Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project #10: Corner blocks

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Blog entry by sras posted 09-15-2011 04:48 PM 5186 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Seat backs Part 10 of Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project series Part 11: Shaping and sanding »

I have two kinds of projects.

Some are the smaller ones that get wrapped up in a matter of days or weeks. I do several of these each year. Some are planned while others are done as the need pops up.

The others are bigger. They take on a life of their own. They can last for months and years. They get set aside and left gathering dust – sometimes for months. But I don’t mind. I know that I will finish them and I would rather take a few years to complete a project than to have not done it.

These stools are definitely one of the bigger projects. They have been on the back burner while I worked on other projects for the first half of this year.

For those of you that wanted to see a project like this get done sooner, I recommend you check out GaryK's blog on his table and chairs. He did a great job and took WAY less time!

On to the project.

One of the features that I skipped over in the prototype was the corner blocks. In fact I wasn’t even sure if I needed them. The extra side rail and the lower rails (all with mortise and tenon joints) give the stools a lot of structure. But I figured better safe than sorry.

I cut 24 triangular blocks from a 4/4 maple board. The blocks are small, so I decided to get the final shape with a jig and a router. The front blocks are angled slightly less than 90 degrees while the back ones are greater than 90 and the back edge is curved.

There is a jig for the left side and the right. Each jig holds a block for the front corner and the back. By putting two blocks on the jig I get a larger piece to handle while working with the router (fingers farther away from the bit). Each block gets screwed into place and a flush trim bit creates the final shape. The jig allows me to keep my hands away from the bit, but not enough. This bit was too big to sit inside my router fence, so I made a quick modification to my router fence to shield the bit. One of those times when I paid attention to that uneasy feeling – “Something’s not right here”

I am using stub tenons on each side of the block, so I trimmed to corners off each point.

I then set up my router fence to expose 1/4” of the bit (with another mod to the fence).

I started with the bit lower and did a couple passes. Eventually, I had a 1/4×1/4” lip on the two faces of each block.

Then over to the ShopSmith to drill counter bored holes.

Then back to the router table to turn the lip into a stub tenon of the correct length.

Then drill center holes for attaching the seat. The end result is 24 corner blocks!

The other detail is to go back to the rails and add a 1/4×1/4” slot for the stub tenons.

Finally, a note of the hours. I have been putting time into sanding parts. I’ll cover that in a future post, but I am going to go ahead and get the hours recorded so far.


Current time log:

Cutting rough stock: 2 hr

> Cutting to width and thickness: 4 hr 20 min
> Cut to final length: 3 hr 30 min
> Shaping: 5 hr 50 min
> Mortises: 10 hr 35 min
> Sand & radius edges: 1 hr 50 min

Seat Back and Back Rest
> Cutting thin stock for laminations: 3 hr 35 min
> Prepping laminations: 8 hr 40 min
> Glue up Laminations: 3 hr 50 min
> Trim Laminated Parts: 2 hr 25 min
> Tenon: 5 hr 40 min
> Mortises: 5 hr 30 min
> Sand & radius edges: 6 hr 10 min

Back Slats
> Cutting thin stock for laminations: 1 hr 55 min
> Prepping laminations: 3 hr
> Glue up Laminations: 6 hr 5 min
> Trim Laminated Parts: 30 min
> Tenon: 2 hr 50 min
> Sand: 7 hr 35 min

Lower rail parts
> Cut to width and thickness: 10 hr
> Cut to length: 1 hr 30 min
> Mortise: 4 hr 35 min
> Tenon: 28 hr 30 min
> Sand & radius edges: 15 hr 35 min

Corner Blocks
> Cut to size: 1 hr 50 min
> Shape: 1 hr 50 min
> Tenons: 35 min
> Holes: 1 hr

Total so far: 151 hr 15 min (25+ hrs per stool)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

2 comments so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3781 days

#1 posted 09-16-2011 03:50 AM

Nice Photos, Steve!

Non-woodworkers don’t realize the time involved in making projects.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sras's profile


4811 posts in 3155 days

#2 posted 09-16-2011 05:03 AM

Thanks Lew! There is a reason why I don’t often total my hours – I’m just in this for the fun!

This project was one I had no idea how many hours would be in, so why not find out? ;)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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