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Friday, May 1, 2015

Making the Ogee Bracket Feet Part 1 - Curved Bracket Feet are a Challenge

The next step for the Cherry Oxbow Chest is to make the ogee bracket feet that the chest will stand on.   I have the picture of the original chest that I am copying.

To my eye the feet have a considerable curve and they sit on a curved pad foot.  I plan on copying the design but the picture does not have a lot of detail that I can measure.  So I am making an educated guess.

Here is my first design on paper.  I sent a picture of the drawing to Tim Garland, a furniture restorer and historian in Lincolnshire UK.  He seemed to think it was ok.  I am glad I got his approval. :-)

Next I made a cardboard template and trimmed the front curve a little.  I thought it looked better, more like the original.  Now I can use this template to make a practice foot.  One issue is the curve on the front and how am I going to allow for that.

I have made large cove molding before on the table saw by angling the stock over the table saw blade like you see in the picture below.   There are people who can tell you how to figure out the angle by using math but I just use my eye so that it looks right.  Then I can adjust after I make a couple of passes if it does not look correct.

I just screwed these boards to my auxiliary out feed table and clamped them to the front of the saw.
I move the saw blade up about 1/16 inch with each pass and it cuts off a little more of the curve.   I watch and sneak  up on the pattern that is marked on both sides of the board.

I am using a piece of soft maple here, don't want to mess up on a good piece of cherry.  I did have to move the fence once about 1/8 inch to center the curve in the outline.   I think it came out just fine for a test run.

Now I need to round over the top curve with hand planes.  Here I am using my favorite smoother to start to round over the top of the ogee curve.  I can use this plane on the outside of the curve but I need a smaller plane for the inside.  I also used the largest hollow and round that I have on the transition from out to in on the curve but it was not necessary.  I used my spokeshave to help shape things as well but again is would only work on the outside curve.

I made a custom scratch stock from a putty knife to fit the curve.  It was usefully in smoothing out the outside curve.

For smoothing out the inside curve I used a curved scraper.  This one came as part of a set of curved scrappers that most woodworking stores sell.

All done.  Looks pretty good.  It wasn't too much work.

Now I need to cut two 45 degree miters on the face of the molding.  There are several ways I could have completed this cut.  Table saw, hand saw and sliding compound miter saw.   I have a good sliding compound miter saw, so that is what I used.  I did test the set up on scrap before I made the cuts.
The miters came out well.

Now I traced the pattern on to the back of the molding and cut out the pattern on the bandsaw.
I used spray glue to hold the two pieces together and put it under the chest to see if I liked how it looked.

I was pleased with the out come but the length of the side piece seemed a bit long so I shortened it by 1/4 inch. Since both the front and sides should be the same length I shortened both.

The design looked good but I still had not figured out how to solve the curved front.   I needed to figure out the miter angle to make the front piece follow the curve somewhat along the front.

I used my sliding bevel to set the angle from the straight portion to the top of the curve.  This angle turned out to be 10 degrees.

Knowing that I decided to cut two 5 degree miters on the leg for a test.
Below is the left foot with a 5 degree miter, I think you can see it.

Then I put the opposite 5 degree miter on the extension.  It matched pretty well.  I am still going to have to do some hand work to curve to the extension to make it match the curved front but it should not be a lot of shaping.

Also, I have to leave some extra material on the extension to allow for the two kerfs that are made by cutting the two 5 degree miters.

 So that's it, I now have a plan on how to make the ogee bracket feet for the chest including allowing for the curved front.  

All I have to do is do it over with some good cherry lumber.

Here is today's video for part one of the ogee bracket feet.

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