Thursday, January 18

Thursday – De Feet

This day was spent making the nifty little feet that go under the cabinet that we’ve been building. This is all part of the Deluxe Sewing Cabinet that we offer, and you can see pictures of the completed item by clicking the title above.

To start with we cut a chunk of rough lumber 4” wide and 52” long. This will provide enough wood to make all of the feet. Then we surface plane it to ¾” thickness. Now we need to cross-cut the plank into two sections; one will become the top plates, the other will become the sides of the feet.

Using our Incra miter fence we cut the one piece into 4 squares for the tops. The other gets cut into 4 rectangles. Each rectangle gets marked for alignment so I’ll be able to match them back up again later.

So much for the prep work. Now we get ready for the serious parts making. First off we set up the table saw to do 45° miters. Using a large artists triangle I get the blade as close as I can, then make test cuts on a piece of scrap. Fit the pieces together and check them with a square. Are they square? If not figure out which way the blade needs to go, make a small adjustment, and re-cut the joint. Test again. Repeat until it’s perfect.

I find it much safer and more precise when working with a series of small pieces like this, to tape them together and run several through the blade at a time. This prevents them from twisting, as the smaller squares tend to do, and allows me to use push sticks to keep my hands away from the blade.

The parts were cut in sequence and marked so that when the corners are assembled, the grain flows around the corner. Just one of this nice touches we like to throw in.

Next we re-set the blade and set the miter gauge for a 15° angle cut. This produces a tapered leg that is far more elegant than a square block supporting the cabinet.

Next we set up to cut the rabbets in the top edge of the side pieces where the top plate will fasten to strengthen and streamline the foot. I set the blade height and fence distance for the first cut and lay the pieces out in the proper orientation. Doing this eliminates any chance (mostly) of my doing anything stupid like cutting the rabbet on the wrong face of the piece. When the flat cut is made in all the pieces, I raise the blade and bring the fence in for the second cut. This time the pieces stand up vertically against the fence.

This cuts a squared-off corner from the board and this falls free. When these are all done I cut a 15° bevel on the two rear edges or the top piece. Now when all three pieces come together the top plate snugs into it’s recesses nicely and the bevels run smoothly up the full length of the back edges.

Then we apply glue and use a bevy of clamps to hold everything in firm contact as the glue dries.

While I’m waiting for the glue to dry, I take advantage of the situation to make another project that is to be made of walnut and uses exactly the same techniques to make the parts. This is a small box (6” square and 3” high) which when turned upside down will become a base for a statue that Joseph wants to display. Here the sides are cut, glued and clamped and you can see the rabbets where the top plate will drop in. Once it’s all glued up we’ll use a router to round-over all the exposed corners then sand it smooth and antique oil it. But that will be for tomorrow. First the glue needs to dry good and hard.


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