Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sliding Dovetails & Curvy Legs

I debated the leg design long and hard. The problem is keeping it thin and eloquent yet strong and durable. I thought of steam bending, bent lamination, straight grain timber, and all combinations of the above.

In the end I decided to join two pieces to maximize long grain strength... which of course means a joint in the middle.

After making a template, rough cutting and machining the piece, I then used a jigsaw to cut a closer but still rough outline of the leg.

Using a chisel, a marking knife and some patients I outlined my cuts.

And then started making some cuts...

Which made me a sliding tail...

...and long pins...

With a bit of glue I got a rather nice joint.

Like all wood workers I'm my own worse critic. There are some gabs in the joint and between the two pieces. Some will need filling, some may need to be made a 'feature' of to correct. (Eg. one side as a 1-2mm gap on the face side, this may be replaced with a strip of timber mrytle or perhaps ebony.)

For those wondering about how the vertical leg piece will attach. I plan to use two small wedged m&t joints either side of the sliding dovetail.

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