Arts & Crafts Dining Room Set #16: My Final Answer...

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Blog entry by CaptainSkully posted 02-06-2010 03:19 AM 2535 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: He's Got Legs... Part 16 of Arts & Crafts Dining Room Set series Part 17: Table Top Post Mortem »

I took everyone’s advice and went out into the shop this morning to fix the lock-miter. I ran a couple of test pieces of poplar through, both moving the fence forward and back (I kept the height the same to reduce variables). Ironically, although the two pieces of poplar fit together poorly, each one fit the previously routed oak very nice. Since I couldn’t figure out how to make that work, I just glued the legs up as is. I know, I know…

Anyway, after sufficient time cooking, I scraped off the glue (I used a lot since I obviously didn’t have to worry about hydraulic pressure), and chamfered the corner in true Arts & Crafts style. The joint mostly disappeared, and more importantly held together. I’ll make another, slightly deeper pass when they’re all done in case I need to run each leg face down the jointer because the clamps left dents (there was no way I could juggle pads along with four sides falling apart constantly).

I think if I had to do it over (and I probably will), I’d do the two horizontal edges on one board, and the two vertical edges on the others. This would greatly simplify the clamping pressure direction. Right now, I’m having to clamp in both directions (90 degrees from each other), to get the lock-miter to bite into each other. Being able to just press down would lock all four corners together at once. Once again, I outsmarted myself. The good news is that I think my lame first attempt will actually work out. The small gaps along the joint will disappear in the rather dark finish I’m using (unlike my Limbert table).

I know it looks kind of fugly from the end, but I set it on the floor and capped it with a piece of scrap and it looks like a real beefy table leg that’s quartersawn on all four sides. Now I just need to figure how to cut them to length. I also thought that the hollow might be a great hidden compartment. Don’t tell anyone…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117592 posts in 3906 days

#1 posted 02-06-2010 03:54 AM

I’m sorry but that joinery doesn’t look that strong.

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4418 days

#2 posted 02-06-2010 05:21 AM

I think in the long term you will be happier if you chalk it up to a learning experience and try again on these legs. Right now you have just three small points of glue contact. It is hard to tell from the photo, but if the are not square you will have resulting problems when you try to join the aprons or stretchers.

For future thought: One way to take light passes on a router set up is to add a thin aux fence or several layers of fence and then remove them after each pass till you get to the final setup.

Good luck and keep on.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View CaptainSkully's profile


1609 posts in 3887 days

#3 posted 02-06-2010 08:50 AM

I appreciate the concern, but the legs are plenty strong. The Titebond II has filled the voids and creates a continuous corner. I’m not parking a car on these legs. It’s a dining table. If they sprung apart when I took them out of the clamps, I’d obviously have to reconsider. They’re square and the joints are relatively tight. I will consider this a learning experience, but I can’t just flush $100 of QSWO for an academic point. I will still continue to share my failures as well as my successes, because I think that’s what LJ’s is all about, but nobody’s life is in jeopardy here.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3693 days

#4 posted 02-06-2010 11:13 PM

You could always strengthen the legs by gluing some poplar on the inside of the legs to reinforce the corners from within.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1609 posts in 3887 days

#5 posted 02-07-2010 03:25 AM

Yeah, I thought of that too. One of the seams popped because my garage is so cold that the glue didn’t quite cure before I popped it out of the clamps about six hours later, so I used an old boat-building trick and sawed down the middle, reglued, and reclamped. I’m hoping that will fix the unsightly gap. Thanks…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4406 days

#6 posted 02-09-2010 04:36 AM

how about a square piece at each end going up a few inches—-and is glued to a base piece? you wouldnt see it on the top since the table top would cover it…and the one on the bottom could be a cool contrasting piece…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3334 days

#7 posted 04-21-2010 08:17 PM

I think you need to oversize the original pieces and set up that bit like a jointer, to remove more material and create a bigger tongue that fits the groove in the other part.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

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