Thursday, August 7, 2008
After a lot of reading up on other people's methods, I got started on the R2 legs. My general approach follows Dan Baker's and Victor Franco's. I stacked up different thicknesses of good birch plywood to rough out the general shape of the legs. Home Depot and the plywood manufacturers are cutting us even shorter for our dollar now by offering only 18mm plywood. So it took some scheming to get the combination right.
One trick I learned from cabinet making is to set the saw up once for cutting these blanks and do them all at the same time without changing anything. That way they are all exactly the same width--makes for easy alignment and much less sanding later.
Kinko's will print up the pdf files from the club blueprints at full size. But it will cost you a bundle. What I really needed though was the main layout of the leg to save my having to copy all those measurements over. Kinko's was able to crop out just the part I needed and charged me only for that--maybe $2. Then I used some spray on adhesive to mount it directly to the plywood. How cool is that?
Here's another trick that worked out well. I mounted the pattern in the center of the blank. Several of the cuts on the leg pieces are straight cuts, parallel to the edges. So once I got the saw fence set up for one of those, I could run the cut, flip the piece, cut the other side, and then do the same for all the other leg pieces. Again, setting the saw up once insured that all the sides would be parallel and exactly the same. This saved me a lot of the messy, noisy routing that lots of club builders are doing to make leg pieces.
Then I did the same for the curved cuts. I set the bandsaw up with the circle jig, and with a little hole in the center of the radius of the shoulder cuts, I could quickly mount each piece and make matching curved cuts.
The resulting stack of pieces--5 for each leg--took about 2 hours to crank out this way.
More about the gluing up process next.