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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finally Finished the First Ball and Claw Foot

I keep track of my hours on the woodworking projects.  This foot has taken more hours than any of the ball and claw feet that I have carved.   Even after completing two practice feet, I was still very slow.  It is a good thing that I don't try to make a living from carving.  I would starve.
I am satisfied with the results of the carving and I cleaned up some of the bumps with files.  I use files for initial cleanup because I can always go back to carving if I see something I want to change.   If I use sandpaper I would not use carving chisels any more since the sandpaper would leave behind grit in the wood grain and quickly dull the chisels.   I will sand the whole leg before finishing once all of the carving is complete.
On to the next foot,  maybe I'll gain some speed.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Working on the First Ball and Claw

Well I did get some time in the shop yesterday and today.  So I made some progress on the first ball and claw foot that I need for the Townsend Card Table.  In the previous post I mentioned that I was going to carve the two feet in parallel.   Well that is not going to work.  I did carve the two feet into cylinders but that is it.  Once I start to carve the ball I have to finish the entire carving,  I can not start and stop halfway through.  
So, I was able to complete the ball and start to work on the talons.  I did undercut the rear talon.  I should be able to finish up this foot tomorrow.
So here is today's video:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Close up of the Talons

Luke Addington asked if the talons looked fragile.  I did not make mine too thin.  I think I could make them  thinner and still be somewhat sturdy. Here is a picture of the practice feet.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Finished Shaping the Legs and Starting to Carve the Ball and Claw Feet

I shaped the legs using hands tools.  The rear legs are pad feet with no carving, so they are good to go.
The front legs have ball and claw feet and a carving pattern on the knee.
I have the ball and claw foot that I did for practice to use as a reference as well as the plaster cast that I purchased.  It helps me to look at a finished design while carving.
Hopefully the mahogany will cooperate and not be too difficult to carve.  I have noticed that that there are some changes in the grain direction so carving may be a bit challenging.
The first steps are to layout the lines on the two feet, then to carve the cylinder all the way around.  Previously I have carved multiple legs sequentially, first one then the next, etc.  This time I am going to carve them in parallel to see if it goes any faster.
So here is today's video:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Done with Practice - Sawing and Shaping the Four Cabriolet Legs

I am finished with practice.  I need to get moving on the real table.  I am going to make the blanks and cut out the shapes for the 4 cabriolet legs for the table..
A few weeks ago, I went to Irion Lumber to purchase some mahogany for the table.  The leg stock was a piece of 12/4 10 inches wide by 8 foot long.  This should be enough for 2 tables.  
Right now I can get 3 legs from the width, so I cut 2 pieces of the length of the legs plus 2 inches so I would have a piece for the knee blocks.  I ended up with 6 legs.  I only need four right now.  So I picked the best of the group.   There are some worm holes in the stock but that only adds a little character.
With the bandsaw I cut the stock to 3 inches and then used the jointer and plainer to square up the legs.
Sorry, no hands tools at this point.
After the stock was squared, I made the template for the pad foot.  I had the template for the ball and claw foot from the practice pieces.  I traced the patterns on to the stock.  I turned the 2 pad feet on the lathe.
Now I am ready to cut out the patterns on the bandsaw.  I have a 1/4 inch blade in the saw and I cut them out as I did in the earlier videos on cabriolet legs.
It was very hot that day in the shop and that is the excuse I am going to use for not doing a really great job at following the lines on the legs.  I have a lot of clean up do.
Since there is no carving on the rear legs, which are the pad feet I decide to work on those first and get them out of the way.  This is where the hand tools come in, I use a spokeshave to smooth out the bumps and get nice clean curves.  Then carving tools to finish the shape, rasp and files to complete the smoothing.  Then using a card scraper of finish.
When I was working on the leg, I started to think about attaching it to the side and the prototype side that I had cut out.  I realized that I had not done it correctly.  I needed to leave it at 5 inches at the end and cut a curve leading to the edge for the knee block.  So I made a new side for the prototype.  You will see that in the video.
Here is today's video:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Completed a Second Practice Ball and Claw

 I did not leave enough material to carve the upper part of the claws on the first ball and claw, I thought I had better do another to make sure I bandsaw the foot blank correctly.   I modified the template for the leg and left a larger bottom section.
Since I was going to do it again, I have the opportunity to see if I can improve on the last one by making the ball rounder and the talons more life like.
It went much faster this time and I think I got a much better looking foot.  So, on to the real mahogany.
Here is today's video:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trip to the M-WTCA in Columbus Ohio

This week the Mid-West Tool Collectors organization held their spring meeting in Columbus, Ohio.   I have always wanted to go to one of the great tool collector events but either I was busy or they were too far away.  I have attended Ohio Tool Collector events but the M-WTCA is the big daddy of tool events.  Now after a 10 year absence from Ohio, the event was only 2 hours from my home.  I would not miss out.
I joined the M-WTCA so I could attend the event, since it is for members only.   I was surprised to find that they have thousands of members and they sent me a current members directory and copies of the last 3 Gristmill publications. Great reading.
I did not have any special tools that I was looking for but took some cash to buy something that I might find I could not live without.  
I drove down on Thursday to the Tailgate Meeting, which is outside in a flea market atmosphere.  All of the tool sellers and traders were set up in the parking lot with their goods on display on tables, trucks and the ground.  It took quite awhile to make it around to all of the set ups.   I did buy a Stanley #3 for Doug Moulder for a real bargain.
This is a good user plane, not one that would be on a shelf to be admired.  Very little clean up to be done.
I did meet up with a few of fellow SAPFM members, Jim Crammond, Andrew Messimer and Ben Brungs.

On Friday, the indoor meeting began at 10am in the main exhibition rooms.  The hall was very large and there were 50 or more tables to explore.  Quite a display.

It took me hours to explore all of the displays.  Here are some interesting
wood braces.

After all of the searching I did snag a couple of items for myself.  A couple of carving chisels, paring chisel, back saw and folding ruler.  There were a number of items I could have purchased but I did control myself.

In all, it was a great experience and I am looking forward to the next tool collector show for some more great finds.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Finished Carving the Practice Newport Ball and Claw

Woodworking the the summer is a lot harder than the winter.  The weather here has been wonderful the last few days, so it has been hard to spend a lot of time in the shop.   I did get a few hours here and there so I finished up the ball and claw that I had started.  I turned out pretty good but I need to do another one to refine my processes.  I will start that in a few days.
So here is the video of the finished foot for now.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Working on the Newport Ball and Claw Foot

I spent some time yesterday working on refining the Newport ball and claw foot that I had rough carved before we went to Williamsburg.
I undercut the rear claw near the top.  I worked in from both sides of the knuckle with a small #3 but I still could not get it through.  So I used a 1/8 drill to make a hole all the way and then widened it with a chisel.
Then I started to undercut the talons.  I drew an arch on the talon so I had something to follow and then carved away the material.  I used some small files to refine the openings.
These talons seem to be very delicate, I hope that they stay attached until I complete the carving.
So here is today's video: