My niece will graduate as a nurse in the near future. She has moved into a new house and asked me for a small desk for her new flat panel iMac. I decided to make an oak desk that would be loosely based on the mission style but with side panels that would reflect her future as an RN. My goal is a small desk 48” x 29” with keyboard drawer and a small drawer. I’ll be trying my first hand made dovetails on scrap and then on to my first dovetailed drawer
I put this out here, baring all for two reasons. I’m still relatively new to woodcraft. Don’t let the ‘Craftsman on the Lake’ fool ya. I just like cool names. I was one of those people who liked CB handles during the heyday of their popularity years ago; remember that time? Anyway the two reason are:
1. I’m still flying by the seat of my pants here. Trying to learn from the net, books and you guys. So, I know how to appreciate it when I get some good information that reveals how some of this stuff is done. For the next time I use these skills in another construction, I invite your take on things. Maybe how you’d do it. It may be a better way or just another way or preference. No problem. All good ideas and comments are welcome and will be read and filed in that void between my ears for future reference.
2. Because I have to work to search to discover the best way to accomplish my goals I document them here so that when another newbie puts saw to wood they might feel better about cutting it with the possibility of success. These steps may seem rudimentary to some but believe me, some were a mystery to me at one point and many more still are. End recap
My first tapered legs
I’ve made a desk and bed with straight legs. This time I wanted to add a touch of elegance with legs that are tapered on the inside dimensions of the desk. I decided to build a jig similar to ones that I had seen a few places online. The jig is a table saw sled with a movable fence that can be slanted to provide a slanted cutting angle. Two arms lock and hold the movable fence in position. A center arm locks the leg down so it doesn’t move during the cut. I don’t have knobs on the jig because I’d be buy knobs all the time. So I use bolds and tighten with a ratchet wrench.
Google or search LJ’s for ‘taperigng jig” and you’ll find lots of different designs.
Here's a good link to a video for a simpler and still efficient jig
Here you can just see the steel pin that is in each arm and movable fence.
The leg in this picture has been cut about 1/4 inch narrower at the bottom of the leg end. The top edge of the leg came inside of the sled 4” from the top So the leg top is straight for the first 4”.
Using my mortise jig, I produced mortises on the legs
...and mortises on the side panels and side braces. this is a side panel with 1/4”x2”x1/2” deep mortise.
The dryfit of the sides. Cutting the bottom stile board to coincide with the leg taper was a little bit of a challenge, but I got it pretty tight. Looking at it this way, I’m thinking that the sides look a little heavy in the design area. Possibly narrower stiles and swelter design panel might be better. Oh well.
Part three should be a glue-up
-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.