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Inlay banding problem

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Forum topic by TheCaver posted 03-20-2009 03:48 AM 2267 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheCaver

288 posts in 3302 days


03-20-2009 03:48 AM

Ok, so I’m making a replica Federal table and I have these double tapered legs. I made some bandings, cut the recesses in the legs and measured the angle of the leg taper….dialed that up in my saw and found out rather quickly that my saw wants to either tear the hell out of the pieces (Forrest WW II blade, 40T) or that minute variations in the recess depth wreaks havok on the miters.

I also thought about cutting them square and overlapping the ends, but since I would have end grain exposed, that would look like shit. I tried cutting them with a handsaw, and that was somewhat better as shown below, but the variation causes the miters not to close.

I almost think that I am missing something here, because even if the miters aren’t perfect, they should at least close up enough that I can fudge it. 45 times 8 is 360, so that should be my miter angle, and the taper is 1.5 degrees, which is what I have my blade tilted at….so the math seems good….

I do have a 7 1/4” hollow ground blade that I used to cut the bandings, should I maybe try that? Cutting these by hand seems like an exercise in frustration. Any help is appreciated.

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan


12 replies so far

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TheCaver

288 posts in 3302 days


#1 posted 03-20-2009 03:50 AM

BTW, I was cutting the bandings in a little half boat attached to my miter gauge….

JC

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3681 days


#2 posted 03-20-2009 04:05 AM

JC, I think because of the small scale and delicacy of the material, you’ll never be able to just cut those pieces cleanly enough to get a perfect fit.

Have you considered cutting the pieces just slightly oversize, then filing the mating surfaces down with an emery board till you get a perfect fit?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Waldschrat

505 posts in 2898 days


#3 posted 03-20-2009 05:37 PM

Charlie is right and from the pic, it looks just as good as any antique furniture that I have ever seen… You could try a chisel a very sharp one, but I think just sanding them down or paring down by hand after cutting with the hand saw is the only way… its time consuming, and that another reason why its not done in an comercial/industrial aspect anymore and (with pride )what seperates us cabinetmakers from the carpenters!

just from the pic the banding looks like maple and some sort of blood wood, red tropic wood, what is that exactly?

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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TheCaver

288 posts in 3302 days


#4 posted 03-20-2009 06:57 PM

Thanks for the replies…..

The banding is made from curly maple and topped with a layer of purpleheart and another layer of veneer. Then it was ripped in half and glued together….the effect is not visible here, but the vertical stripes of the maple offset and really look great. I learned how to make the banding from Tommy MacDonald along with a table saw jig for cutting precise pieces…...

If you are really good, you can make it to where the stripes in the maple line up and the effect is striking…...Obviously, I’m not at that level yet :)

I just had an exchange with Tommy and he says that John Seymore made his Federal pieces without the miter (probably for this reason!). I will probably scrap the miters and do it the way it was done in the period piece….

JC

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3205 days


#5 posted 03-20-2009 07:04 PM

JC the trick I have used is make your recess at a perfect 90 degrees – so either do the slots for banding before the tapering of the leg, or shim the leg when you cut the recess without tapering it. So now you have a groove that has perfect corners.

Make the groove just a tad shallower, then you can cut the miters on the banding and they will fit tight all the way around but would be “Flush” at the top of the tapered leg but sit a little proud of the surface at the bottom , then “level” the banding to match the surface to your tapered leg with a plane.

To do this now, you could laminate a very thin veneer to the back of your banding to make it a bit thicker so it will be just proud of the surface, but you still need to get the bottom of the groove to 90 degrees.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3681 days


#6 posted 03-20-2009 07:52 PM

Great solution, Dave. In the back of my mind I knew that the problem was with accounting for the taper, but I couldn’t figure out an easy work-around. As soon as you said “make your recesses at a perfect 90 degrees” everything fell into place and I slapped myself in the forehead really hard. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3205 days


#7 posted 03-21-2009 01:56 AM

I have to give credit where it is due – This all clicked for me at the Joinery Class at Marc Adams back in 2006. where we were shown to cut all our grooves, mortises, drill for dowels while all the stock is still 4 square, then put in all the tapers, and rounding so you aren’t trying to prop up and shim pieces.

For me this was the big Aha!! at his class, and i immediatly was looking at how I fought making mortises in the rocker I made after the legs were roughed out.

Hope it all works out for you – looks like a really nice contrast with the purpleheart
Cheers

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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acanthuscarver

268 posts in 3175 days


#8 posted 03-21-2009 12:39 PM

Caver,

I’ve built a bunch of tables with banding like this. I always taper the legs prior to dadoing out the banding groove. To fit the pieces of banding, I rough cut the banding to length and then use my stationary disk sander to sand the corners on a 45 while I have the table set to an angle that matches the taper of the leg. If there is slight variation, I touch up my angles by hand with a chisel or block plane. Good luck and be sure to post pics of the completed table.

-- Chuck Bender, 360 WoodWorking, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

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TheCaver

288 posts in 3302 days


#9 posted 03-21-2009 04:10 PM

acanthuscarver, you’re right on, it’s hard to tell, but the legs are tapered here already. I actually went ahead and fit them by hand, and as worried as I was, they came out ok….

Dave, sometimes thats a good option, but in this case, I’m building a period piece so I wanted to do it as John Seymour or Duncan Phyfe would have done it, plus, with the amount of taper I have, inlaying the banding prior to cutting would have been a huge waste of banding stock. In addition, had I burned the maple or some such during that process, I would have been done.

BTW, Tommy (from Rough Cut) has informed me that the old masters would not have mitered this piece. They would inlay and trim square to the groove, thereby leaving a small line of endgrain exposed…it turns out, in this case at least, the easy way was the right way :)

I’ve learned a lot of little things like this from watching Tommy that did not make sense right away, but it seems like the old masters did things like this to minimize the potential for disaster on the larger piece. The differences are subtle, but all for minimizing risk on a piece like this…..and since they mostly did hand work, I’m sure it was even more important for them…..

Interesting stuff…..

So, while they came out ok, this is actually, technically, wrong….

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

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GaryK

10262 posts in 3451 days


#10 posted 03-21-2009 06:43 PM

This is where a miter trimmer really does a great job.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/14

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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TheCaver

288 posts in 3302 days


#11 posted 03-21-2009 07:18 PM

I may be mistaken, but that miter trimmer doesn’t appear to be adjustable in terms of creating a compound miter. Can the blade be tilted?

Another tip I got from Tommy was to use a paring block after tracing my angle from the workpiece. This worked very well, however since they were compound miters, I could not groove the block so, it was a little precarious….but in the end it worked….

Now on to the veneered, banded and cockbeaded drawer :O

JC

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

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acanthuscarver

268 posts in 3175 days


#12 posted 04-06-2009 01:56 PM

Carver,

Not all legs in the period would have end grain exposed. Sure, many did but there are plenty of examples where the cuffs are mitered around the leg.

The trimmer Gary mentions is also a great way to fit the cuffs. To make it a compund angle, you just need to make a canted fence that would fit against the metal fence on the tool. I used one of those trimmers for years but moved to a stationary disc sander because it was just faster.

-- Chuck Bender, 360 WoodWorking, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

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