I took a break from hauling junk to the dump today and spent some time working on my stool. I’d hoped to get everything fabricated and glued up, but the legs took longer than I’d expected. It would have been faster to turn them on the lathe of course, but the point of this exercise is to develop my hand tool skills.
I started with a rough sawn plank of Mahogany I pulled from the off-cut bin at Global Wood in Santa Clara. It has a crack at the other end, but there was plenty of material for making three legs. I marked out the cuts with a red pen.
And band-sawed them out. I need to replace the blade in my saw, it got a kink in it and now leaves a really jagged cut. But it’s fast.
Next I laid out a 2″ diameter circle on one end and a 1″ diameter circle on the other. I’m taking a few liberties with Paul Sellers’ dimensions, but I’m never been good about following the rules.
Then I laid out taper guidelines on two sides of each piece, and planed down to the line.
Then repeat the same tapering process on the other two sides of each piece. Clamping them was a little dodgy given the sad state of vise affairs on my workbench. I should really build a new bench. Oh, wait…
After planing all three legs into tapered squares, layout more guidelines to turn them into octagons, and plane off the excess.
Finally, finish them off with a spokeshave. There are still some facets left from the spokeshave, but at this point I started working on fitting the legs into the holes. I pushed a leg into a hole, then pulled it out to see where it was bruised. I spokeshaved off these high spots and repeated until I got a reasonable fit. I took a little too much off the tip of one of the legs, so that might be a problem with the finished stool. Water putty?
Then I penciled in some guidelines on the fat end, and spokeshaved the ends round (ish). Once this was done I sanded the legs with 120 grit paper to remove the facets and smooth everything out. I avoided sanding the small end so I wouldn’t mess up the fit.
I have some more detail work to do before I can glue the legs in. Sanding the bottom of the stool, cutting chamfers around the edges with the spokeshave and just generally double checking everything. The leg tenons get a saw kerf and are wedged at glue up time. I’m going to pick up a bottle of liquid hide glue for this project. For the finish I’m thinking of using a water-based dye, followed by oil and then shellac.