Stickley #634 Table Build: Part 3

While I was building the legs, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I was going to cut the tenons on the end of the curved apron pieces.  What would be my reference point on a curved surface?  I couldn’t figure out a way to come up with the perfect angles for the tenons in order that the assembled aprons and legs formed a circle.  I finally decided the only way was to draw a full scale drawing . . .

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and lay the apron directly on top of the drawing in order to mark it out.  I extended the lines on my full scale drawings,  laid a ruler over the end of the apron, and by aligning it with my drawing by sighting with my eye I marked the lines for the tenon.

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I decided to cut the aprons by hand using a small dovetail saw and my japanese cross cut saw, and clean up the shoulders with, oddly enough, a LV shoulder plane.  These were not the most ideal saws (they were too small).  The first tenon I cut on my extra practice apron was way off.  The second one was acceptable.  The third one was perfect.  I inserted the tenon, the shoulders hit evenly on the legs, and as I held it up to my full scale drawing it lined up perfectly.  I was proud of myself, and a little surprised that I was this good!  I showed it to my wife, bragged a little bit, and went to bed that night thinking that I had it licked. 

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The next morning, starting on my first real apron, I cut a worse tenon then my first practice one! 

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I could of fixed the shoulder alignment with a shoulder plane, but the big problem was that the apron was extending out of the leg at the wrong angle when sighting against my full scale drawing. 

So now, out of four tenons hand-cut, two are good and two are bad.  Not a very good record.  Luckly I had enough length left on my apron to cut off the offending tenon.  So now I was forced to lay down the saws and revert to a jig and power tools.  Hand tool woodworkers, I am deeply sorry I have let you down.  In my defense, I do not have a carcase or proper tenon saws.

I traced out the inside radius on some scrap plywood and laminated and pattern routed several layers together.

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Clamping an apron to the jig . . .

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and using a miter sled on my router table . . .

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I started cuting the tenons.  I had to take multiple test cuts on my extra apron and keep shimming the jig before I ended up with the right angles.

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To be continued . . .

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