Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Starting a New Project

Recently, I've started a new project--a Mission style table to sit beside my leather armchair. I've spent the last several weeks learning Google SketchUp, at least enough to be able to draw up a couple different designs to get the dimensions right. That wasn't easy; SketchUp has a steep learning curve. But once I got through it, I found it makes design a lot easier and more accurate. Probably, it is faster too.

Awhile back, I bought a supply of quartersawn white oak to use for the table. Now I am ready to start cutting and dimensioning the lumber into actual parts. The photo shows the stock that will make up the legs. Clearly, this 4/4 stock is not thick enough for the legs, which will be 1-1/2 inches square. So instead of cutting four legs from thicker stock, I'll be cutting 16 pieces to make up four faces for each leg. These pieces will be routed on each end using a lock miter bit so that when assembled four pieces will lock together into a single leg. The advantage of doing this is that the legs will also show quartersawn oak on all faces, making them much more attractive than if I had used a single board for each leg.

I've already jointed the boards in the photo. Next step is to plane them to 3/4 inches thick and make the two jigs I'll need to rout the edges. I'll plane that wood at the same time so the boards in the jig are identical in thickness to the leg pieces. I hope to have the planing done by the end of the week.

I will chronicle this project, the first of my own design, step by step in this space.


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