Three steps for turning your side table legs

A small gouge and a diamond-shaped scraper work well for cutting the beads and coves on the legs. A large gouge and a skew chisel are best for shaping the long tapers.

this stage. If you get a little tearout while turning, the tape holds onto the small pieces so they're easy to glue back in place. Now use a compass to lay out a 2" circle on the foot end of each piece. Tilt your band saw table 45° and trim the corners on each leg up to the 2" circle layout (see photo, page 28). Cut from the foot end of the legs to within 1/2" of the shoulders. Trimming the legs now makes turning the stock easier.

The next step is to make a template, or story stick, to assist you during the leg-turning operation. Draw a full-size paper pattern using the Elevation Drawing on page 34 as a guide, and draw a narrow rectangle around the leg shape. Glue it onto some hard-board to create a template. Trim the hardboard along the rectangle, then cut a deep notch at the top of the template to fit around the square shoulders. Use a band saw to notch the template just a hair at each of the major leg transition lines.

Chuck a leg blank in the lathe so its square end is near the head stock. With the lathe speed at 800 rpm, turn the blank round using a large gouge, then switch to a 1/2" parting tool to nibble up to the taped shoulders. Now hold your story stick against the blank while the lathe is running and set a pencil in each notch to lay out the major points on the leg (see top left photo). Adjust the lathe speed to 1200 rpm and, using a 1/8" parting tool and a caliper, turn the refer-

To rough-in a mortise, first drill at the ends of the layout, then bore holes every 1/2". Finish up by drilling out the stock between the holes.

To rough-in a mortise, first drill at the ends of the layout, then bore holes every 1/2". Finish up by drilling out the stock between the holes.

ence marks to their proper diameter (see center photo, previous page). At the reference points between the beads, leave the turning a little fat so you can cut deeper with a skew chisel later. Once the reference points are cut, use a small gouge and rounded scraping tools to shape the vase and the coves (see bottom photo, previous page). Trust your eye to create evenly rounded rings and smooth transitions. Remember that like an antique, part of this table's charm is having legs that aren't perfectly matched.

When the leg is fully shaped, reduce the lathe speed to its slowest setting and sand with 100-grit paper to remove any tool marks, then use 120-grit paper to smooth the surface.

Drilling the Mortises

On many old furniture pieces you'll see marks at the bottom of mortises left by center point drills. In keeping with the craftspeople of yesterday, follow this same method. Arrange the legs in the order that suits you, and label them for each position

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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