So, here is the first shaped leg. It has got the taper as designed and the two 60° bevels on the inside of the leg.

The first shaped leg

Now I have to join one apron to the leg and define the final dimensions.
Afterwards I will start the process of rounding over. More on that later.

Mock Up Apron

With the first leg ready it's time to care about the aprons.
Easy task. Just laying the leg onto the full size drawing (always good to have one) transferring the measurements to the apron part and with the right dimensions I cut the apron to final shape.

Apron cut to dimension

It's exactly how it supposed to be. Great. I'm glad. Time for the next steps.

Next steps!?

Okay, but what are the next steps? I tell you what. Just having one leg is not fun and it would be more helpful to have a second one.
That said I've made a second one. Now I'm really able to see the dimensions, the over all look, etc. 
But I recognized that it is not easy to hold or clamp the parts together.

Why Dowels Are Indispensable

Do you like to work with dowels for joining pieces? No? Me neither. It always fails somehow.
But as my shaped pieces were laying in front off me on my bench, I was asking myself how to easily join them together. Clamping was not a good idea. Hm....a good sip of tea...looking around and my view fell on this....


Yup, that might be the solution. I won't like to give this mock up some fancy joints. But it is nearly impossible to give the parts a hold with clamping.

Legs with dowels

I grabbed my hand drill, bored some holes into the aprons. The holes have to be at an angle. Therefore I clamped the apron into my vise so that the end was horizontal. Then I put some marking points into it and transferred the holes onto the legs. The holes in the legs have to be drilled perpendicular.

Legs, apron and dowels

All that done I could bring all the parts together.

First dry fit

Here you will see the top view.

Top view

Lower Rail

The table will get some lower rails, so that it will be possible to add a shelf.
The same procedure. Laying the legs onto the full size plans. Getting the dimensions from the plan and transferring it to the piece. Cutting the piece to size and shape. A bit of fitting on the shooting board.
Again, the rail is joined with some dowels. Same process as described above.

Mark the hole
Drill the hole
Level the piece

And here you are. The first dry fit of the legs, the apron and the rail.

Table legs w. apron and rail

Leg Shape

As the rough legs are tapered now and the bevels for the aprons are established it is time to round over the edges.
Therefore I made a small template.

Template for round over

This template can be positioned at the leg ends. And the rounding can be marked with the magic pencil.

Transferring the shape to the leg.

In the following picture you can see what I'm aiming for.

Leg with marked rounding

I have thought a while what will be the best tool for doing this.
My decision was to start with a block plane and a spokeshave.


Before I started to do a single stroke I sharpened my spokeshave blade.
Let me tell you that my spokeshave and I are not really friends. Although I really believe in the work with this tool, it will not work smooth for me. Most probably I'm doing something wrong but I couldn't figure out what.
Anyway, time for another try. Here we go.

Making shavings

Result after 1st round

2nd round

Here is the top end after some shavings. It took a few minutes only. And I guess (and hope) that the Oak will be easier to handle as this spruce. It bothered me with tear out.

And the bottom end.

I'm not sure if I'm lucky how it looks from this perspective. But nobody will look at the bottom of a leg, or?

I will think about it for a while. Maybe I will thinner the width oft the leg at the bottom and prolong the flat faces of the sides to the bottom.


That was easy and fun to do. What happened? My spokeshave did not resist.
As mentioned above I had freshly sharpened the blade. The whole process, polishing the back, grinding the bevel to a 25° angle, honing up to 1200 grid on diamond stones and stropping it with polishing compound.
And all of the sudden it works well and as expected. 

Maybe that will be the beginning of a new friendship. :-)

What's next

I think it is time to rough cut all parts I need for the build.

The cutting list so far:
4 legs 40 x 65 x 440 mm
3 aprons 20 x 50 x 220 mm
3 lower rails 20 x 25 x ??? mm
3 boards f. table top 30 x 190 x 420 mm

Before I will cut all this parts I have to clean the deck so that I can store the pieces on it.
Waiting for clean up

Yeah, I know. It looks like a pigsty in here.

That is where I am for the time being. 
I'm glad that the things went smooth and most of the design I made-up is working.

Stay tuned and follow my next report!


1 comment:

  1. I've had problems with the spokeshave too. Still have some where it doesn't always go as smoothly as it does for Paul Seller . For me, I found treating it and using it like a small plane worked. Part of my problem was that I wasn't laying the sole down on the wood. It's kind of hard to explain but one day it fell into place for me. Pretty exiciting to finally make shavings with it.