Wednesday, February 9

Custom TV Tray Tables – Making Legs

Things have been a little crazy here for the past little while.  All good crazy though: I got an award, published a book, celebrated a birthday and have been writing my little fingers off.  I also got this blog published on Kindle so anyone with a Kindle or Kindle app for their computer, IPad, Blackberry or Android can follow along without having to log on. 

To check that out, or if you'd care to leave a review of Smoky Mountain Woodworks'
In The Shop Notes, please [Click Here].
 But now it’s time to get caught up.

Making the table legs starts with ripping the table leg blanks on the table saw.  I cut them just a hair fat to I can sand them down to finished size to remove milling marks.

After each cut on the table saw, I take the blank over to the jointer and joint the cut face to be sure it is straight.  The blank can bow a little as I cut away it’s width, this insure I start with as a straight surface.  It will also take off any burn marks should I pick up any from stopping the feed to change my hand position or get a push stick in place.

I cut all I need of the maple and the walnut - plus a few extra in each in case I mess something up.  The walnut leg pieces are longer because those tables will be custom –oversized.

Then the legs come over to the chop saw where I set a stop block and cut all the maple legs, reset the stop block and cut all the walnut legs.

Determining the length of the walnut legs meant pulling out some high school geometry.  I use the Pythagorean Theorem (A squared plus B squared = C squared where A and B meet at a right angle.  The height of the tables is known (dimension A) and the width of the top is known) dimension B, the leg slanting from under the table top to the floor forms the hypotenuse of the right triangle and is the unknown: dimension C.  By squaring the two known dimensions, adding them together and getting the square root of the product (thank goodness for calculators!) I arrived at the needed length of the legs.  Piece of cake!

Then I use my templates to lay out the array of pilot holes and counter bores needed by the screws that will hold these table bases together and bore those holes on the drill press. 

A quick stop at the stationary belt sander to shape the tops and bottoms of the legs completes this process.  I have about 40 legs to do before the day is over, so I’d better get cracking!

Thanks for reading!

What We’re Building:

Utility Trailer Make-Over for David B. - In Progress
4 Tray Tables, all walnut (custom size) with stand for Shelly – In Progress
4 TV Tray Tables and stand in maple for Jeffrey P. – In Progress
Kitchen organizer - Marie B.- Producing Design
Computer Desk for Laptop for Marie B.
Printer Cabinet for Marie B.

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