Salon footstool #2 is well under way and I am looking for some advice from fellow lumberjocks. As I mentioned in my previous blog entries I am using these footstools to try and learn a little about woodworking and try some different techniques on each one.
For this stool I decided to make templates for the curves on the legs and stretcher. I cut a template from plywood after using Sketchup to make a paper template that was printed at actual size. I rough cut with the jigsaw and then used my new flush trim router bit to tidy it all up. This went OK, I found that Thai made double sided sticky tape just isn’t very sticky at all and had a scary moment when the template started to follow the router. Despite this minor worry I found this method much quicker and easier than making the first stool just by jigsaw and rasp.
On the first stool the stretcher was simply butt jointed to the top and legs, dropped into place with some glue and then I drove 2 screws through each leg into the stretcher. This time around I wanted to try my hand at cutting a mortise in the leg for the stretcher to fit into. I wasn’t going to try cutting a through mortise or cutting shoulders on the stretcher as I was expecting it to look butt ugly, but after I finished cutting the mortise it actually looked pretty good. I’m using the past tense here because today I went too far with the roundover bit on the stretcher and rounded the nice square end that fitted perfectly into the nice square mortise, oh well, another lesson learned there.
The legs fit into dados cut into the top but this time the dados are a nicer fit than stool #1. The stretcher and legs need tapping with the mallet to get a nice snug fit, I’m well pleased even though the roundover incident spoils things if you look closely (no picture included :-)
I am unsure if the stretcher fitting into the mortise will provide enough strength in the joint. The mortise is 1/3rd the depth of the leg. Will this be enough or should I still drive one or two screws through the leg into the stretcher? I’m trying to work my way towards not using any screws by the final stool, stool #3 will hopefully have a through M&T joint for the stretcher.