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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Completed the Knuckle Joint - But it Squeaks a Little

Well I completed the knuckle joints on the rear swinging legs.  They work ok, but squeak a little.  Which means they are too tight some place.

In the last post, I had finished one side and they were ready for drilling. I set up a fence on my drill press table, clamped the assembled joint to the fence and centered a 1/4 inch bradpoint bit on the centerpoint of the circular joint.
I drilled halfway through the joint. Then turned it over and centered it again.  I did not have to adjust the fence again.
Then I repeated the drilling again.
While it was still clamped I drove a 1/4 inch steel pin into the joint.  Sorry,  not a wooden pin like the old guys would have used.  I think the steel pin will last longer.
Then is tested the joint and it was pretty stiff, which meant that the knuckles were binding.  So, I sanded off the points which were rubbing.  I was easy to see since the wood would get shinny where it was binding.  After a few minutes it was moving freely.

Then I took it apart and began to work on the other side.  I matched and sawed the other knuckles.
I made a small dowel which is 1 1/4 inch round.  This matches the size of the hinge knuckles.  It helped me determine when the recesses were deep enough.  It saved time.

Once the recesses were carved... And that is a lot of work since it is end grain. I was ready to fit the hinge which went together much easier than the first.  I repeated the drilling process like the first one.
This side does not squeak.

The knuckle joint is complete for the moment.  Still needs a little sanding to eliminate the squeak on the first one.
Now to cut the tenons for the legs.
Here is today's video:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making a Knuckle Joint for the Rear Swing Legs

The rear legs on the Townsend Card Table swing out to support half of the top when it is open.  To accomplish this the rear legs are attached with a wooden hinge or knuckle joint.  The hinge has to fit tight so the legs don't sag when extended.  This joint is not overly complex about as difficult as hand cutting dovetails.
There are multiple ways for making a knuckle joint.  I have decided to do it with hand tools.
First thing I did was layout the circles and center point for the knuckle joint.
 Next is to make a 45 degree cut on the back corner of each circle.  I did use the table saw for this step.
Then using hand planes start to round over the circles.  I used a carving gouge and a hollow plane to complete the circles.
Just using the hand plane I was able to get it fairly round.  Then used the hollow to smooth it over.
I repeated the process for all four ended.  Then I laid out the knuckle pattern on the ends and marked the matching pairs.
Here you can see the pattern for the knuckles. There are 3 on the fixed portion and 2 on the swinging portion.
Now I have to saw out the knuckles just like making dovetails and then chop out the waste.
Now all I have to do is get them to fit together.  This is not the fun part.
The insides of the knuckle joint has to be carved out to match the curve of the knuckles.  That area of wood is all end grain and tough to work.  But I did get it done after quite a bit of work.
Here is the result.

 I am not sure that I am satisfied with the result.  I may make them again.  Tomorrow I am going to put in the hinge pin and see how well it swings.
So here is today's video:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cutting the Dovetails on the Rear Apron and Cross Member

 I cut the rear apron from a piece of hard maple that I had in the shop.  It is 7/8 inch thick, so I think it will be strong enough.  Also, the hard maple is more difficult to work but it was there so I thought I would use it.   I suppose I should look up the wood movement between mahogany and hard maple since they will be dovetailed together.   But I didn't, so I guess I am living on the edge!

I picked an arbitrary size for the four tails that I am going to cut, I picked four because that was how many there were in the picture of the underside of the Townsend Card Table.  Here is what the layout looks like:
 I cut them out with my dovetail saw and coping saw to remove most of the waste.  Then I chopped out the remainder with my chisels.

Then I used the tail board as a template to trace the pins on to the mahogany sides.  These are half blind dovetails so it is a little slower to cut out the pins since you need to leave material in front of the tail. You can not saw all the way through.

Then I pared the tails to fit and assembled the rear apron
After that I decided to add the center brace, but I just realized that the front is 3/4" lower than the rear.
So just dovetailing it front and rear would not be possible.  I have to mortise and tenon the rear of the brace and dovetail the front.  So that took a little extra time.
Here's what it looks like now:
If you want to watch the process, here is today's video:
Tomorrow I'll start work in the rear leg support and hinge.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cut Out the Table Aprons and Tenons

I have a ten foot piece of 8/4 mahogany that is about 14 inches wide that I can not pick up myself.  Doug Moulder offered to come over and help me cut out the apron stock.  So we cut off about 3 feet for the aprons.
Here is what is left after we cut it off.
We ripped it to width, jointed and planed it to size.  In the earlier posts when I made the prototype, I demonstrated how I used the bandsaw and templates to cut out the shapes on the front and sides.  So I repeated the process with the good stock.
Now I have to clean up the saw marks and cut the tenons.  I used my spokeshaves, scrapers and hand planes to smooth out the curves and finish the flat surfaces. Work to be done.

Once the pieces were smooth, I scribe lines on the ends and cut 3/8 inch by 1 inch tenons with a backsaw.

Trim the tenons with a paring chisel and hand plane and fit into the legs.

The next step will be to dovetail the rear apron to the sides.  I'll get to that tomorrow.
Here is today's video:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Completed the Knee Carving - Ready to Make the Frame

I completed the knee carving on the second leg today.  Did a little clean up of the carving with files,  no sandpaper in case I want to go back to carving to touch up something.
Here is what they look like:

I still wonder if I should have glued on the knee blocks and did all the carving now.  I did that when I made a lowboy a few years ago.
There are the four legs side by side.
Tomorrow I will cut out the front and sides and make the tenons.  I want them to be tight,  the Townsend Card Table pictures that I have do not show any pegs in the joints.  So I will not be adding them, but the pictures do show glue blocks in the corners.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Working on the Knee Blocks and More Carving

I took a break from carving this morning and decided to make the knee blocks for the legs.  My thought was that I might attach them now before attaching the legs to the apron.  My reasoning was that the carving on the knee extends to the knee block and it may be easier to carve them all at once.
So I cut out the pattern on cardboard, and used the bandsaw to cut out one of the knee blocks .  But after doing that I decided to wait until I have attached them to the legs after the table frame has been assembled.  There is not that much carving on the knee block.
So then I went back to carving the knee pattern.  Did not get that much done since I still have honey do's before the wedding reception party at our house tomorrow.  (Not my wedding.)
Here is today's short video:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Begin Carving the Knee Pattern on the Legs

At this point  in the project, I have decided to carve the knee pattern.  I could save it till later but I decided to get more of the carving out of the way.
I have a friend who has made a Townsend Tea Table and had traced the knee carving for that project.  He has sent me the photocopy of the knee carving.  This has saved me the time to create my own from the photos that I have from books on the Townsend furniture.
You can see in the video that I have some very good detailed photos of the leg carving.  This is very helpful for me to visualize what the final look will be.
I took the photocopy and traced it on to the leg, filled in the lines with pencil where it did not transfer too well.
Then I started to carve, again with #3 or 3/8" flat chisel.  Lowering the background to create the raised portion of the carving.  I have decided to relieve 1/16 inch. As  you can see in the picture this knee pattern is not very bold.
I have completed one side of the knee.  When I start to carve the veins I used a 1/16 inch #11 viener but I did not like the way it looked, so I switched to the v-chisel and completed the carving with it.
So here is today's video:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back from Vacation and Completed the 2nd Ball and Claw

My wife and I were on vacation and went to visit my daughter in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Had a great time visiting with the grandkids.

Here we are in Manatu Springs just after lunch.  Everyone wants to know if I brought back any pot since it is legal to buy there.  I'll never tell since it is illegal in Ohio.

Since we got back I resumed my carving of the second ball and claw foot for the Townsend Card Table.  I finished it today.  I recorded my progress using the time lapse photography that I used before.  The total time was about 4 hours for me to complete the carving over the last two days.  This I captured on an 11 minute video.
In this video you can see me carve the three remaining claws and talons.  Each of these is completed with the same process. After I completed them, I compared it with the other foot and found that the claws on the new one were a little larger than the other.  So I had to take a little off so they would match.

So the next step will be to carve the knee pattern.

Here is today's video:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Working on the Honey Do list - Painting the porch and Making the Molding

I had to take a break from carving the  ball & claw foot because my honey do list was piling up.  We are hosting a party in a couple of weeks, so I had to paint the front and back porch of our 109 year old Victorian  house.  The molding around the front porch needed to be replaced years ago, but I have been putting it off.  I have run out of excuses, I guess I have to replace it.  I will need about 36 feet and some of it will need to be curved.

I went to Home Depot and found a 2x8 12 foot that was almost clear.  The longer and wider construction grade lumber is usually better.
I have a large crown molding bit that I can use to make the molding.  Sorry, no hollows and rounds here.
I ran the lumber through the router on both sides and then resawed  down the middle to make 2 pieces from each 2 1/2 x 1 1/2.  For a total of 44 feet of molding.
Here what I ended up with
I sanded some of the rough spots and then painted it in advance of installing.
Bending around the curved part was a problem, but I worked out ok.  One of the honey do items done so now back to carving.
Here is a video of the process:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Third Time Lapse Carving the 2nd Ball and Claw Foot

This is the third post following the progress of carving the Newport Ball and Claw Foot. 
Again I used time lapse pictures to record the steps.  Hopefully,  you are not totally bored (not board) at watching me carve the foot.  Since I have discovered how to do time lapse I thought that I would record all of the steps in carving one complete foot.  I should finish in one or two more segments.
In this video I round over the ball on the bottom four side and create and under cut the rear talon.
Since Doug Moulder wanted my wonderful voice instead of the music, I added a running commentary to this video.
One of the lower sides of the ball really gave me fits in carving.  The grain was quilted so no matter which angle I came at it, it would chip out.  Leaving holes instead of rounding over.  I used a pairing motion and finally files to finish that side.  It was the only one like that, what a pain in the ....
Here is today's video:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

More Time Lapse - Continuing to Carve the 2nd Ball and Claw

Hopefully you enjoyed the first time lapse video.  This one is a little better since I changed the angle of the camera. 
The goal of this carving session is to finish rounding over the 2 sides on the back of the ball.  Locate where the hole goes under the back talon.  Make the hole.
After that I turn my attention to the top 2 front sides of the ball.  These need to be rounded over and a lot of material removed.  The top of the ball is under the front knuckle and it should slope back from there.  Also when you look at the ball from all sides it should look continuous as it flows under each of the 4 talons.  This also forms the front talons on top of the ball.
Note that I use a caliper to measure the first foot and make sure the second foot is similar in size.
After rounding over all 4 sides of the top, I start to round over the bottom 4 sides and match the curves with the top.  I will continue to refine the ball shapes as I refine the foot through all of the carving.  So you will see me go back to shaping the ball in most of the videos.
Let me know what you think.
Here is the second video

Working on the Second Ball and Claw Foot for the Table

I haven't posted for a few days because I painted the porch and other chores.  But I have been working on carving the second ball and claw foot.  I have learned how to make my Canon camera perform time lapse photography.  Some enterprising programmer hacked the Canon Powershot line of cameras with his own operating system.  Now I have total control over my camera.
On longer tasks, it makes much more sense to do time lapse pictures instead of video.  I can also do time lapse video, but I try that at some later time.
I set up the camera and started carving.  I broke the time lapse video into 3 video sets so it shouldn't be quite as boring.
I will post links here to all three when I get them up on Youtube.
In the first video I take the foot that I started earlier with carving the foot into a cylinder and I work on the rear talon and muscles at the top of the back.  This is so I can locate where I want to put the hole for the opening between the ball and the back talon.  You will see me make the hole in the second video.  In the first video the goal is to start to round over the top of the ball on the back sides and create the rear talon and locate the position for the hole.
So here goes.  Let me know what you think of the time lapse video.