Thursday, November 4, 2010
Shaker Side Tables: Subtle Lines Make All the Difference
The three pedestals are turned to their various dimensions, and dovetailed mortices have been cut to accept the legs. As you can see from the photo above, the Two-Drawered Shaker Stand (left), the Round Stand (center), and the Single Drawered Shaker Stand (right) stand different heights as each has a unique drawer configuration.
And now a word of praise for 4/4 common cherry.
I always feel a bit shabby sautering into Hearne Hardwoods, eyeing of some choice 12/4, medium figured board that is wider than nine inches (and thus sets off all kinds of monetary multipliers), and then selecting five somewhat ratty common boards at $2.25/bf. . . But that feeling passes quickly. I happen to have some leftover 12/4 from a previous project, so what I need is leg material. My method of cutting and templating legs suits itself well to short pieces of interesting stock.
I also like to make my templates in such a way that you can affix them on ether side. This allows me to read the grain and decide which way gives me the least chance of failure.
It would be irresponsible of me to try to give a fool-proof method of routing with a template. (By that I mean, do it at your own risk!) All I can say is that you want to be cutting "downhill", with the grain, as much as you can, and never try to take off too much at a time.
This first picture shows some clear sailing. Moving the work right to left, and with the grain running downhill, you don't encounter much resistance until you start up the the hill at the end of the leg (on the far right). Just don't start the cut on the edge of the far left, as that would be entering end grain.
The beginning of this cut might give you some problems the arrow shows where you will be cutting uphill into the grain. You could put the template on the other side (thus reversing your direction of attack) but I wouldn't do this mid-stream. You could also cut the portion on the right and then "climb-cut" your way (moving the work from left to right along that uphill portion. Do this at your own risk! The work will want to fly out of your hand to the right. I actually took very thin passes, moving the work in the correct direction and got away with it. In any case, do not let the cutter make contact with the end grain on the left. . .
Entering on end grain is instant disaster. The work will snap, your hand might fly into the cutter, and you must start again. Ahhh, the joys of the router. Just be safe and careful.
Once all of the template routing is done you will be left with plenty of hand tool clean-up to remove any burn marks and finish the places that were too risky to complete with the router.
Next . . . I'll taper the cyma curved legs and shape the cabriole legs for final fitting.