Thursday, December 19, 2013

Building a Custom Desk - legs (post 5)

So, this is where things are now. All of these pieces are ready to be glued in place. But, before I begin any gluing I have to have the holes for the legs drilled. So, I'm going to put this all away so  I have some room to mill up and turn the legs.

I had thought about walnut legs, but the walnut I had just wasn't quite good enough. Also, I do want them black (dyed) and the maple I have will work fine. I have to mill up four blanks that are fairly straight-grained and at least 2" square. Then I will turn them into round blanks.

First, I have to work up the details in the legs. About the only thing is know at this point is the length and largest diameter. The legs will splay 5 degrees in both directions, and there is a 2.5 degree taper to the leg as it passes through the top and bottom of the desk. There is a lot going on and I have to get everything looking great because it all shows. This is what I need to achieve.
Let me explain the taper. The construction is from Windsor chairs. For a bench I recently made I fabricated a reamer.  It produces a 5 degree taper. It took quite a while to make, but now I can just pull it off the shelve. I will drill straight holes through the top and bottom and then use the reamer to make the holes tapered. The legs have a mirrored taper and will fit very tightly. I won't even glue them and they will have to  be pounded out once fit.

What I need to know is the location and size of  each hole as it passes through the desk. I need another jig.

This jig is a mock-up of the desk; 3/4" thick with the exact spacing. By laying out a 5 degree line on the jig I found that the holes will shift 5/8". By measuring along the length of  the reamer at the location spacing  I found the size of the hole at both locations. I used a smaller bit and drilled the holes and then ran the reamer though to achieve the taper.

Now I can lay out the leg. It  looks like this after I enter all of the things I know and got the shape I want.

There are two challenges with these legs - getting them the same and getting the taper to fit tightly in both holes. To have the best chance of getting them the same I began with a template with all the about on it so I could mark each blank.

That looks like this an ensures that I don't make a mistake. Next, I'll bring down the leg to each of those measurements and then join them with long flowing arches. 

Once I turned leg down I got a good fit in the taper. Thinking about it, I decided to now drill the desktop and bottom. I  will need to fit each leg to each set of holes. I will get a better fit and now I know how everything will come together. I just need to decide exactly where the holes will be located. 

Before calling  it a day, I sealed the inside of the bottom. I won't be able to get to it once the desk is glued up and I don't want to leave it raw. The outside won't look like this. I'll put another coat on tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave A Comment

Hey! Leave a comment - good, bad, short, long, whatever. I'd like to hear from you.