Monday, November 23, 2009

Legs 5: Under Shoulder Pockets

Now the basic shapes of the legs are all cut and part of the layers are glued:

But before they can be permanently joined, the pockets under the shoulders need to be routed out. The way to do that is to use the Senna style template I made yesterday and rout out the pockets. I'll take the legs apart into two halves and route both sides, then put them together to box in the pocket:

I'm using a 1/4" slot cutting bit on the router and a bronze collar that rides along the template:

So when the two halves are joined, they form this recessed pocket:

These are just held together with a screw for now. I'll clean up the edges, do some sanding and get these ready for paint. Eventually, the little under shoulder hydraulic greeblie will fit in here:

Since the under shoulder detail takes up most of the pocket, there's no need to do too much finishing work on it. I may add a piece of styrene across the back of the pocket at the bottom where it shows to give it a clean look. The router method is definitely the best thing I've tried here. This pocket can be very hard to cut and very hard to finish. Repeat this for the rest of the legs and we'll be ready to glue and move on tomorrow:

One part that's coming up is the compound curved piece that mounts on the outside of the ankles for all three legs:

Some builders bend styrene to form these, or use preformed tubes. I'm going to build up a blank from MDF and then make the two cuts. I'll glue the plies today so it will be ready soon for that step:

This stack is 5 1/8" by 1 1/2", which is big enough for both the outer ankles and the center ankle pieces. 48" long, I think. After this cures, I'll cut two blanks--one for the outer ankles and one for the center ankles because they are different widths. Then I'll rough in the curve with the table saw and bandsaw. I'll cut the wedges and finish on the sander. There is a small recessed slot in these too. I have some trickery planned for that.

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