I construct each corbel with five small pieces of stock -- a tenon, an upper internal piece, a lower internal piece, and two external cheeks.
|The tenon and the internal pieces ready for glue up.|
Using my initial drawing as a guide, I place an arm on my bandsaw's circle cutting jig and set the it for an 8 3/8" radius cut. Aligning the drawn piece against the curve, I'm able to hot-glue two stops on the jig to transfer this curve on the glued blocks. A bit of carpet tape holds the block in place and they pop out of the jig nearly complete. A quick chamfer on the front edge and a bit of sanding results in a finished corbel.
I'm joining the two base assemblies together with a stretcher that attaches with sliding dovetails. I always enjoy making sliding dovetails. There is a great deal of instant gratification as the pieces come together in a perfectly fitting joint. It also helps that I have a method, and a pair of bits, that make it very easy.
The stretcher is 3" wide and will attach dead center at the top of each base assembly. Because I want this to be a stopped mortise, I will only cut the groove about 2 1/2". I start by finding center on the mortise stock and begin to make a 3/8" groove on the router table. I bring the depth to 1/2" in a number of passes. Experience has taught that if I create this groove, and follow it with a single pass with my Lee Valley 5/8" x 14 degree dovetail bit (#16J1755), set to a depth of 1/2", I get a perfect sliding dovetail mortise without stressing the bit with too much stock removal. The only challenge with this technique on the router table is that you must make the bit change in a way that allows you to keep the fence in the same place.
The advantage to the router table is that once you have made the pass with the dovetail bit in the mortise, you have automatically set the right height for the bit to cut the tenon. All adjustments to the width of the tenon will be made with the fence. I like to start by marking a deep mark in the tenon stock with a gauge to help eliminate tear-out.
As these are stopped joints, you will need to remove some stock from the tenon to complete the joint. I start by sliding the tenon into the mortise until it stops. I set my gauge to this depth, mark the tenon on the bottom of the stretcher, and remove with excess with a hand saw.
In order not to bore you (too much!) I did gloss over some of the specifics of how I went about these parts of the project -- but I'd be happy to go into more detail if you have any questions. I'm also open to being shouted down if you see some glaring error, or know of a better technique.
Next up -- the breadboard top. Cheers!