Leg Shaping and First Assembly

Last week, I cut and fitted the joinery for the Child of the Hunter coffee table. This week it's time to shape the legs and end rails, and prepare for the first assembly. Shaping begins with making templates for the desired curves so they are easier to replicate on multiple similar parts. Above, I started with the legs, tapering them from 1 1/2" wide at the top to 1 3/4" at the bottom.

Below, the stretchers will be straight along the top edge and have a shallow circular arc at the bottom with a chord height of 1/4".

At the end rails, below, both the inside and outside faces will be curved outward 1/4" in a circular arc.

After making and validating the templates, I traced them onto the parts and made the cuts on the bandsaw.

Below, you can see the reward for proper orientation of the grain in the part. After making the bandsaw cut, the grain lines on the outside and inside faces follow the gently curved edges of the leg. Sweet...

So, here is the dry run assembly.

The time for hand planing and spokeshaving has finally come. Here, after handplaning the outside face and spokeshaving the inside face of the end rail, I've begun softening the edges with the spokeshave. I love this part of the process!

With the end rails prepared, I move on to the legs. The block plane works great for the two inside faces.

I sight down the curved edges to look for anomalies and work toward an even flowing curve.

After completing the basic shaping of the legs, I stood them up together to show how the upper 1/3 of the legs are straight and the lower 2/3 are curved.

And, while I was at it, I turned the legs upside-down and took the photo below, just for fun. Actually, it does a good job of showing two things. First, it shows how the end grain is oriented to allow the face grain to follow the shape of the legs, and second, it shows how the outside faces of the legs at the ends of the table (right and left in the photo) are angled to follow the curved ends of the tabletop and end rails.

Then it was time for more edge softening here on the legs.

It may seem premature (or at least I may seem overly confident), but I like to sign the piece early on. It's easier to do before the parts are assembled. Below, I sign the Studio Tupla logo into the inside face of one of the end rails.

Finally this week, two rounds of glue-ups complete the leg/end rail assemblies.

Next week, I'll prepare surfaces on the side stretchers and cross beams and cut the joinery between them. All of this will happen prior to gluing the side stretchers to the legs. This is getting exciting, eh? More to come!

Hej då and happy shavings!