Building a Credenza #5: Curvaceous Legs

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Blog entry by Blake posted 05-22-2010 05:53 AM 8764 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Completed Dovetail Joinery Part 5 of Building a Credenza series Part 6: The Tedious Part... (Lots of Photos) »

The last time I left off I still needed to cut the dovetails on the other side of the case. I didn’t photograph that because the process is the same as before. But it took another four or five hours. I did think this was interesting enough to take a photo of though… “stretching” my clamp collection:


Leg Joinery

The legs are going to protrude up through the top of the case in the corners and attach with a sort-of “L” shaped mortise and tenon. This is the jig I made to cut the squares out of the corners of the top:


Using the jig to route the tenons:


The top part of the tenon routed:


Then I rough-cut out the waist form the corners by hand:



Then I used the same jig but added some width to the stops to bring it out further. This allowed me to square up those rough corner cuts and the sides of the tenons.


Squaring up the tenons:




Then I squared the round corners with a chisel:


I forgot to take photos of cutting the slot mortises in the sides of the legs but I just used a dado blade on my table saw on two sides… you get the idea. Here is how they fit together:


Shaping the Mahogany legs

Once I had the joinery cut for the top of the legs I was free to cut the curves into them. I drew the curves on the first leg freehand based on my original drawings:


Then cut it on the bandsaw…


...Sanded it smooth on the OSS:


...Transfered that line to the other legs:


...Cut them and sanded them:


Then I freehanded the lines for the curve in the other direction (which is not as deep)...


An almost-finished leg (one side still needs sanding)


Then I clamped them to the side of my case just to see how it was looking before heading out of the shop for dinner. This is a bit of an exciting moment:


Total building time so far: 28 hours

-- Happy woodworking!

13 comments so far

View 's profile

593 posts in 4001 days

#1 posted 05-22-2010 07:12 AM

You are one of the very best craftsman on this site, Blake.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3039 days

#2 posted 05-22-2010 08:33 AM

Seeing you take this from vision through the execution stage is a pleasure. Not to mention the fact that I find your design and material choice sublime!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3324 days

#3 posted 05-22-2010 01:51 PM

Wow, it’s really happening !
Can hardly wait for the grand finale.
Your design and skills are amazing to me.
Truly inspirational : )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3015 days

#4 posted 05-22-2010 03:18 PM

that’s really beautiful. :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#5 posted 05-22-2010 03:40 PM

it´s start to look realy realy good Blake
can´t wait to see the finished furniture
where have you learned that tric
to make tenons (what ever the name is) like that
I have never seen a conection made that way before
will it hold up to years of use


View sras's profile


4812 posts in 3158 days

#6 posted 05-22-2010 03:53 PM

This is a very interesting story – you are making great progress. Thank you for sharing your design and build process.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3702 days

#7 posted 05-22-2010 04:59 PM

Looks good, you is making great progress. Thanks for sharing.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3726 days

#8 posted 05-22-2010 10:12 PM

Great job, I like the way you show your work step by step, I know it is time consuming but it shows that you don’t worry about other coping your work. Thanks for sharing

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3197 days

#9 posted 05-23-2010 06:03 AM

Blake, you top yourself every project you do!
I am always impressed by your work.
I really like the way you joined the legs on this entry.
Thank you for your inspiring designs.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3515 days

#10 posted 05-23-2010 06:14 AM

beautiful dovetails, great work.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Triumph1's profile


893 posts in 3108 days

#11 posted 05-23-2010 12:33 PM

This has been awesome too watch. The dovetails look perfect and the leg shape is amazing. Beautiful work!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3903 days

#12 posted 05-24-2010 05:28 PM

Thanks everyone!

-- Happy woodworking!

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3836 days

#13 posted 05-26-2010 03:16 AM

Blake, everyday I become more and more humbled by your craftsmanship. As others have said truly inspiring and very well documented. I will trade you one Zin Zen Wine Bar for this piece :-).

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