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Harvey Ellis Nightstand #2: Legs

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Blog entry by DBrown52 posted 02-17-2015 02:49 PM 1651 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Intro Part 2 of Harvey Ellis Nightstand series Part 3: Rails »

The most involved aspect of the build is, by far, the legs.

The first thing I did was cut out the eight leg blanks to rough dimensions and then jointed and surfaced the blanks to 7/8” thickness. Then they were laminated to give a full 1-3/4”. Thickness surfacing before lamination means that my glue line is in the exact center, which is aesthetically important since I can’t hide it with Stickley-style veneers on account of the leg taper. After drying 24 hours, they were trimmed square to final length and width.

Next I cut all the mortises. Techniques vary, but my weapon of choice is a plunge router equipped with a 1/4” spiral upcut bit and an edge guide. There were quite a few to cut and the layout was fairly complicated, so I did lots of planning in SketchUp and diagrammed out my steps the evening before. I’m sure lots of guys can think on their feet in the shop, but I can’t.

I did all the vertical mortises first, so I only had to set my edge guide once.

(BTW, I didn’t miss my cut. I drew the mortises wrong during layout, but it doesn’t matter after the edge guide is set correctly on a scrap piece.)

The horizontal mortises for the drawer dividers are a bit more difficult. I couldn’t use an edge guide because the reference line (the top) is too short and too far away. So I clamped on a straight edge to run the router along. It’s a little tedious, but it worked.

Then I cut the open dovetail mortises in the top of the front legs to accept the divider over the top drawer. Sure, a square open mortise would have worked, but why not have some fun? I did this on the router table, stopping my cut only 3/8” in to accept the lapped dovetail. It’s a wide groove, so I hogged out most of it with a 3/4” straight bit and then finished it off with the dovetail bit. A piece of scrap that didn’t laminate well helped me set the router table fence.

Then it took a little chisel work to get everything flat where the router bit didn’t reach. I did a pretty lousy job and had some chipping, but it will be hidden by the top. I’ll have to figure out a different way to do these in the future.

Finally, I swapped in a 1/4” straight bit and cut grooves to accept the floating panels and the haunch of the tenons. They pass directly through the vertical mortises cut earlier.

Eventually, they will get tapered, but that can wait. The hard part of the build is done and I can move on to the other components soon. Thanks for reading. I promise the following entries won’t be so long.



6 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 862 days


#1 posted 02-17-2015 04:23 PM

Nice progress! This is indeed going to be a great piece of furniture.
I look at this and imagine how this build would be done with all hand tools. Yikes!

-- Ed

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23189 posts in 2333 days


#2 posted 02-17-2015 04:27 PM

This is coming along nicely. Keep up the good work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#3 posted 02-17-2015 06:47 PM

Looking good, keep up the great work.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5059 posts in 2613 days


#4 posted 02-18-2015 01:12 AM

She’s coming along nicely—looking forward to seeing your progress!

-- Dean

View DBrown52's profile

DBrown52

65 posts in 1196 days


#5 posted 02-18-2015 03:04 AM

Thanks fellas. Work was delayed for a trip to Belize with my wife for our honeymoon. Beautiful country. Here I am with a cieba tree

We saw a massive mahogany tree on a hike. It had to be over 6ft wide at the base and broke the canopy. The places we stayed used mahogany for everything… doors, furniture, trim, even ceiling beams. It was really beautiful

Now I’m back to -20F wind chills. But it’s good to be home

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1437 posts in 3024 days


#6 posted 03-26-2015 09:39 PM

Nothing wrong with a long post for a build this spectacular! Thanks for sharing.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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