Thursday, August 7, 2014

Harvest Season

Here is a riddle:

Q. What is eight feet long and has six legs?

A. While it sounds like some horrible prehistoric venomous insect (probably from Australia), it is actually a board of 12/4 (about 3" thick) cherry I picked up to make the legs for a table.

Ok, a table, sure. Eight feet should be plenty long enough, with a little room for grading out the clearest portion (note that pesky li'l knot above), but six legs? Is this some hexagonal thing?

No, it's a pretty straightforward drop-leaf table, vaguely Shaker in form. Here's the concept sketch, though the dimensions have changed:

Simple table with 4 legs, apron around the top. Drop leaves along the long sides. Here's the legs after a session of cutting and planing (yes it is a lot of work shifting to heavy, thick pieces after spending time on much smaller and thinner stock):

So why the extra two legs? Because I take the advice of woodworker and carver Dan Packard... make some extras. Hopefully you won't need them. If you don't make them, you will mess up and wish you had them. I had to purchase the entire board of this 12/4 cherry, which is about the price of a Lie Nielsen low-angle jack plane. I would hate to have to purchase another just to replace a bungled leg.

I'll be traveling soon... giving these legs time to settle. Later this month though, lots of hand-chopped mortising, tenoning the aprons, and figuring out how to work a table top which is larger than my workbench. Good times!

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