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Arts and Crafts Library Desk #1: Building Legs, Cutting Mortises

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Blog entry by pintodeluxe posted 275 days ago 1354 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Arts and Crafts Library Desk series Part 2: M & T Frame, and Lapped Dovetails »

Well after taking second place at the Portland Woodworking Show with the last project, a cherry trundle bed, it was time to start the next project.

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The current project is a small library desk for my son’s room. He helped in the design phase, choosing corbels over spindles for the sides of the desk. We also have a special white oak board with a bullet lodged in it. Caden decided he wanted to incorporate it into the desk.

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I am fortunate to have a stack of 400 b.f. of white oak to choose my stock from. My first task is to glue up some leg blanks. The finished legs are 2-1/2” square, so I glue up two sets of 3 planks.

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Then I resaw some strips, and plane them to 1/4” thick. They will be used to veneer the legs.

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I rip the planks into two blanks, and plane them down to 2-5/16” wide. Then I use clamping cauls to distribute the pressure as I veneer the blanks. Once dry, I trim the veneers with a flush trimming bit at the router table.

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This is what the legs look like in their rough state. I batch plane the four legs down to 2-1/2” square, which leaves a thin 3/32” veneer. Do the math with me… 2-5/16” + 3/32” +3/32” = 2-1/2”

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Once planed the jointline seems to disappear.
I did all of the planing by hand with an old Stanley plane.
Just kidding. I didn’t do that.

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Four legs complete, with quartersawn figure on all sides.

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Then I mortised the legs to receive the stretchers.

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Next up I will make the stretchers. Hopefully I can plane the board with the bullet without wrecking by planer knives! Maybe I’ll pull out the old hand plane for that.

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



9 comments so far

View Luke's profile

Luke

236 posts in 1321 days


#1 posted 275 days ago

Nice! Looking forward to watching the build progress! A little jealous of the 400bf comment.

View sras's profile

sras

3820 posts in 1763 days


#2 posted 275 days ago

Looks like another great build!

Congrats on the award!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1447 days


#3 posted 275 days ago

Thanks guys. It is off to a quick start. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going next week.

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

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1288 posts in 891 days


#4 posted 275 days ago

Willie, I noticed the stealth gloat about the second place award. Well done! This looks like it will be another great project. Have a great Thanksgiving.

-- Art

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1447 days


#5 posted 275 days ago

Thanks Art. I think my son was just happy to have his bed back!

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

View sb194's profile

sb194

176 posts in 1652 days


#6 posted 275 days ago

Willie,

I am always impressed by your projects. They are well designed and masterfully crafted.

Can’t wait to see it done.

Sean

View stefang's profile

stefang

12950 posts in 1968 days


#7 posted 274 days ago

Congrats on your 2nd place at the Portland show. Very impressive as there are a lot of highly skilled woodworkers from that area, including yourself of course.

Your Sons desk is a great design, corbels and all. I love how you did those legs. I have made some square legs with four mitered pieces plus a center piece, They came out very nice, but I think your way better is more straight forward and it looks wonderful too. My next project will be using some large laminated pieces and I now plan to use your method, so I am very appreciative of you sharing it with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1447 days


#8 posted 274 days ago

Mike,
I have tried the miter method, locking miters, and thin veneers. I used locking miters for the legs on the bed. This made hollow legs which was helpful for hiding the wiring and transformer. I think each technique has its place, but I tend to use thin veneers most often. Once you get into 4×4” legs or larger, the locking miter becomes more attractive to save material.
Once the edges are eased, the veneer method looks just as good as the others.

Thanks

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

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4762 posts in 616 days


#9 posted 273 days ago

Good stuff Willie. Nice to match a face with the name. Never mind the old stanley. You need an LN;)

Congrats on the award at the show.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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