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"Parasitic" floor lamp #4: Leg shaping

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Blog entry by Ross Leidy posted 08-24-2021 03:57 PM 586 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Turret arms Part 4 of "Parasitic" floor lamp series Part 5: Hinge joint »

I would do some things differently if I were starting this step over. I started by creating a template for the curved leg profile.

Mistake 1: I second-guessed myself on the shape/width of the leg profile. I drew the lines manually with a flexible batten just based on a few measurements from the Sketchup model. The result looked too narrow, so I widened it a bit. However, once I had the first leg cut out from the template, the proportions were wrong, so I had to re-work the template and re-trim the leg. I should have trusted the model.

Mistake 2: Using the template to flush-trim the leg on the router table. The narrow work was difficult to keep perfectly flat on the router table, which resulted in some indents when it rocked a little. I had to plane the edges afterwards, so I might as well have just used the template to transfer the profile to the work, cut it roughly on the bandsaw, and then planed down to the line.

At this stage, the legs were too beefy, and I ended-up planing them down a good bit.

While the legs still had two parallel sides, I cut out the notch (kind of a mortise?) at the top that will receive a contrasting spline (tenon?), which will have the pivot point for the leg. I cut these out on the bandsaw, leaving a little material to chisel out later.

Mistake 3: I forgot to tighten the blade guard on the bandsaw, and the blade wandered a bit. Oops.

I’ll clean this up later.

I then created a flexible template to mark the tapered sides of the leg. I had some 1/16” basswood sheets that worked great for this.

Mistake 4: I didn’t create the template with an aggressive enough taper to start with, so once I did a rough cut on the bandsaw, I ended up with a lot more planing to arrive at the final shape.

These are only partially shaped. The lower half of the legs got planed quite a bit more after this. Once I’m totally happy with the shape and proportions, I’ll take one of the legs and update the templates for next time.



4 comments so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1381 posts in 2963 days


#1 posted 08-24-2021 08:07 PM

I find long, slender curves difficoult to get right. Think you did well despite som errors along the way

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View John's profile

John

37 posts in 4641 days


#2 posted 08-25-2021 01:21 AM

—“I might as well have just used the template to transfer the profile to the work, cut it roughly on the bandsaw, and then planed down to the line.”

I am finding more and more that the simpler approach is the better one. Bandsaw and handplane is far more satisfying that trying to work with jigs and routers. Millimeter-level accuracy is unnecessary for most applications, including this one.

I am enjoying your postings. Thanks for sharing.

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

293 posts in 3191 days


#3 posted 08-25-2021 03:31 PM



I find long, slender curves difficoult to get right. Think you did well despite som errors along the way

- kaerlighedsbamsen


Yes, I agree. I did some more fine-tuning last night, and I’ll update this post with a new photo at some point.


—“I might as well have just used the template to transfer the profile to the work, cut it roughly on the bandsaw, and then planed down to the line.”

I am finding more and more that the simpler approach is the better one. Bandsaw and handplane is far more satisfying that trying to work with jigs and routers. Millimeter-level accuracy is unnecessary for most applications, including this one.

I am enjoying your postings. Thanks for sharing.

- John

I agree – the hand shaping is much more satisfying than hogging away material at the router table. And as you’ve noted, the legs don’t need to be identical copies. As long as they’re roughly close in size and shape, they’ll visually appear identical.

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

293 posts in 3191 days


#4 posted 08-26-2021 05:34 PM

Here’s where I’ve landed with the leg shaping. The tip cross-section is somewhere around 1/2” to 9/16” square.

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