Design details

August 01, 2011

Okay, I need some ideas. As I was milling the wood for the legs I realized that I had not thought through how I was going to smooth the front and side faces of the legs as they
are not flat but rather flare out in two directions at the bottom.
Also, I was planning on using a molding plane to cut 1/8" beads along the front edges and the flare interferes with the nose of the plane.  Hmmmmm. I could use some input on this if you have any ideas.

First, the smoothing problem. I decided to make some one-half scale quick prototypes of the legs to get a better feel for the issues involved. I milled them from some douglas fir to the appropriate dimensions. I then layed out locations for the various joints using a marking gauge, marking knife and square. I marked out the final curved shape of the legs on two surfaces and cut them using a bandsaw. After the first cut I taped the waste back onto the leg to act as a support for the second cut.

Okay, I now have two rough legs. The faces with the concave surfaces will be the show surfaces. I clamped two pieces between guide blocks of the proper thickness with the idea I could cross-grain pare the legs to the appropriate thickness. I first used a block plane to remove some of the waste and then used a paring chisel to level the legs to the same height as the gauge blocks.

The curved part was fared into the flat area with a chisel.  For the final legs I also plan to use a scraper to smooth out the work. That was my first attempt. I am open to ideas and suggestions for alternate methods. I would like to do this portion of the project with hand tools
as much as possible.

Second, the beading problem. When designing this chest I wanted to use a bead around the panel areas and around the drawers. There are several ways to do this. One is to use flat openings and then add a secondary bead to the case and/or drawer edges. For this chest,  I wanted to incorporate the beading into the case itself and planned to use a beading plane to add this detail. This works great for the rails and center stile that are flat, and I thought it would work for the legs as as well. However, the double flare on the legs means the nose of the molding plane will raise up when it hits the flared section.

One possible solution is to use a slipped molding plane which features a removable side piece such as on my 1/16" bead plane.  (and no, I did not drill the hang hole!)

This feature can be a real benefit for certain instances and was originally intended to allow adding a bead right up close to another molding profile. Alas, I do not own a slipped molding plane in a 1/8" bead, the size I wish to use. My next thought, and current plan,  will be to use a scratch bead. I realize that in this instance a router (electric) would work but I would rather use hand tools. Also, my beading plane has a narrow quirk which would not match a standard router bit very well.  Are there any other hand tool solutions out there?




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