Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project #11: Shaping and sanding

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Blog entry by sras posted 06-04-2012 05:42 AM 4866 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Corner blocks Part 11 of Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project series Part 12: Oxidizing for color »

Shaping and sanding is pretty easy to figure out, so I’ll just share a few of the techniques I used on this project.

The back legs still needed to be cut to final shape on one remaining side. The template was clamped onto each leg.

The shape is traced onto the leg.

Cut on the bandsaw with about 1/16” left.

A router with a guide bearing and straight bit made the first pass using the template.

Even with multiple passes, I still had an occasional blow out.

Repairs involved gluing pieces back in place and then routing very carefully. After this one, I used the disc sander to get very close to the line before using the router.

Nearly every exposed edge has a radius routed on it. Radii of 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8 were used. Here is example of the bottom of the front leg. I sand the surfaces to 120 grit before I add the roundover routing. The smooth surface helps create a cleaner roundover.

The larger radii caused me some concern. I set up the fence on my router table with a spacer strip.

This allowed me to make a first pass with a partial depth cut.

Then I flipped up the spacer strip and made a full depth cut. If you look closely, you’ll see that the bit is not flush to the fence. This way I could get the first and second passes to be the depths I wanted.

The next thing to cover is the sanding. I have put in LOTS of hours sanding. Not that I mind. I kind of enjoy feeling how each grit makes the part more smooth. The hours are from the fact this project has lots of parts.

And those are just a few of the parts. Remember there are 6 of these!

I do my sanding by hand. I use a block for the flat surfaces.

A piece of an old mouse pad for the radiused edges.

And a curved block for the inside curves.

I step through each of the grits – 60, 80, 100, 120, 15, 180, 220, 320.

Finally, here is an update on the hours.


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: 19 hr 35 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: 168 hr 50 min (28+ hrs per stool)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#1 posted 06-04-2012 06:55 AM

A daunting challenge Steve, just in terms of the huge amount of parts not to mention all the machining and sanding. I like your approach to the work. I think your hinged router fence spacer is brilliant. Can’t wait to see the glue-up part and the final stools. Keep up the good work!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3454 days

#2 posted 06-04-2012 10:42 AM

Very cool…169 hrs so far… whatever the final total, it will be worth it!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#3 posted 06-04-2012 12:02 PM

I don’t mind sanding either. You go kind of Zen, and the wood reacts.
Quite the ambitious project. Good for you.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2826 days

#4 posted 06-04-2012 12:14 PM

That’s a lotta tenons, & mortises

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View lew's profile


12099 posts in 3777 days

#5 posted 06-04-2012 01:45 PM

Really coming along, Steve.

Cool idea using a mouse pad. I have a lot of those around and will be putting them to use- Thanks!

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

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#6 posted 06-04-2012 01:55 PM

quite a lot of parts start to build up here – looking good.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View sras's profile


4805 posts in 3151 days

#7 posted 06-04-2012 02:18 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone!

The next section will finally give a view of all the parts spread out. I have given up trying to predict when this one will wrap up. The family opinion is “Never” ;)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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